Money seized from criminals goes to stamping out illegal car window tints in Thurrock

THOUSANDS of pounds seized from criminals in Essex has been earmarked for crime-fighting projects.

Essex Police receives a proportion of the cash its officers seize under the Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA ), which is then invested in equipment and initiatives to continue fighting crime and protecting the public.

Here are some of the projects to have recently been given funding:

Devices to detect illegal car window tints in Thurrock

Officers in Thurrock have been given £1,200 to buy two handheld devices to detect illegal tinting on car windows.

The Tintman technology measures how much light passes through. By law, the front windscreen must let at least 75% of light through and the front side windows must allow at least 70% through.

Thurrock district commander Chief Insp Leigh Norris said: "Dark tints can reduce drivers’ visibility and can be a factor in road traffic collisions, especially during the hours of darkness.

"We have also had issues with car cruising and street racing in West Thurrock and a number of the drivers of these modified cars have additional tints on their windows.

"The Tintman device will help us enforce the Public Spaces Protection Order, which has been in place since mid-December to combat street racing and the issues of pedestrians spectating such activities.”

Drivers who have too much tint on their windows could be stopped from using their vehicle until the extra tint is removed, or receive a penalty notice or court summons.

Sgt Chris Bramhill, of Grays local policing team, said: "While on patrol earlier this month, I stopped a driver because only ten per cent of light was passing through the glass of the driver’s side window and front passenger side window.

"Having very dark tints on the windows can limit your vision so that it is similar to wearing sunglasses all the time, even at night.”

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