Birmingham Leads Way in Fight Against Gun-Crime

Thursday, 27 May, 2010

WEST Midlands Police as members of the Safer Birmingham Partnership are leading the way in the fight against gun-related crime by piloting new technology designed to detect gun shot fire.

Known locally as 'Project Safe and Sound', the technology uses sophisticated communications technology, which is able to detect gunshot fire within a 25 metre radius, from up to two miles away.

The Shotspotter Inc. technology has already been used for a number of years across America where it has played a significant role in reducing gun crime and apprehending offenders but Birmingham is the first city in the UK to install the technology - a move which demonstrates the city's innovation and on-going commitment to ensuring that gun crime remains low.

Councilor Ayoub Khan, cabinet member for community safety said: "Birmingham is one of the safest cities in the UK and we will do everything we can to make sure it continues to be a place where residents and visitors to the city can be safe and feel safe".

Statistics show that Birmingham has recorded year-on-year reductions in levels of gun related crime since 2007/08 and set to fall further with the aid of the new equipment.

Head of policing for the city, Chief Superintendant Chris McKeogh, said: "We are delighted to be the first city in the UK to secure this technology and are confident that it will assist us in our continued efforts to reduce gun crime.

"The 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.

"A further advantage of this technology is that it enables us to deploy officers more effectively to scenes of crime. This technology will tell us how many firearms have been discharged prior to officers arriving at the scene which enables us to maximise the safety of our officers and the public".

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