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£2m cash boost to secure homes

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Home Office Minister Alan Campbell has announced a £2 million cash boost to 16 forces across the UK, enabling them to purchase high-tech equipment to keep homes and vehicles safe from burglars.

The move, part of the Securing Homes programme, is hoped to reduce number of home insurance claims made in the future.

The money allocated under the initiative will be used by forces, including the Metropolitan Police, to buy equipment such as automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) systems, tracking equipment, forensic scanners, intruder alarms, CCTV and property marking kits. The high-tech gadgets will be used for both overt and covert police operations.

The fund has been used by Essex Police to improve its ANPR systems, which will enable it to identify vehicles associated with criminal activity, in particular those coming from other counties.

Essex police have also invested in ultraviolet light torches, which could help officers identify stolen property that has been recovered after a burglary.

Mr Campbell said: "This new equipment will not only help police catch the criminals who harm communities, it will help prevent crime as well. Once burglars realise the home they're breaking into might be covered by hidden cameras they might start to think twice."

© Press Association 2010