POLICE nationwide have been to see the way the West Yorkshire force tackles burglars who target high-value cars.

Burglaries where thieves break into a house to find car keys and then steal the victims' vehicles are known as Hanoi burglaries in police circles.

As car security systems have become ever more complex, thieves have resorted to raiding homes to steal the keys, so they can quickly drive the cars away.

But this summer West Yorkshire police have had major successes against Hanoi burglaries, arresting 97 people after a year-long operation.

In the county this kind of offence has plummeted from a peak of 286 a month to just 104.

It has also helped reduce house burglaries by 6,500 for the first six months of this year.

Senior police from across the UK attended a conference in Wakefield yesterday to find out more about West Yorkshire's success.

West Yorkshire police used a variety of innovative covert and overt tactics for the first time to recover executive cars worth about £2.5m.

Drugs including heroin, cocaine and ecstasy with a street value of around £250,000 were also seized.

Chief Supt Howard Crowther, who headed the operation, said: "By sharing the tactics we used with other forces we hope to make a massive dent on this type of criminal activity nationally.

"It is pleasing the results have grabbed the attention of the Home Office Police Standards Unit, as a model of best practice to tackle this type of vehicle crime," he added.

"The operation sent a strong message of reassurance to the public, particularly those who had had a vehicle stolen.

"The overlapping and variety of tactics used together for the first time is unique."