06/12/2002

Chief Constable confirms permanent car crime unit

Families of car crime victims have met PSNI Chief Constable Hugh Orde today in order to push for tougher measures

against offenders.

And their hopes were almost immediately fulfilled when Mr Orde confirmed that the temporary police unit set up to tackle car crime in the west Belfast and Lisburn areas is to be made permanent.

The victims support group Families Bereaved Through Car Crime organised the meeting in order to press the Chief Constable into implementing measures to reduce so-called joyriding in problem areas such as west Belfast.

Mr Orde also revealed the Anti-Car Crime Unit, which was set up on a pilot basis in July, will have increased resources.

The Anti-Car Crime Unit has helped the PSNI reduce the numbers of cars stolen and recovered in west Belfast to nearly 1,500 vehicles in 2002, a reduction of 24% on the previous year. Around a quarter of all cars stolen in Northern Ireland come from the west of the city.

Police have also said that 122 arrests had been made since the introduction of the team in July.

(MB)

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