Dutch police develop mobile body scans
Friday 08 January 2010
Rotterdam police are trying to develop a portable scanner which will allow them to see through people's clothing and look for concealed weapons, the NRC reports on Friday.
The force has been given a €500,000 government grant to develop the mobile weapons detector, which would use similar technology to the scanners being introduced at Amsterdam's Schiphol airport, the paper says.
The aim is to develop a prototype ready for production within three years.
The paper bases its claim on a confidential document which suggests the scanner could first be used as an alternative to random body searches in high risk areas. The mobile detector would enable the search to be carried out more quickly and would only be used on people suspected of carrying concealed weapons, police spokesman Paul De Kruijf told the paper.
The document also mentions the possibility of carrying out long-distance scans and mass scans on crowds at events such as football matches. In addition, the scan could be combined with a sniffer detector which would analyse an 'air sample' from a suspect for traces of drugs or explosives, the paper says.
Giampiero Gerini, a professor at Eindhoven University of Technology told the paper the technology to develop such scans is now mature. 'The biggest challenge is making it portable and ensuring it can carry out a scan in seconds,' the NRC quotes him as saying.