New CCTV camera to detect hidden weapons

Loughborough University has announced that it is developing a completely new form of CCTV system that can detect if a person is carrying a concealed weapon in real time.

Apr 21, 2006
By David Howell
Picture: BRC

Loughborough University has announced that it is developing a completely new form of CCTV system that can detect if a person is carrying a concealed weapon in real time.

Over the next three years academics at Loughborough will work with colleagues from Kingston, Brighton, Liverpool, and Sunderland universities, to develop the software.

The research team will examine genuine CCTV footage of people carrying concealed firearms, to identify any characteristics which are associated with the behaviour and activity of criminals before they commit a gun associated crime. This could be body stance/shape, movement or eye contact with cameras. Using this information they will then develop a machine-learning system for behavioural interpretation. This software will enable CCTV camera systems to automatically scan footage, searching for any behavioural characteristics which indicate that an individual may be carrying a gun and, if necessary, alert CCTV operators. The research team will also develop a training programme for CCTV operators to enable them to improve their ability to detect suspicious characters.

Professor Alastair Gale, Head of Loughborough University`s Applied Vision Research Centre, which is leading the MEDUSA project, said: “The new software we are creating will significantly improve the ability of CCTV systems to detect and predict gun-related behaviour, enabling individuals to be apprehended before they commit a crime.

“This is a very ambitious project, but I am confident that by the end of the three years we will be able to demonstrate that CCTV operators using the MEDUSA system are quantitatively more efficient than the same operators working unaided.”

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