US tech helping in the UK fight against knife crime

  • Published on: 24 September 2019
  • By: Paula
US tech helping in the UK fight against knife crime

A trial of body scanners has taken place at Stratford station in London in the latest bid to fight knife crime in the city.  Thruvision scanners which have been approved by the US Transportation Security Administration are already being used in the Los Angeles metro and have also been trialled in New York and Washington DC.  

This is the latest in the governments bid to fight knife crime in the UK; Policing minister Kit Malthouse said: 'We are pulling out all the stops in a battle against knife crime, in London and across the country."

British Transport Police (BTP) are using the scanners which work by monitoring body heat, scanning up to 2,000 passengers per hour covering a distance of 30 feet.  They reveal the size, shape and location of concealed weapons without the need for a physical body search.  Officers are looking at how the technology can help to reduce the controversial ‘stop and search’ methods.

Thruvision is completely safe, respectful and non-intrusive. It does not show any intimate body parts and it is impossible to tell an individual’s identity, gender, age or ethnicity from the images it produces.

“We are proud to be working with British Transport Police on this critical initiative, and we are confident our safe and non-intrusive technology can assist the police in tackling knife crime in the UK” said Colin Evans, CEO of Thruvision

In addition to methods being implemented to prevent knife crime there are also steps being taken to help those unfortunate enough to be on the receiving end.  West Midlands police are the first force in the UK to roll out bleed control kits, with 400 kits being made available in shops, pubs and public buildings across Birmingham, Wolverhampton, Walsall, Dudley, Sandwell, Solihull and Coventry.

The kits are part of a campaign by the Daniel Baird Foundation, set up by Lynne Baird after her son Daniel was fatally stabbed in Digbeth in 2017.  They contain bandages, dressings and other equipment designed to stem the flow of blood until a paramedic arrives, giving the victim a much greater chance of survival.

Lynne discovered the kits were being widely used in the United States and couldn’t understand why there was nothing similar available here.  She campaigned and worked with local authorities, neighbourhood groups and health professionals to get them introduced, and earlier this year they were trialled at some public venues around Birmingham City Centre.

The introduction by West Midlands Police is a big move in the right direction but there is still work to be done to get bleed control kits rolled out across the UK.  Something that Politicians including Birmingham MP Jess Phillips have written to Home Secretary Priti Patel to demand.

The letter says: "We believe that having publicly accessible bleeding control packs in all major shopping centres, pubs and clubs, public transport stations, and all public buildings should be a priority given the current levels of serious and violent crime.

"In short, we wish bleed control packs to be as readily available as, for example, defibrillators."