Police puncture crooks’ plans with ‘stingers’ bought using criminal cash

Cash seized from criminals is helping West Midlands Police puncture the plans of other crooks using the region’s roads – after being spent on equipping a fleet of response cars with tyre-deflating ‘stinger’ devices.

A total of 19 ‘stingers’ have been bought thanks to a donation of just over £10,000 from the Proceeds of Crime Act Fund – a kitty made up of money stripped from offenders and the sales proceeds of assets seized from them by police.

They are now on-board a fleet of Vauxhall Insignias used by response cops to attend emergency incidents across Solihull and Coventry.

The first successful sting came on 23rd September when officers patrolling the Allesley area of Coventry spotted a vehicle travelling on false number plates.

Quick-time enquiries on police systems confirmed the Audi A3 had been stolen following a burglary in Somerly Close, Coventry, on 29th August.

A stinger was deployed in Pickford Way to puncture its tyres and, following a brief pursuit, the driver was pulled over and arrested; a can of CS spray was recovered from the car.

A 25-year-old man from Willenhall, Coventry, was later charged with dangerous driving, possessing CS spray, driving without insurance and driving with no licence.

West Midlands Police Response Sergeant Dale Hughes, based in Coventry, said: “This was a pre-emptive strike: our officers spotted a stolen car and monitored it discretely from a safe distance while an officer was positioned by the road with a stinger.

“The car was stung before the driver even realised he was being tracked by police units. He attempted to drive off in the Audi, despite the wheels having been deflated, but clearly he didn’t get too far.

“Each stinger costs about £500 but this single use resulted in the recovery of a stolen car with a value of £8,000, the recovery of a CS canister and the driver being charged with multiple offences.

“It’s also very satisfying to know that these devices are being funded directly through money that has been seized from criminals.”

The West Midlands Police & Crime Commissioner David Jamieson, said: “I’m very pleased I have been able to fund these new police stingers with money seized from criminals.

“It is vital we equip our hard working officers with the tools they need to do the job we ask of them. The good feeling I get when I buy this kit for coppers is amplified when I’m able to do so with cash taken from crooks.”

Read more: https://www.west-midlands.police.uk/news/6707/police-puncture-crooks-plans-stingers-bought-using-criminal-cash