Gun Control

High-Tech Gunshot Detection System Fails

Expensive microphone system missed gunfights


A £150,000 'bullet beater' system that was introduced to crackdown on inner city gun gangs has failed to detect four confirmed shootings in the last 12 months.

Details of the Shotspotter system's failings were revealed on Thursday by police chiefs who told a Birmingham community meeting that it will cost at least £40,000 per year to monitor the system in the future.

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  1. The article here misses what the system caught:

    “… the system had received 1,608 alerts since the November restart.

    Only 45 alerts were passed on as possible shootings from the US experts to the force control centre.

    Of those 33 were either fireworks or gunshots.

    A further 10 were classified as a single gunshot sound, but only two were confirmed as firearm incidents – including one which involved multiple firearms.

    It failed to pick up four other confirmed incidents in the areas it is located in. ”

    Even many libertarians would welcome such a system if it helps police quickly respond to gun shots. But it appears the technology isn’t quite there yet (but probably will be with improvements in the software and as computers continue their exponential improvement). Nevertheless, it is providing data that can help identify from where shots were fired. What’s missing from the link, is how quickly are police notified, and does it do so better than people calling?

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