Met may start trialling thermal-image scanners for knife searches

Justin davenport
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Met may start trialling thermal-image scanners for knife searches

Scotland Yard is considering trials of scanners which can detect hidden weapons in public places.

The Met says it is liaising with a private security firm over testing the technology as a means of tackling violent crime.

Police said they were considering trials of the “scanning software” as Tory mayoral candidate Shaun Bailey pledged to deploy £800,000 scanners if he was elected.

He said one company, Thermal Matrix, had scanners being used by law enforcement in the United States and Indonesia.

The technology uses thermal-imaging cameras and software to detect concealed weapons and Mr Bailey said they could be deployed to scan large crowds at events.

He said: “Technology alone won’t solve the crime epidemic that is threatening London but it can and must be part of the solution.”

Mr Bailey claimed he would fund the technology — plus 2,000 extra officers — by cutting “the irresponsible waste at City Hall”.

His comments come weeks after the Government announced plans to fund the development of scanners to check crowds for weapons and alert police.

A Met spokeswoman said it was liaising with a company over “scanning software for use in public spaces as a preventative measure in regards to violent crime”.