Crimebusters lean on aerial imagery
New super hi-tech crime fighting methods, rolling out across the UK’s law enforcement forces, are relying on Cambridge technology.The GeoInformation Group in Fulbourn provides high resolution aerial imagery, used by forces around the country to plan operations for specialist drugs, firearms and task force units.
Police also use the digital images, produced to a resolution of 12.5cm, to put together evidential and crime scene maps to fight court cases.
The Geoinformation Group has combined a suite of technologies including satellite images, the latest digital cameras and viewing and imaging software to produce imagery from over 250 cities including London, Paris, Amsterdam, Brussels, Berlin, Tokyo and Johannesburg.
South Yorkshire Police recently decided to renew its license of Cities Revealed Modern aerial imagery to cover the entire geographical area for which the constabulary is responsible.
The GeoInformation Group will attain the images, during summer 2006.
As the thirteenth largest of the 44 Police Services within England, Wales and Northern Ireland, South Yorkshire Police is accountable for policing an area of over 600 square miles, including Barnsley, Doncaster, Rotherham and Sheffield.
The technology played a central role in the policing of last year’s G8 Meetings held in Sheffield.
The service used a substantial amount of maps, detailed plans, layouts of buildings and aerial photography to provide a broad picture of the principal areas and venues concerned, enabling them to plan for and operate security measures.
The plans manager for scientific support plans department at South Yorkshire Police said: “As is common with other police services, we have an air support team that can also provide aerial photography in ‘real time’ although dependent on weather conditions.
The aerial photography data provided by Cities Revealed enables South Yorkshire Police to supply images which are used for planning of operations by specialised units including drugs, task force, firearms etc. when it is not possible to deploy the helicopter.”
The force also uses the images to plan operations on match days at South Yorkshire’s major football stadiums including Hillsborough and Bramall Lane in Sheffield, and Oakwell in Barnsley.
The GeoInformation Group said it is fast establishing a presence in the UK Policing market through work with other forces such as Metropolitan Police Service, West Midlands and Strathclyde.
The GeoInformation Group was formed in 1998 by its two directors, Dr Seppe Cassettari and Dr Alun Jones following a management buy out from Pearson plc.