Faster on the draw
In an attempt to tackle gun crime in the
Starting in June, the three-year multi-environment deployable universal software application (Medusa) project aims to develop intelligent software that can detect a person carrying a concealed weapon in real time.
While it is difficult to predict if someone is carrying a gun before crime occurs, Professor Alastair Gale, head of
The team will examine CCTV footage of people carrying concealed firearms to identify characteristics associated with the behaviour of criminals before they commit a gun-related crime. These will include body stance, gait, movement and eye contact with cameras. Once acquired, this information will be used to develop a novel machine-learning system for behavioural interpretation. Armed with this data, the CCTV cameras will scan footage automatically and match behavioural characteristics that indicate if an individual might be carrying a gun.
Researchers will use existing CCTV images and collaborate with the Royal Armoury at
In parallel with the project, researchers will meet experienced CCTV operators to establish the key cues they use to identify people carrying concealed weapons. 'The idea is to marry human operator cues with the new software system which ultimately will produce an auditory and auto-visual cue to the operator,' said Gale.
As a result of this work, the database of CCTV footage of individuals carrying or not carrying concealed firearms will be used by local authorities and the police for training CCTV operators to learn what to look for.
Gale added that it will be relatively straightforward to implement Medusa since the CCTV infrastructure is already in place.
It should also lead to more efficient use of police time and offer a more socially acceptable police practice for identification of potential criminals.
Gun crime is a growing problem in the
The project, funded by a £620,000 grant from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, involves collaboration with