French town installs microphones in crime-ridden neighbourhood to listen for suspicious sounds

A French town is to bug the streets of a crime-ridden neighbourhood, installing audio surveillance devices to relay to police the sounds of attacks or muggings.

Saint Etienne in central France is about to install 50 microphones for a six-month trial period. Audio will be analysed by computers which will alert police to suspicious sounds such as cries or shouting.

Police will be dispatched to the location of suspected crimes while other officers in a surveillance centre try to identify muggers or attackers using CCTV images. Once identified, police will then track and arrest the suspects.