Automatically detecting potentially threatening behaviour in large crowds is now a reality

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Following a four-year research project called ADABTS, or Automatic Detection of Abnormal Behaviour and Threats, scientists and researchers have demonstrated just potentially dangerous behaviour in larger crowds can be detected and pointed out to CCTV operators.

As a news report on this matter has revealed, the €3.5 project was jointly-funded by the European Commission and international partners included FOI, BAE Systems, Detec, the UK Home Office’s Centre for Applied Science and Technology, the Belgian Ministry of the Interior’s Institute of Psychology, the University of Amsterdam and TNO.

The project’s main target was to make a serious contribution to the protection of people, property and infrastructure against the threats of terrorism, crime and riots. The proposed system focuses on early detection and alerting potential threats to CCTV operators, which is achieved by developing methods for an automated system to distinguish and identify ‘interesting’ imagery and alert operators.

By employing extensive video analysis and using both video and audio tracking sensors, the situational awareness of a human operator can be improved. The technologies implemented as part of this project include more accurate 3D analysis and monitoring information of body orientation and movement tracking to determine unwanted behaviour.

The system also analyses mobility and kinetic energy – which can be interpreted as fights – and sound source localisation to classify incidents such as gunshot, breaking glass or shouting.

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