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Scanners on trial at London train station to detect weapons on body

Scanners on trial at London train station to detect weapons on body

London: A UK government funded trial of a specialised technology that can detect weapons on the body of individuals has been deployed in London as part of a crackdown on knife crime in the UK capital.

The technology, made by British company Thruvision and backed by the UK Home Office, can detect weapons including guns, knives and explosive devices concealed under clothing at distances of up to 30 feet. It works by revealing objects concealed in clothing that block a person's body heat.

A five-day trial of the tech opened at Stratford in east London from Monday to help police officers identify objects that could be used as a weapon, without needing to stop and physically search suspects. The technology, which is already used on the Los Angeles Metro, is being deployed by the British Transport Police with the support of Scotland Yard.

"No one should feel they can walk the streets with a knife and expect to get away with it," said Kit Malthouse, UK Home Office Minister for Crime, Policing and Fire.

"We are pulling out all the stops in a battle against knife crime, in London and across the country. 20,000 more police officers will help but new technology can make an enormous impact on public safety, as this equipment shows," he said.

The trial, which comes in the wake of a spike in knife attacks and stabbings in London over recent months, will look at how the police can use technology to detect if an individual is carrying a knife without causing personal disruption, such as stopping the individual or requiring them to empty their pockets.

The government said it will enable the UK Home Office, British Transport Police and the Metropolitan Police to consider whether such technologies can play a significant role in efforts to combat knife crime.

"This innovative trial is part of this government's wider crackdown on knife crime," said Baroness Vere, the UK's transport security

minister.

The technology enables police officers to see the size, shape and location of any concealed item. It does not show any intimate body parts and it is impossible to tell an individual's gender, age or ethnicity from the imagery it

produces.

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