New crime-busting tech, primarily used by the US military, is being rolled out across two police constabularies in the UK in a bid to combat vehicle felonies.
Made by QinetiQ, the X-Net is a hi-tech 'spider web' which stops cars in their tracks, literally encompassing the vehicle as it tries to escape.
Made from polyethylene fibre 'Dyneema' netting – a substance which is both lightweight and ultra strong – the X-Net is being touted as a safer rival to the police stinger, a device which punctures car tyres without making sure the vehicle comes to a safe stop.
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The X-Net has been around for three years, and was first used by the US military.
Variety of uses
TechRadar spoke to Claire Scotter, External Communications Manager of QinetiQ, and she told us it had a number of applications.
"There are various ways the X-Net can be deployed. For instance, it can be used in a checkpoint situation to control vehicle flow. This is essential when there is a terrorist alert," explained Scotter.
"It may also be used to cordon off areas of roadways to stop vehicles getting in and out."
So far it is just the Gloucestershire and Kent police who have decided to use the X-Net.
But with a speedy deployment time (of around 20 seconds) and the fact that the device can be fitted into a holdall, and stop vehicles up to the size of a 5 tonne truck, the old-fashioned stinger could soon be a thing of the past.