£2m on offer for projects to protect crowds
The government is to make up to £2m available for research into technology and behavioural science projects that could identify terrorists in crowds. Ministers hope the money will generate techniques to improve the surveillance and detection of potential threats.
“The threat from terror does not stand still, so neither will we, which is why we are calling on the best and the brightest from the science and technology sector to come forward with their ideas and proposals to support our ongoing work to keep people safe,” Ben Wallace, the security minister, is expected to say as he announces the funding today.
“In light of the horrific attacks in London and Manchester, the government has committed to review its counter-terror strategy,” Wallace will say. “We are making up to £2m available to fund research into cutting-edge technology and behavioural science projects designed to keep people safe in crowds.”
Counter-terror agencies are running 500 investigations involving 3,000 individuals at any one time as they confront an unprecedented threat.
The new scheme will be run in a partnership between the Home Office and the Defence and Security Accelerator, launched last year to seek security innovations for the security services and police, with support from the Royal Society.
Lucy Mason, head of the accelerator, said: “We must bring together the brightest minds from the private sector and academia to help find solutions to help keep our country and people safe and secure. By funding and fast-tracking the development of real solutions, we help to bring the innovation community together, rapidly.”
Mason encouraged anyone with an idea to help keep crowded areas safe to visit the accelerator website for more information.