Gunshot Sensors Used in UK for First Time


Sensors which can detect gunshots being fired have been installed in areas of Birmingham.

The scheme has been used in 50 US cities since 1995

It is the first time the Shotspotter Gunshot Location System has been installed in the UK.

It has been used across 50 US cities since 1995 and can pick up gunshots within a 25 metre (82ft) radius.

West Midlands Police say the sensors had been placed on high buildings mainly in northwestern areas of the city.

Project Safe And Sound records an audio clip and sends police a GPS location.

A specially trained police officer listens to the clip to decide whether a firearms team should be deployed.

A spokesman for West Midlands Police said: “The technology is designed to detect the sound of gunshot fire and will enable police to despatch officers to the scene in a timely and effective manner.

“The technology is not surveillance equipment and does not monitor or record actions or movements of individuals within the community.

“The overall aim of the project is to reduce gun crime and potentially save lives.”

CCTV cameras

CCTV cameras had to be scrapped after local residents were not consulted

The system can detect whether multiple shots were fired and whether they were fired on the move.

The manufacturers claim an 85% accuracy rate.

Residents have been consulted about the scheme which will include the Aston and Handsworth areas of the city where gun crime has been a problem in the past.

Last month the force agreed to scrap surveillance cameras installed in parts of the city with large Muslim populations after they failed to consult local people.

Police are not revealing exactly where the sensors have been placed or what they look like.

They maintain that there is no surveillance issue because the sensors record decibels and not individual voices.

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