KIT MALTHOUSE, the Government’s Minister for Crime and Policing, has met with scientists from the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl), the science operation underpinning UK defence and security, to witness innovative technologies that aid police forces and security professionals in keeping the nation safe from violent criminals.
Malthouse was briefed on concepts designed to assist the police service in identifying concealed knives which are presently being developed by Dstl and industry on behalf of the Home Office.
An executive agency sponsored by the Ministry of Defence, Dstl’s efforts are focused on developing and evaluating operational concept demonstrators for detecting knives at so-called ‘pinch points’ such as entrances to Shopping Centres or at ticket barriers in stations.
Alongside this, Dstl is also supporting research into emerging innovations which could underpin future detection technology.
Further, Malthouse was given a demonstration of technologies being developed that could allow law enforcement officers to safely prevent the escalation of conflict in serious or violent circumstances through so-called ‘less lethal weapons’ that stop a subject at distance.
Scientists also demonstrated a Dstl-patented novel technology that greatly increases the performance and usability of a covert audio surveillance system.
It’s hoped that this R&D work could lead to advanced capabilities for policing and security personnel in times ahead.
Protecting the public
Kit Malthouse commented: “We are committed to making sure the police service is equipped with the right tools to protect the public and themselves. The technologies that Dstl is working on will help us to do just that.”
He continued: “Knife crime destroys families and communities, so tools which can help to detect and remove such weapons before they’re used will be vital in preventing further tragedies. I’m delighted to see first-hand how Government investment has helped create this innovative technology. We will continue to back projects that use science and technology to keep the public and our brave police officers safe.”
Doug Umbers, interim CEO of Dstl, responded: “It has been a great opportunity to show the minister and our Home Office colleagues the science that will be saving lives in the years to come. Dstl scientists are a world-class asset for the UK and immensely proud of the role they’re playing to protect police officers in the line of duty as well as keeping our citizens safe from acts of crime and violence.”
*Further information on the work of Dstl is available online at www.gov.uk/government/organisations/defence-science-and-technology-laboratory