Knife crime in London is at an all-time high with over 100 fatalities recorded so far in 2019. The capital is a haven for tourists and whilst the majority of knife crimes do not take place in hotspots, safety is still a concern for those travelling in and out of the city. Now, a passenger screening system used to identify weapons is being used for the first time at London’s Stratford Station.
According to the BBC, the Home Office are sponsoring a five-day trial of the body scanners at the east London station, which welcomes over 110,000 passengers per day. The trial is part of the Home Office’s ‘battle against knife crime’.
The scanners have the ability to screen 2,000 passengers every hour, from up to 30ft away, and use body heat to detect the size, shape and location of any weapon. Unlike the body scanners used across airports, these screening systems do not require passengers to pass through detectors.
Despite there being no reports of knife crime on the rail network this year, the scanners can prevent these weapons from being transported across London. Taking knifes, guns and other weapons off the streets will make it harder for gangs – and individuals – to carry out these crimes.
There is still a long way to go in the battle against knife crime on London’s streets, but utilising technology of this ability is a step in the right direction. Although the cost of the equipment has not been announced, it can be assumed considerable government funding would be needed.
Thruvision, the company behind the scanners, already have systems operating on the Los Angeles Metro.