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Clampdown on speedgun jamming lasers

PUBLISHED: 11:13 07 September 2010 | UPDATED: 11:59 16 September 2010

TWO Norfolk police officers are spearheading a clampdown on hi-tech speeders who use laserjamming devices to disable speed guns.

The electronic devices, costing up to £500, are marketed on the internet as parking sensors, but adverts typically add: “Some naughty people use it as a way of defeating laser guns”.

TWO Norfolk police officers are spearheading a clampdown on hi-tech speeders who use laserjamming devices to disable speed guns.

The electronic devices, costing up to £500, are marketed on the internet as parking sensors, but adverts typically add: “Some naughty people use it as a way of defeating laser guns”.

Sgt Geoff Bowers and PC Chris Harris, of the Acle traffic police team, became aware of the gadgets -fixed to the outside of cars and wired up under the dashboard with an onoff switch - when they stopped a turbo-charged Porsche 911 on the A47 in March.

After researching the technology on the internet and consulting the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), they have since charged five drivers using the jammers with obstructing a police officer in his duty.

And the officers have put together a PowerPoint display to familiarise all traffic police in the county with the jammers.

Their research is likely to be shared with other police forces around the country.

In the first such case in Norfolk to come before the court, the driver admitted the charge and was given a

six-month conditional discharge and told to pay £85 costs. The other four cases are pending, with the next one scheduled to be heard by Great Yarmouth magistrates on October 21.

Sgt Bowers said the devices, one of which is branded the Laser Star, detected the speed gun's laser and emitted their own beam, which blocked any speed reading. He said:

“The technology has been around for years, but I believe a lot of police forces are still largely oblivious to it.

“There is little information to be found on the internet, and we could only track down one court case in

Doncaster where a driver using a jammer was fined £5,000 with £1,000 costs for perverting the course of justice.”

Sgt Bowers said officers who failed to get a speed reading might normally just put it down to the batteries on their machines being low or sunlight interference. He said they had stopped the fast travelling Porsche in March after failing to register a speed reading and located the black box on

the grille.

“After researching it on the internet, we stopped another car with one, an Audi A4, just two nights later

in Yarmouth,” he added.

They had since seen 20 or 30 in the space of a few months, including some fixed to Ferraris, and they had heard an unconfirmed report that one vehicle using such a device had been travelling at 160mph on the A12 in Gorleston.

Sgt Bowers stressed that it was not illegal to own such a device, although operating it became illegal if you used it to jam speed guns.

He said:“We want to send out a warning to drivers that they are risking being stopped and arrested and having the inconvenience of their car being seized, in some cases for three or four

days.”

Their equipment would be confiscated and if the CPS chose to charge them they would have a criminal

record upon conviction.

He added: “The CPS has not ruled out using more serious charges, such as perverting the course of justice, depending on the circumstances.”

And Sgt Bowers warned that the CPS had also not ruled out prosecuting garages that fitted the

devices; he said he knew of one in the county that had advertised the service in a community magazine as “100pc legal”.


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