Car thieves use GPS jammers to escape the law
Illicit kit imported into Europe from China operates on the same frequency as GpS satellites to drown out timing signals and confound in-car devices. Because of this in-vehicle systems are unable to either determine their position or report in to vehicle tracking centres in cases where cars or lorries registered with GpS-based tracking technology are stolen.
Vehicles "disappear from the radar" when the GpS jamming technology is deployed, of the University of Wales at Bangor told The Guardian.
GPS jammers also have the potential to drown out mobile signals locally, a factor that has reportedly been applied to stop truckers contacting the police in lorry heists in Germany, as well as other applications.
GpS satellite signals are low power, so jamming devices need not be powerful.Although the risk of GpS jamming has been understood for years, its misuse by crooks is far more recent.
More powerful jammers in the 20w range could potentially disrupt the GpS signals over a river estuary or at airports. The UK government has allocated a £2.2m grant to a consortium including build GpS-jamming detection systems, currently at the prototype stage of development.
That the use of systems that triangulate positions based on the strength of signals from mobile phone masts, or similar technology, needs to be deployed as a complement and backup to GpS-based vehicle tracking and recovery services.