Glasgow CCTV cameras make city ‘smarter and safer’

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More than 400 “super intelligent” CCTV cameras that can detect suspicious incidents are to be installed in Glasgow.

The cameras can be programmed to automatically detect bags or packages left unattended and raise an alarm with emergency services to investigate, the city council said.

The technology is being funded by the £24 million Future Cities Demonstrator prize won by the city earlier this year. It was awarded by the Technology Strategy Board, the UK Government’s innovation agency.

The cameras will be controlled at a new technology operations centre to be created in the east end of Glasgow, housing CCTV operators and traffic controllers. The city council said the technology will make Glasgow “smarter and safer”.

The Future Cities Demonstrator prize is also intended to deliver sustainability and health benefits for the city, with other development ideas such as using mobile phone technology to allow residents to find the quietest route into the city centre or hospital units with the shortest waiting time.

Council leader Gordon Matheson, who is also chair of the Demonstrator programme, said: “Winning this funding was a major coup for Glasgow. Now we’re putting the teams and infrastructure in place to realise the potential of a hugely ambitious and far-reaching programme which will permeate all sectors of city life.

“This flagship programme may be in its infancy but, once complete, we hope it will provide a blueprint for other cities to follow.

“As a society we are generating more data than at any time in history, and by harnessing that knowledge we can improve the lives of Glasgow residents, the environment and the economy.”

It is also hoped the camera could save lives as they sense when someone has climbed on to a bridge parapet, potentially to commit suicide, and immediately raise the alarm.