Law Enforcement

  • The number of incidents of lasers being flashed into aircraft rises sharply; federal, state prosecutors respond

    The number of incidents of lasers being flashed into aircraft has risen steadily in the past five years — from 283 cases reported to the FAA nationwide in 2005 to 1,476 incidents last year; studies have supported pilots’ reports that bright external lights can cause a flare in the goggles pilots wear, temporarily impairing sight; a laser beam hitting the eyes of a pilot who does not wear goggles may cause temporarily blindness and disorientation; as ever-cheaper lasers have made their way into ever-more hands, federal and local prosecutors have picked up the pace of criminal cases; in many cases, the prosecution uses the Patriot Act, which include a provision about deliberately interfering with the pilot of an airplane or “mass transportation vehicle” with reckless disregard for human safety

  • 7/7 London bombings: "The rules of the game have changed"

    Two weeks after the 7 July attacks, the then prime minister, Tony Blair, called a press conference at which he warned: “Let no one be in doubt. The rules of the game have changed”; he outlined twelve new measures that aimed to transform the landscape of British counterterrorism; together, they were intended to offer a greater degree of collective security; each came at considerable cost to the liberties of both individuals and groups of people; the controversial Terrorism Act 2006 passed after the 7 July bombings has led to increased arrests and convictions

  • Report: Terrorism in Britain "mostly home grown"

    New study finds that that 69 percent of terrorist offenses in the United Kingdom were perpetrated by individuals holding British nationality; 46 percent of offenders had their origins in south Asia including 28 percent who had Pakistani heritage; 31 percent had attended university and 10 percent were still students when they were arrested; 35 percent were unemployed and living on benefits

  • U.K. will regulate license number plate recognition cameras more tightly

    There are 4,000 automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) cameras in the United Kingdom, logging more than 10 million vehicles every day; since the launch of the ANPR network in 2006, the government has accumulated 7.6 billion images; these images include details of number plates and the date, time, and place of capture — and, often, the picture of the driver and passengers; the Home Secretary has called for tighter regulation of the ANPRs, and also for limiting access to the image database; ministers will consider how long these records can be held (the current limit is two years); seventy-two ANPR cameras in Birmingham will soon be removed after it emerged that their installation, in areas with large Muslim populations, had been funded through a Home Office counter-terrorism fund

  • Hand-held scanner checks 100 databases -- in one second

    Army guards at Fort Sam Houston are using a hand-held identity detector that taps information from more than 100 databases — in one second; the manufacturer says that the use of the device has resulted in 60,000 arrests since the start of 2004; Senator Schumer wants TSA to use the device at airports

  • Florida implements ICE's Secure Communities program

    The United States DHS has deported 30,700 illegal aliens with level 1, 2, or 3 crimes in their past; of these, 1,800 illegal aliens have been removed from Florida; as Florida implements the Secure Communities program, the expectation is that the number of deportees will increase

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  • Omiperception and MaxVision to join forces

    Partnership between two companies will enhance marketing offering; ruggedized portable computer adds facial recognition biometrics to allow law enforcement, first responders to collect and process biometric and other relevant in-the-field information

  • Scotland Yard: U.K. proposed budget Cuts "will increase terrorism risk"

    The U.K. government wants the Scotland Yard to find £150 million in savings as part of “eye-watering” Treasury budget cuts; the assistant commissioner of Scotland Yard, says these cuts cannot be made without increasing the risk of a terrorist attack

  • Lawmakers, DHS look for new border security technologies, fresh approach

    With SBInet likely to be cancelled (one lawmaker notes that at the current pace of deployment, SBInet would take 323 years to deploy across the 2,000-mile Southwest border — to say nothing of the effectiveness of the project’s technology), the search is on for new border security technologies; DHS is ramping up a program that will explore new public and private sector technologies that could be deployed along the border ; there are plans to develop a system that will link information systems of state, local, and tribal law enforcement entities along the border with those at DHS and the Justice Department; enhance analytic capabilities of fusion centers; and establish a suspicious activities reporting program

  • South Africa bracing itself for post World Cup violence

    South Africa is bracing itself for a wave of bloody violence after the World Cup as police numbers are scaled down and anger toward foreigners increases among the country’s poorest; the government hoped to make money on the tournament, but the very small number of non-South Africans who braved the trip means the country will lose hundreds of millions of dollars

  • California city votes to disband police force

    In a cost-cutting measure, the city of San Carlos, California, has voted to dissolve its police force and to begin the steps to outsource the job of law enforcement to the San Mateo County sheriff’s office as a cost-cutting measure

  • "IPhone on Steroids" to bolster law enforcement biometric capabilities

    Plymouth County, Massachusetts became the first in the country to deploy the Mobile and Wireless Multi-Modal Biometric Offender Recognition and Information System (MORIS). The system is part of a national network, designed to help law enforcement agencies keep track of sex offenders, gang members, inmates, and illegal aliens

  • Law enforcement disrupted eleven plots against NYC since 9/11

    Since the 9/11 attacks, New York police and the U.S. intelligence services have disrupted eleven plots against New York City

  • Top 10 smart surveillance systems from Israel

    Video surveillance systems have become an important tool in enabling authorities to trace criminals and terrorists; Israel is one of the leading players in the field of intelligent surveillance; here is a list of the Top 10 video security technologies from Israel; these companies offer solutions that range from “seeing” through walls to reducing twenty-four hours of video to a few (indexed) minutes to detecting subtle changes in the landscape to offering high-resolution under-water images, and much more

  • Mexican cartels operate permanent lookout bases in Arizona to monitor U.S. law enforcement

    Mexican drug cartels now maintain permanent lookout bases in strategic locations in the hills of southern Arizona from which their scouts can monitor every move made by law enforcement officials; the scouts are supplied by drivers who bring them food, water, batteries for radios — all the items they need to stay in the wilderness for a long time; “To say that this area is out of control is an understatement,” says a border patrol agent