Gunshot sensors have been installed in Birmingham in a bid to tackle the high rate of gun crime in some areas.
The Shotspotter Gunshot Location System can detect gunshots within a 25m (82ft) radius. The gunshot surveillance device records an audio clip and sends a GPS location to the police.
Police will listen to the clip, then decide whether to respond to the incident. It will be possible to tell how many shots were fired, if they were fired from a stationary or moving location and the number of weapons used.
The gunshot sensors are already being used in the U.S. where they are said to have an 85% accuracy rate.
Chief Supt Chris McKeogh of the Birmingham police told the BBC: “The sound waves a bullet produces has a particular signature, if you like, and that should be recognisable to our force control room officers that have been trained up to listen.
“Shots, or a shot, being fired outside have the best chance (of being detected). Inside or with a silencer, the ability is not so good.”
The Shotspotter system has been installed on buildings in North West Birmingham where there have been 295 firearm incidents already this year.