Police watching criminals

A hi-tech CCTV van is being used by police officers and council chiefs to tackle city crime and target problem areas.

The van uses two cameras operated by three officers inside it as well as connecting to a number of others strategically placed at locations around the city.

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It has the ability to zoom in on suspects from 300 to 400 yards away so officers can be deployed to deal with any given situation.

The system can also be taken out in unmarked cars to be operated covertly by officers. PC Andy Perry said it was ‘a fantastic evidence gathering tool.’ He said: “It can be used to tackle neighbourhood problems of anti-social behaviour and fly tipping as well as isolated incidents outside pubs and clubs.”

The cameras, two of which are placed in Newport Pagnell High Street, are subtly designed to blend in with the design of an area but can be moved around when and where officers need them in the city.

Local Policing Area Commander, Superintendent Barry Halliday, said: “We monitor the deployment of the CCTV van on a daily basis, sending it to areas where we see crime is on the increase and we have seen that when it is deployed, crime in that area reduces.

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“It has a dual purpose of acting as a deterrent as well as having the potential to catch criminals in the act of committing a crime.

“It is not only used by the police, but also by MK Council for operations they run and to gather further intelligence. This van is a long term investment for us and our partners for which we are seeing the benefits already.”