Lock And Load | Birmingham Adopt US-style Gunshot Sensors

By SpiderGuest

10 December 2010

The ‘Safe Birmingham Partnership’ has now officially begun since yesterday.

The technology was originally developed in the US and has now been adopted by Birmingham with the backing of their council, West Midlands Police and The Safer Birmingham Partnership to source gunfire crime and increase public safety.

With Birmingham being the first city to trial out this Shotspotter Gunshot Location System, the technology can locate gunshot fire within a 25-metre radius from up to 2km (1.24miles) away.

West Midlands Police say: “the software has already been used for a number of years across the US and has played a significant role in reducing gun crime and apprehending offenders.”

Chief Superintendent Chris McKeogh said: “This technology will enable us to respond faster and more effectively to firearms incidents, therefore minimising the harm to local communities and maximising the opportunity to seize illegal firearms, catch offenders and potentially save lives.”


Costing £150,000 for the system, it is rather sophisticated but Birmingham feels it’s an investment in public safety and a innotive way to fight gun crime.

How it works

Sensors have been placed high up on buildings in the north-west of the city and when it detects a high sound frequency such as a gunshot, it automatically records it and sends the clip and GPS location of the sound immediately to a trained police officer who can them make a judgment if a firearms team is required and how to deploy them.

You can also see how this works and how an officer detects and distinguishes the difference between a firearms being fired and a firework.

-Source BBC News, BBC News, The Register

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