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Real-time tracking tech leads police straight to suspected stolen vehicle

Last modified: 22 June 2021 at 04:21pm

Officers have recovered a suspected stolen caravan thanks to new vehicle tracking technology fitted to police cars.

On the evening of Thursday 17 June, North Yorkshire Police received a notification from a vehicle tracking company that a stolen caravan was in the area.

Using a tracker system installed in their police vehicle, officers from the Rural Task Force were able to pinpoint the precise location of the caravan – in a remote area near Boroughbridge.

They found it unattended, and recovered it for forensic examination. The caravan, which had been fitted with a vehicle tracker, was reported stolen from the Nottinghamshire area earlier this year. Enquiries are ongoing.

Systems to help detect stolen vehicles with trackers have recently been fitted to several North Yorkshire Police vehicles, thanks to a grant from the Home Office’s Safer Streets Fund.

Inspector Clive Turner, of North Yorkshire Police’s Rural Task Force, said: “Criminals have been increasingly targeting caravans and motorhomes as they are highly valuable and relatively easy to move or tow away.

“That’s why we’ve invested in new technology – such as ANPR and tracking systems – to make it extremely difficult for thieves to operate in our area unchallenged. As this incident shows, the technology works, and is another key tool in the fight against crime.

“The incident also highlights the importance of vehicle security. Fitting a tracker device to your caravan, quad bike, farm machinery or any other vehicle can dramatically increase the chances that it will be returned to you safely. You should also take basic security measures such as parking in an overlooked area, fixing wheel clamps, and storing the keys well away from the vehicle itself. Be vigilant, and report any suspicious activity around vehicles to the police – we can, and will, take action.”

North Yorkshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner Philip Allott said: “It’s really positive to hear about the impact the Safer Streets funding is having on crimes that have a big impact on our lives – such as having a caravan or other vehicle stolen.

“The investment we’ve secured is all about ensuring residents, landowners and the police have the tools they need to deter criminals from committing offences in the first place, and the officers’ use of vehicle tracking detection to reunite stolen goods with their owners is an excellent example of that.”

There has been an increase in caravans and motorhomes being targeted in North Yorkshire this year, particularly in the south of the county. In response, officers from North Yorkshire Police’s Rural Task Force have increased high-visibility patrols to deter criminals, and have been visiting owners and storage sites to offer security advice.

Insp Turner added: “As part of our patrols along North Yorkshire’s borders, we’ve been proactively stopping as many caravans and motorhomes as we can, engaging with the owners and offering information and security advice. This has received a very positive response, and those patrols will continue.”

Posted on in News stories, Rural