The police and Hammersmith & Fulham council are hailing the results of a combined sting operation to catch prolific car thieves in the borough. Officials say the use of covert technology has been rewarded with a 100 per cent conviction rate.
In addition to sting vehicles fitted with covert cameras, Hammersmith & Fulham (H&F) Motor Vehicle Crime Squad is using electrical equipment with tracking devices as bait to catch car criminals, they are also placing decoy mopeds and motorbikes across the borough.
To lure the thieves officers leave high value items such as laptops and sat navs on display in the decoy cars. If a thief steals the equipment they are caught on camera and sprayed with unique DNA. The indelible spray is traceable on the criminal even after months of washing off and is even transferred onto the electrical equipment helping officers catch middle men and ‘fences’ who handle the stolen goods.
H&F Borough Commander, Chief Superintendent Kevin Hurley, said: “We have worked closely with Hammersmith & Fulham Council in obtaining and deploying this equipment. The results are evident, we are arresting and convicting those responsible, and vehicle crime is plummeting across the borough.”
The council helped to fund the equipment used in the sting operations and the latest stats prove thefts from a motor vehicle are down in the borough by 36 per cent on last year.
Cllr Greg Smith, H&F Council Cabinet Member for Crime & Anti-Social Behaviour, warned that: “Every crook who eyes up someone else’s property on the back seat of a car now needs to question whether it is a Police sting vehicle. Crooks who do chose to steal from unmarked cars will find a huge array of evidence against them when they are taken to court.”