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UK Airports To Get Terrorist Detection Cameras

Oct 10, 2007
In a bid to step up security measures across the UK, cameras that can automatically spot potential terrorists are to be installed at all major UK airports within the next few months. The cameras are already being used in the US and are going to be installed in check in halls to help protect passengers from terrorists.

The terrorist attack at Glasgow Airport this summer highlighted how vulnerable airline passengers are as they wait to check in. It also caused massive disruptions including delays, extra security and restrictions on Glasgow Airport parking.

The new cameras are being installed to provide extra facilities in the public areas of airports in an attempt to prevent a suicide bomber detonating themselves as passengers queue to check in. Travellers are particularly vulnerable at this stage because public access is allowed and there are no security checks. However, long queues with large groups of people in one place are a tempting target for terrorists.

The security system will recognise and ignore normal socialising and interaction but will alert anything it considers to be suspicious. This could range from something as straightforward as an adult running through the airport to someone screaming. This method as well as other restrictions such as a change in Glasgow Airport parking regulations are hoped to increase passenger safety and deter terrorists.

The cameras are even capable of recognising individuals and if a profile has been downloaded into the system, the technology can identify a suspect in seconds. Even if hundreds of people are in the scene the cameras are capable of detecting suspicious movements and behaviour.

The method that will be used by the cameras is known as behavioural screening and will allow the body language of prospective passengers to be automatically analysed by the camera. Any suspicious behaviour can be flagged up to security staff who can then investigate the situation further. The facial expressions and mannerisms of anyone in the airports can be observed, and even if an individual is perspiring more than usual because they are anxious or nervous can be detected and flagged up.

It is hoped that this new system will help to change airport security forever and prevent events such as what happened at Glasgow Airport several months ago. Although some things such as delayed check in times and changes in Glasgow Airport parking have been an inconvenience for many passengers, these are necessary steps taken in order to protect passengers.

The equipment will cost several million pounds and is so sensitive it can detect 10,000 separate facial 'microexpressions' and even changes is an individual's skin temperature. They will be phased in over the next few months across the UK as part of a rolling programme of new anti - terror initiatives. These cameras will help passengers at all UK airports enjoy a new level of safety and will provide the authorities with a vital tool to tackle the terror threat.
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