HIGH-TECH number plate recognition systems have been installed in a holiday village near Warminster to help improve security in the wake of the Madeleine McCann abduction case.

Management and security personnel at Center Parcs, in Longleat Forest, said the £40,000 system, put in place on Friday, will offer more protection to its guests and help police to solve crimes.

Andy De’Ath, general manager of the 400-acre holiday park, said: “We sat round a table a long, long time ago when it happened (the Madeline McCann case) and thought out what measures we can put in place for our guests to minimise the chance of that ever happening here.”

Madeline was three-years-old when she was taken from her holiday apartment in the resort of Praia da Luz in the Algarve, Portugal, in May 2007.

The Vehicle Number Plate Recognition system uses an infrared camera to capture every car going in and out of the complex. It can also be used to help the police with their inquiries.

With nearly 1,500 people working at the resort, Center Parcs is one of the largest employers in the area.

The holiday village has a 23-strong team of security personnel patrolling the resort, three security managers and 24-hour CCTV surveillance, working to create a safe haven without intruding on holidaymakers.

Center Parcs can cater for almost 4,000 guests at one time and was named Best UK Holiday Provider for the fifth year running in the Tommy’s Parent Friendly Awards 2008.

The complex, which opened in July 1994, includes an archery centre, leisure bowl, 11 restaurants and bars, six shops, a subtropical swimming pool and nearly 1,000 holiday cabins.

Celebrity chef Aldo Zilli will be at the resort this weekend to launch his own cafe/restaurant in the Romanesque-style Aqua Sana Spa facility.