Technology that can locate snipers in Iraq and Afghanistan is to be used in the fight against gun crime in Britain, it has been reported.
The ShotSpotter, which uses audio sensors to pinpoint a gunman’s location to within ten metres, can “hear” shots from two miles away.
It is used by the military to find snipers in Afghanistan and Iraq and is now going to be deployed in Birmingham, The Times has reported.
Sensors, which recognise sound waves, will be placed around the north-west of the city where gun crime is at its most prevalent.
Once a shot has been fired, the sensors will send an instant message to armed officers who can be on the scene within minutes.
The Safer Birmingham Partnership, which includes West Midlands Police and Birmingham City Council, believes the technology will be crucial as shootings often go unreported.
Inspector Kevin Borg, project leader with the partnership, told The Times: “We may not get 999 calls every time a gun is fired, as members of the public are sometimes scared and may not want to report gunfire in case of reprisals.
“But we now don’t have to wait for a member of the public to dial 999; we’ll know when a gun is fired.”
The sensors can also tell whether a gun has been fired from a moving car, its direction and how many firearms have been used.
ShotSpotter is used across America, with some areas reporting a 32% reduction in gun crime.