A police vehicle in Husby centre in August.
A police vehicle in the Husby area of Stockholm ealier this year. Credit: Anders Ahlgren/SvD/TT

Police to introduce audio surveillance for first time

2:21 min

Police have been granted permission to use sophisticated audio surveillance equipment in the Järva district of Stockholm, the first time such equipment will be used in Sweden.

Stockholm's County Administrative Board included the provision as part of an extension of the use of video surveillance in several areas of Stockholm, Swedish daily Svenska Dagbladet (SvD) reports.

Järva has seen higher than average crime rates in recent years.

This is the first time that Swedish police have been given permission to use audio detection equipment in public spaces.

The equipment, which will be hidden from view, is designed to detect sounds such as gunshots, explosions, and breaking glass, before alerting police.

Police claim that the technology will shorten the amount of time it will take police to respond to incidents.

"Compared to someone calling 112 on their mobile phone ... we can shorten response times by up to two minutes," Joakim Söderström, head of Swedish police camera surveillance, told SvD.

Police in the area can also be alerted immediately by text message or email when an alarm is triggered.

Recordings made with the equipment are not permitted to be stored, and conversations between individuals are not able to be detected.

Söderström told SvD that "hundreds" of microphones will be needed for the system to work as intended.

The system is expected to come online during 2018.

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