The technology, called Sigard, monitors movements and speech to
detect signs of threatening behavior.
Its designers claim the system can anticipate anti-social behavior
and violence by analyzing the information picked up its sensors.
They say alerts are then sent to police, nightclub bouncers or shop
security staff, which allow them to nip trouble in the bud before
arguments spiral into violence.
The devices are designed to distinguish between distress calls,
threatening behaviour and general shouting.
The system, produced by Sound Intelligence, is being used in Dutch
prisons, city centres and Amsterdam's Central Rail Station.
Coventry City Council is funding a pilot project which has for six
months and has installed seven devices in the nightlife area on the
Dylan Sharpe, from Big Brother Watch, said: "There can be no
justification for giving councils or the police the capability to
listen in on private conversations.
"There is enormous potential for abuse, or a misheard word, causing
unnecessary harm with this sort of intrusive and overbearing
A CV1 spokesman said: "We had the system for six months. It is no
longer in use."
No one from the organization was available to comment on whether the
trial was a success.
The new Coalition Government has announced a review of the use of
CCTV with a pledge to tilt the balance away from snooping by the
authorities to defend civil liberties. Source: Telegraph