POLICE cars, ambulances and fire engines could be more visible on their way to emergencies thanks to a new lighting system.

South Tyneside-based Mitsumi has developed the technology in partnership with Navcomm, a department of Liverpool police, which specialises in electronic systems for emergency vehicles.

The technology means the vehicles will be more visible and also help reduce fuel costs.

The system uses less power than traditional halogen and strobe lighting used on emergency vehicles - and Mitsumi is confident the new technology will become an international success, with forces from across Europe already expressing interest.

Mitsumi sales manager Phil Nelson said: "We were approached by Navcomm to design and manufacture an integrated, modular light source that could withstand vibration and harsh environmental conditions."

Because of the low power consumption, the lights can also be used on electric vehicles.

Mitsumi UK was opened on the Bede Industrial Estate in Jarrow 1987, producing radio and video tuners.

It went on to manufacture cable television set top boxes before moving into bespoke electronic design and contract manufacture.