Call For Gun Fire Detectors In London

The Greater London Authority Conservatives say railway stations and shopping centres install alarms which detect gun shots.

The detectors are the size of a smoke alarm and use heat and sound to detect gunfire before automatically alerting police to enable officers to track down gunmen.

They are being trialled in the United States and it's understood they could help reduce response times by approximately two minutes.

The Greater London Authority Conservatives claim that Scotland Yard anticipates with the alarms armed officers would respond to reports in around 12 minutes, this is in contrast to the murder of soldier Lee Rigby in Woolwich when it took 14 minutes.

Roger Evans, a GLA Conservative crime spokesman, said: "One of the major issues during a live shooting situation is the time is takes to call the police."

"People first have to make life or death decisions to protect themselves, before being in a position to use their phone, delaying response times."

"An alarm system detecting gunfire would automatically alert authorities to a live incident. It would remove the need to make emergency calls in the first place, cutting response times by several minutes and saving lives in the process.

The group says ''soft" terror targets such as hospitals, museums, railway stations and shopping centres should all have the alarms installed at an estimated cost of £3.3million.

Mr Evans says he's written a letter to the Mayor of London Boris Johnson, Met Police Commissioner Bernard Hogan-Howe and Home Secretary Theresa May, calling for fifty locations across the UK to have them fitted.

A spokesperson for the Home Office said: "It is for chief constables to make an operational decision on whether to deploy new technologies."

"We are committed to ensuring that police forces have the powers they need to secure our streets and protect the public from harm, and gun crime has fallen by 39% under this Government."