Police car chases may become a thing of the past in the European Union from 2020 if a secret plan entitled “remote stopping vehicles” is enforced. The EU is reportedly secretly developing a remote stopping device to be fitted to all cars, allowing the police to disable vehicles at the push of a button from a control room.
The plan is said to be devised by a committee of senior EU police officers, who hold their meetings in secret, and is part of wider law enforcement surveillance and tracking measures.
Confidential documents from this committee were leaked by Statewatch, a watchdog monitoring police powers, state surveillance and civil liberties in the EU. Statewatch argues the technology poses a serious threat to civil liberties.
“The project will work on a technological solution that can be a ‘built in standard’ for all cars that enter the European market,” said one of the restricted documents cited by The Telegraph. The devices may arrive in all new cars by the end of the decade and would be activated by a police officer working in front of a computer screen in a central headquarters.
Once enabled, the engine of a car would stop, as the supply of fuel would be cut and the ignition switched off. Leaked documents reveal that the technology is scheduled for a six-year development timetable.
Obviously, the stated purpose of this plan would be to bring an end to dangerous high-speed car chases, as part of the “key objectives” for the “European Network of Law Enforcement Technologies”, or Enlets, a secretive organization aimed at enhancing police cooperation across the EU.
“Cars on the run can be dangerous for citizens. Criminal offenders will take risks to escape after a crime. In most cases the police are unable to chase the criminal due to a lack of efficient means to stop the vehicle safely,” says one of the leaked documents.
I’m sure many of you have something to say about this Big Brother-like plan, so feel free to share your opinions in the commentary section.
By Dan Mihalascu