Police resort to empty cop car to deter criminals

Updated: 
empty police car
DC Thomson

Police in Dundee have come up with an unusually lazy way of fighting crime, by parking an empty police car on a street for a day in the hope that it would deter ne'er-do-wells.

The fully marked Vauxhall Zafira was left parked on double yellow lines on Dens Road, near the city centre, for around 20 hours. Its appearance at around midnight on Monday confused locals, as there were no police officers to be seen in the area.

One local resident told thetele.co.uk: "It has been there since at least midnight, but I've not seen any cops.

"I've seen it parked there all day, but not seen any police at all.

"It was parked on a double yellow, so I suppose they think they can do what they like."

It was only after thetele.co.uk contacted the local constabulary that the vehicle was moved on, with the driver arriving in a second marked police car. A force spokesman later confirmed that the car had been left there for the purposes of crime prevention.

City councilor Kevin Keenan, who sits on the committee overseeing police activity in the area, criticised the exercise: "I think there's no substitute for people seeing the police walking along the streets - that's what the general public wants to see.

"I suppose it's still good to have a visible police presence and I think it could work for an hour or so, but when it's parked as long as almost 24 hours, then people will think it's either broken down, or it's just been dumped there. It's certainly not perfect and it seems a strange tactic to use and I'd like to find out the full explanation for its use.

"Perhaps there's a surplus of police cars and I did hear the number of officers leaving the force had risen, so maybe there's a shortage of staff?"

A spokeswoman for Police Scotland, Tayside Division, said: "Police Scotland continues to provide a visible presence in the communities of Tayside, whether officers are on patrol or by the use of marked police vehicles, in order to deter, disrupt and detect criminality and keep people safe."