GPS bullets are latest weapon for American police

image captionThe bullet is used during car chases

It sounds like something out of a James Bond movie - GPS bullets that can track the location of a suspect's car.

The bullet is designed to make high-speed chases safer - enabling the authorities to track suspects without having to risk theirs or others' lives.

And in true spy fashion the system works by hitting a button inside a police car.

That triggers a lid to pop up releasing a bullet that shoots out and sticks to the car in front.

The system, dubbed Starchase, is already in use in four US states - Iowa, Florida, Arizona and Colorado - and the firm behind it is now keen to get the system into the UK.

It costs $5,000 (£3,108) to install and each bullet costs $500 (£312).

Privacy issues

Once the bullet is connected to a car, the police can stop the chase.

They can track and pinpoint a suspect's vehicle location and speed in near real time.

"This is an important tactic for the police. We've already made a difference, from rescuing little girls from human trafficking to stopping drivers under the influence," said Trevor Fischbach, president of StarChase.

Dave Allen is a senior lecturer at Leeds University and recently co-authored a report into the future of technology for the UK police.

"This sounds like interesting technology and there is a clear operational use for it. I think the costs will fall rapidly and we will see them being used routinely in the not so distant future," he told the BBC.

But, he added, there needs to be pause for thought to make sure technology is not just being used for technology's sake.

"There are other ways to track vehicles and this could raise some civil liberties issues," he said.

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