Researchers at Kingston University in the UK have revealed that they are working on a CCTV system which recognises certain types of criminal behaviour.
The news comes following trials by UK authorities of facial recognition software that could enable them to identify people who were involved in the recent riots.
The new software is said to be capable of recognising when someone is holding a gun and then following their movements across a number of CCTV platforms.
The technology works by recognising ‘trigger events’ and can then be used to collate video information from before the event happened.
Whilst privacy campaigners have already expressed concern about the technology, researchers say that it will enable police to target criminals and delete footage of law abiding citizens automatically.
“In riot situations, it could be people running - a crowd might converge in a certain place,” Dr James Orwell of Kingston University told the BBC.
“If a window was smashed and shop looted in a town centre street, the technology would trace back to see who smashed the window and then retrace his steps to see when and where he entered the town centre.”
“The technology would also trace where the man had gone after leaving the scene.”
The aptly named Orwell went on to say that whilst many European countries worry about the ‘Big Brother’ aspect to CCTV, the new technology would go further to putting those fears at rest as it deletes surplus data sooner.