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politics

Robot security guard ‘commits suicide’ by drowning itself in public fountain

A robot security guard has “committed suicide” by drowning itself a public fountain after just a few days on the job. The Knightscope K5 robot1, which bears a striking resemblance to a Dalek, had been brought in to patrol the area outside the Georgetown Waterfront shopping centre and office complex in Washington DC. It was found face-down in the fountain on Monday afternoon, after apparently tumbling down some steps into the water.

The K5 robot stands about 5 feet tall, weighs 300lbs (over 21 stone), and has a maximum speed of 18 miles per hour – although it usually moves at 1 to 3 miles per hour. Knightscope claims the security robot is better than a human guard, because it never gets bored of its job. It is equipped with a range of sensors – including a 360-degree camera, thermal imaging sensors, a laser range finder and radar – which are supposed to enable it to move around autonomously.

It is designed to prevent crime by detecting abnormal noises and temperature changes, scanning car number plates and checking them against a police database, and using facial recognition technology to spot known criminals. If it detects any security threats, it can squeak, whistle and make other loud noises intended to scare off criminals, as well as alerting the local authorities. In a statement to the Washington Post2, Knightscope described the fountain incident was “an isolated event”, and promised to deliver a new robot this week for free.

Of course, that hasn’t stopped scores of observers sharing pictures of the drowned robot on social media, and casting their own aspersions about why it decided to end its life. This is not the first controversy involving the Knightscope K5 robot.

Earlier this year, police in California arrested a man after he drunkenly attacked one of the robots3 and knocked it over outside Knightscope’s own headquarters in Silicon Valley. The assailant, 41-year-old engineer Jason Sylvain, said that he wanted to “test” the security robot .

He was arrested for prowling and public intoxication.

References

  1. ^ Knightscope K5 robot (www.mirror.co.uk)
  2. ^ Washington Post (www.washingtonpost.com)
  3. ^ drunkenly attacked one of the robots (www.mirror.co.uk)

Cambridge police station to be fortified with a 12k fence over security threats

Police are beefing up fortifications at Cambridge’s police station with a 12,000 black fence to surround the building. The move comes despite plans to sell Parkside police station in a cost-cutting exercise by force chiefs in an effort to keep the same number of officers on the front line. The station is currently secured by a vehicle barrier, but the force has now submitted plans to build a 2m high security fence and gate to surround the property.

Jason Ablewhite, Police and Crime Commissioner for Cambridgeshire, said the fence plan comes after vandals attacked several police cars over the last few months . He denied it was because of the terror threat level.

Parkside police station (top left) Police commissioner Jason Ablewhite outside the station and right – Chief Constable Alec Wood

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The planning application submitted to Cambridge City Council says: This application is submitted by Cambridgeshire Constabulary to provide higher levels of security and restricted access to the application site as a whole.

When Parkside Police Station was originally built some 40 years ago security was not perceived to be as great an issue as it is today and therefore the security requirement of the force has to be updated to provide a safe environment for the users of the site.

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The proposal is to erect a 2m high weld mesh security fence with matching gates between the buildings to the Warkworth Terrace front. The application adds: Given the current social and political environment, security is a significant issue for the police force both in terms of ensuring the security and wellbeing of its officers and to those who are in their custody.

Police cells at Parkside

The application proposal for security gates and fences is a measured response and seeks to use the proprietary security fencing systems that are often used in visually sensitive locations such as around schools and sports grounds.

No barbed or razor wire is proposed on top of the fencing and it will be used in its standard form.

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Police and Crime Commissioner Jason Ablewhite announced the closure of Parkside police station in a massive sell off of the force s estate, as the News reported. Currently valued at 35 million and costing 4 million a year to run, recent moves have already seen the number of police buildings reduce. A project is under way to find a suitable site in the Cambridge area to construct a new investigation centre to replace the station.

Mr Ablewhite said: The proposed fence application is not in relation to the current national terror threat level.

Over the last 12 months a number of marked vehicles at Parkside Police Station have been damaged creating a risk to both public and officers.

The proposed application will help reduce the vandalism at a cost of circa 12,000.

I can confirm that there are still plans to construct a new investigation centre outside of the city which would replace the custody facilities located at Parkside Police Station.

A number of options are being considered . A local police presence in the city will be maintained.

Relocating Parkside is part of an ongoing project to review the estate of the constabulary in order to support the changing requirements of operational policing and support services.

Parkside police station

The police estate is currently valued at 35 million and costs 4 million annually, to run. The fence planning application was lodged with the city council on July 10.

Householders, business and groups affected by the plan have until August 2 to submit any comments and objections to the council.

Traffic warning and heightened security for those attending sell-out Little Mix concert

Top girl band Little Mix are about to perform a sell out gig in the North-east.

Durham s Riverside Emirates1 cricket ground is gearing up to welcome the 15,000-strong crowd on Saturday. And heightened security and parking warnings have been put in place as thousands are expected to flock to the venue. Durham Constabulary has developed a traffic management plan for Chester-le-Street.

There will be designated pick up points for those getting lifts to the venue.

Little Mix’s Leigh-Anne Pinnock (left), Jade Thirlwall (right), Jesy Nelson (second left) and Perrie Edwards (second right)

Tickets for the concert quickly sold out for the Summer Shout Out tour2 . More than 15,000 people are expected to attend, so those not going to the concert are advised to avoid the area. Gates open at 5pm and it is scheduled to end at around 9.45pm.

It will be the second hit tour to visit the ground this summer after Rod Stewart s gig last month.

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Limited parking is still available from the Box Office at a cost of 10. Two park and ride sites are located at Lambton Estates and Belmont . They open at 3pm.

Gates will open at 5pm and concert-goers are advised to arrive early. The two support acts, Sheppard and Ella Eyre, are expected to start from 6pm. There will be increased security measures at each entrance point and a heightened security presence in all areas of the ground.

Those attending are asked to be patient at the end of the concert, as police work to clear the venue and surrounding areas. A drop off point is located in Riverside Park . All cars must turn left when exiting and follow the diversion signs.

References

  1. ^ Emirates (www.gazettelive.co.uk)
  2. ^ the Summer Shout Out tour (www.gazettelive.co.uk)