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Coventry introduces eavesdropper CCTV cameras

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June 21 2010

Coventry introduces eavesdropper CCTV cameras
A new breed of audio CCTV surveillance is being introduced in Coventry after successful trials in Glasgow, London, Birmingham and Manchester.

Sigard has been developed by Sound Intelligence, a Dutch company, and employs microphones which can home in on suspicious sounds such as gunshots, breaking glass and aggressive shouts, alerting police officers in advance of likely brawls.

Areas with high levels of anti social behaviour will be targeted in the drive which proponents see as combating delinquency on British streets.

Civil liberties campaigners are appalled by the move which they fear could be misappropriated for use in recording conversations.

There are question marks too over who controls the data with worries over who is to be held accountable for the running of the initiative and if they can be trusted.

In future the technology could be applied to police patrol cars, alerting passing officers to sounds of disturbance.

In Hackney the system detected up to 6 incidents a night, including fights and gunfire and in Holland the system is used to monitor buses and trains.

Last week Birmingham was forced to deactivate 200 CCTV cameras in muslim majority districts.

Image taken by Dr John 2005.

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