Thursday, December 9, 2010


Birmingham (UK) is installing a gunfire locator system:

Birmingham is the first UK city to install the Shotspotter Gunshot Location System. The technology can locate gunshot fire within a 25 metre radius from up to 2km away. It also provides information about how many firearms have been discharged before officers arrive at a crime scene.

West Midlands Police said it will enable them to maximise the safety of its officers and the public. In addition it can help to deploy officers more effectively.
This simply can't be true.  I mean, the UK essentially outlawed handguns years ago.  Good thing, too, or else people might be getting shot in places like Birmingham.


Alan said...

Too bad those location things never seem to work as well IRL as they did in the demo.

TOTWTYTR said...

Actually, the one in the city where I work works very well. It can locate where the shots came from to within a few feet, tell direction of travel if the shooter is moving, differentiate between gunshots and fireworks (usually). It can't differentiate calibers, but trained operators can hear the difference if more than one firearm is used.

In a recent case of a multiple homicide, the only source of information for the original call came from Shot Spotter. No 9-1-1 calls came in at all even though there sure were plenty of spectators when we arrived.

What it won't do, and I don't know if the manufacturer advertisers that it will, is prevent someone from shooting. As an investigatory tool, after the fact, it works well.

AS to BP's original point, it's just shocking, shocking, I say, that there is handgun violence in gun free Formerly Great Britain.

On a related note, see the post over at Jigsaw Thoughts about major dealers of illegal fully automatic weapons in Australia.

kx59 said...

That must be some quite amazing technology. I find myself very skeptical that it works in a dense urban setting. Sound reflections off glass and hard surfaces would require a highly detailed 3d model, not only of building dimensions but the exterior materials in the city in question and some serious computing power.
Agreed on what it won't do, is prevent anything...somewhat like the police. They show up after the incident.