Tuesday , 25 July 2017
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Search launched for new technology to protect crowds from terrorists

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It is hoped the scheme will help identify terrorists in crowds Jeremy Selwyn

A scheme has been launched to find new technology to identify terrorists among crowds of people and protect them from possible bomb or gun attacks.

After a flurry of attacks launched in locations where large numbers of people were present, up to £2m is to be made available to fund research into techniques that could boost efforts to protect citizens.

The Government hopes the scheme will yield new methods that will improve the surveillance and detection of potential threats in crowds.

Counter-terror agencies are running 500 investigations involving 3,000 individuals at any one time as they confront an unprecedented threat.

Security Minister Ben Wallace will announce the new funding at a summit in London on Monday.

He is expected to say: “In light of the horrific attacks in London and Manchester, the Government has committed to review its counter-terror strategy and further to this I am announcing today that we are making up to £2 million available to fund research into cutting edge technology and behavioural science projects designed to keep people safe in crowds.

“The threat from terror does not stand still so neither will we, which is why we are calling on the best and the brightest from the science and technology sector to come forward with their ideas and proposals to support our ongoing work to keep people safe.”

The competition is seeking research proposals to reduce the threat from terrorist attacks involving weapons or explosives.

It is being run in a partnership between the Home Office and Defence and Security Accelerator, with support from the Royal Society.

Lucy Mason, head of the Accelerator, which was launched last year to seek out security innovations, said: “The terrible terrorist attacks in London and Manchester shocked and appalled all of us.

“Protecting people from terrorism is something we can all do, industry and academics and public servants.

“We don’t have all the answers.

“So we must bring together the brightest minds from the private sector, and academia to help find solutions to help keep our country and people safe and secure.

“The Defence and Security Accelerator exists to help government find and exploit game-changing ideas to help the security services and police stay one step ahead of those who threaten our safety.

“By funding and fast tracking the development of real solutions, we help to bring the innovation community together, rapidly.

“So today I reach out to our innovation community to be part of something bigger and show their support for their country.

“I’d encourage anyone who feels they have a great idea that can help keep our crowded areas safe to visit our website for more information on this competition.”

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