Police hope to stop crime in its tracks with device

Police officers across Sussex are to be given new equipment to stop suspects who try to escape in vehicles.

Stop Stick devices are used to puncture the tyres of vehicles that are being pursued by police, forcing the suspects to slow down.

Believed to be a safer way of ending pursuits, Stop Sticks were first used by police in the United States.

The equipment features hollow steel spikes and is laid in the path of a vehicle so that when it is driven over, the tyres of the vehicle deflate.

Previously it had been used by roads policing unit teams and tactical firearms officers to stop and arrest criminals more quickly.

Now it is to be used by neighbourhood response teams across the county to stop offenders quickly and effectively to make the roads safer for members of the public.

They will carry the equipment when they are called out so they can immediately use it without having to call for other officers to bring them.

Every officer who will use the equipment has been given specialist training in how to use it safely to reduce the chance of the suspect or any other road users being injured.

Part of the training involves making sure officers know when and where it is appropriate to use the equipment and when deflating the tyres of the suspect’s car could put more people in danger.

Forty of the devices have been deployed across Sussex.