Body scanners screening passengers for weapons amid London violence

Body scanners are being trialled at Stratford station to screen passengers for hidden explosives and weapons. Photo: Thruvision

Body scanners are being trialled at a London railway station for the first time to screen passengers for hidden explosives and weapons.

A Home Office funded trial will take place in Stratford station, East London, as part of the government’s continued drive to crack down on knife crime.

The specialised technology, made by British company Thruvision, can safely detect weapons including guns, knives and explosive devices concealed under clothing at distances of up to 30 feet.

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It works by revealing objects concealed in clothing that block a person’s body heat. By using training and experience police officers will be able to identify objects that could be used as a weapon, without needing physical searches. The technology is already used on the Los Angeles Metro.

“Non-instrusive technology can assist the police in tackling knife crime in the UK.”

Colin Evans, CEO of Thruvision

Minister for Crime, Policing and Fire, Kit Malthouse, said: “We are pulling out all the stops in a battle against knife crime, in London and across the country. 20,000 more police officers will help but new technology can make an enormous impact on public safety, as this equipment shows.”

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“No one should feel they can walk the streets with a knife and expect to get away with it.”

Thruvision’s specialised technology will enable British Transport Police officers to identify concealed knives safely, without interfering with travel flow, eliminating the need for physical searches or patdowns.

A statement from Thruvision said: “Thruvision is completely safe, respectful and non-instrusive. It does not show any intimate body parts and it is impossible to tell an individual’s identity, gender, age or ethnicity from the imagery it produces.”

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Colin Evans, CEO of Thruvision said: “We are proud to be working with British Transport Police on this critical initiative, and we are confident our safe and non-instrusive technology can assist the police in tackling knife crime in the UK.”

“Our technology uniquely overcomes a key security challenge inherent to rail and underground networks – effectively detecting concealed weapons while maintaining traveler flow through often congested stations.”

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Sam Hewitt