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Helicopter patrols in bid to foil railway vandals.

A HELICOPTER will be patrolling the skies above Coventry and Warwickshire this Easter to help combat the major problem of railway crime in the region.

Staff with Network Rail and British Transport Police will take to the skies for the next three weeks to hunt down the vandals who cause misery for thousands of commuters every year by breaking on to railway lines.

The initiative, codenamed Operation Skyhawk, aims to catch trespassers as well as deter youngsters from straying near the tracks.

Coventry is one of the Midlands' hot spots for trespass, vandalism and other criminal acts. In particular the Coundon Road area which saw 25 crime incidents in the past 12 months. That problem was equalled on railway lines in Warwick which also attracted 25 crime incidents.

Equipped with a 360 degree zoom camera with thermal imaging, the "eye in the sky" will fly over key problem areas keeping a watch for intruders. Any trespassers that are spotted will then be tracked from above while awaiting police.
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Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:Apr 15, 2003
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