Minority Report on the Buses

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CCTV security systems could soon spot an assault on a bus before it happens, according to a major research project.The system, part of which has already been tested in laboratory conditions, looks for suspicious behaviour associated with crime. It would be able to send live CCTV pictures to operation rooms, from where controllers would be able to intervene. The Queens University Belfast team say the software could make a significant impact on crime on transport. Although much of the work is currently at the theoretical stage, the team from the university’s newly-founded Centre for Secure Information Technologies predict that within five years their software will be able to profile people as they board a bus.

via BBC

Visualising Crime

New York Daily Gun Deaths. Each bullet represents a death. Colors show the type of death i.e. suicide, homicide, accidental or legal police action. Counts are broken down by age group.

New York Daily Gun Deaths. Each bullet represents a death. Colors show the type of death i.e. suicide, homicide, accidental or legal police action. Counts are broken down by age group.

For almost every reported crime, there’s a paper or digital record of it somewhere, which means hundreds of thousands of data points – number of thefts, break-ins, assaults, and homicides as well as where and when the incidents occurred. The NYPD (and more recently, the LAPD) use COMPSTAT, an accountability management system driven by data.While a lot of this crime data is kept confidential to respect people’s privacy, there’s still plenty of publicly available records.

via link

Mobile scanner could detect guns

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British scientists have developed a portable microwave scanner to help police identify individuals carrying concealed guns and knives. It is small enough to be used covertly, at some distance from the subject. The device is based around microwave radar technology and is designed to pick up the “reflections” of weapons concealed beneath clothing. from bbc

LUCY SUCHMAN AND PATRICIA CLOUGH: ‘Action-at-a-distance,’ or the ideology of safe living design

Yes Men’s Survivaball

New Sciences of Protection Conference: Plenary 2 with Lucy Suchman (Making Deign Safe for Living) and Patricia Clough (Scenes of Secrecy, Scales of Hope).

Lucy Suchman and Patricia Clough both explored the implications which the new sciences of protection have for our understandings of intimacy and human contact. Amongst other things they discussed proposals to fit anti-terror cameras in airline seats, the unmanned surveillance and combat drones currently deployed in Afghanistan, and changing modes of population management in Carona, Queens, New York. The central theoretical problem was how contemporary designs for safe living, which increasingly facilitate, and rely upon, the coordination of action-at-a-distance, are reconfiguring the relationship between intimacy and power. Remotely-controlled unmanned drones in Afghanistan keep soldiers bodies safe and simultaneously extend the combative capacities of these bodies. Those proposing the installation of anti-terror cameras in airline seats boast how new technologies allow for the surveillance of ‘mood,’ a system which could purportedly detect anxiety in a would-be-terrorist and alert the appropriate personnel. The panel tried to de-mythologize the design of ‘action-at-a-distance’ by showing how action at a distance is always also an affection of intimacy through distance. Power relations always require intimacy, ‘touching’ in one form or another, be it subtle coercion or explicit duress. The panel discussed how the mythology of ‘action at a distance’ is perhaps the ultimate ideological support for various designs for safe living, effectively separating the experience of safe living from both its consequences and real foundations.

Brazil prisoner’s pigeon drug mules

Brazilian prison authorities have discovered carrier pigeons being used to deliver drugs and mobile phones to inmates. Officers were alerted to the scheme at a prison near Sao Paulo, when they noticed some of the birds experiencing difficulty flying.

See BBC video clip>

SpotShotter: New Technology Could Help Detect Gunfire

The SpotShotter tool is a gunfire detector gadget. Its wireless sensors pick up the sound of gunshots and differentiate sfrom other loud noises, such as fireworks. When a gun goes off, a sound wave registers on the device, which sends a message within seconds to the police dispatch computers. It can detect gunfire as close as 10 feet away in a two-mile range.

The SpotShotter provides law enforcement officials with an interesting means of forensic evaluation. By affixing acoustic sensors to trees, telephone poles, and other towering structures, the SpotShotter monitors the auditory signature of gunshots. When a shot is fired and detected, the SpotShotter calculates the position from which it was fired, based on acoustic information received by the sensors, then sends the data (via phone lines) to a central server, which law enforcement agents can access for their investigation.

A similar device used in the military is the “Boomerang” microphone, which is mounted to an army vehicle (HMMWV), and is an acoustic system designed to detect the range and elevation of incoming small arms fire. The “Boomerang” system is being developed by the Marine Corps Warfighting Laboratory in Quantico, VA and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). Photo courtesy Marine Corps Warfighting Lab via Office of Naval Research

Read more about crimebusting at Law Enforcement News

via Bruce Schneier blog (thanks James King)