Police set Shining example with in-car computers

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Police set Shining example with in-car computers

Stolen car triggers 'Here's Johnny', but no axe through window.

Police in the UK region of Thames Valley is testing an innovative system on its in-car computers using famous lines from film and television to alert them to crimes. 

The cars are fitted with cameras that can instantly perform number plate recognition checks on suspect vehicles while on patrol.

But instead of the standard warning 'beep' the officers have programmed the computers to use famous quotes.

For example, a stolen car will trigger the line "Here's Johnny" spoken by Jack Nicholson in Stanley Kubrik's The Shining.

An uninsured car will prompt Homer Simpson's "D'oh", and a car linked to a previous crime will offer Dan Ackroyd saying "People like this are a menace to decent society," from Dragnet.

"This is something the operating crew have programmed in," said a Thames Valley Police spokeswoman.

"It allows the operators to react more quickly, as they can memorise what sound goes with what offence rather than having to perform a check."

Psychologists have long recognised that aural clues from popular culture can be very rapidly processed by the brain. Such systems are already in use by the US military in combat vehicles.

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