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Police looking at acquiring gunfire-locating technology

Monday, April 09, 2012 | 8:19 AM    

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COMMISSIONER of Police, Owen Ellington, says the force is looking at utilising ‘shot spotter’ technology to assist with investigating gun-related incidents and crimes.

“We have started discussions with the Minister of National Security (Peter Bunting) about the deployment of ‘shot spotter’ technology in some of our crime hotspots and in some of areas that are plagued by criminal gang violence,” Ellington said.

‘Shot spotter’ technology utilises audio and visual sensors to detect and convey the location of gunfire or other weapon fire. This information is sent to a digital map indicating the addresses and times of the incidents.

“We have looked at it in several places. It has a record of significantly reducing gun crimes and gunfire in the range of 40 to 60 per cent in some areas where it has been used. We believe that if this capability is built out in many of our crime-prone communities, it could immediately and significantly enhance public security,” the commissioner argued, adding that the system could also make the operating environment safer for law enforcement officers.

He said the technology, which has the capability to determine the number of shots fired and the type of weapons used, also allows for easier detection of gunfire.

“What it does, in the first instance, is provide the police with real co-ordinates so that they can move swiftly in less time to the scene of a shooting, the advantage being that they could apprehend the suspects right after the shooting or if victims are shot…they could find them quickly and rush them off to hospital so that their lives can be preserved,” he said.

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