main_cyberbullyingOne of the highest priorities parents have is keeping their children safe. They can walk them to school and back, make sure they’re hanging out with the ‘right crowd’, and keep their bodies healthy by feeding them nutritional food. But even the watchful eyes of a mother can’t always protect children from the animosity and danger of the Internet.

That is why the U.K. based Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre, or CEOP, have urged Facebook to install a “panic button”. Such a feature would enable children who feel victimized or threatened to report abuse, directing reports immediately to a child protection specialist who would assess the situation, presumably to decide if it warrants intervention.

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british-policePolice in North Staffordshire, in the United Kingdom, have been using a special Thief Tracker Kit with much success. The Thief Tracker Kit is essentially a hidden camera system that is designed to fit inside property or vehicles, in order to catch criminals stealing bikes and breaking into vans, sheds and garages.

On top of catching the thief on camera, the kit also exposes the thief to a special liquid that serves the purpose of forensically linking them to the crime. The Thief Tracker kit is even able to alert police via text message once it becomes activated.

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drone-002Police in the U.K. plan to expand the county’s CCTV system with military-style spy drones. These unmanned spy drones have previously been deployed in Afghanistan. The drones are programed to take off and land on their own and are able to remain airborne for as long as 15 hours at a height of up to 20,000 feet.

The drones’ ability to reach such high altitude has raised concerns from the U.K.’s Civil Aviation Authority, which regulates airspace. The division is hesitant to allow the UAVs to fly in normal airspace because of the risk of colliding with airplanes. However, the “sense and avoid” technology for the drones are only a few years away.

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bradford-bulls-001The Bradford Bulls rugby team in the U.K. is now resorting to GPS tracking technology to help amp up their game. The Bulls had their worst season ever last year since 1998. As a result, their coach Steve McNamara turned to using a GPS monitoring system that would allow Bradford to have access to more detail information about the players’ performance during training and matches.

The GPS tracking device is placed in a harness that is incorporated in a vest which is link dot a monitoring patch on each player’s back. Besides tracking a player’s movement and speed around the field, the system also monitors players’ heart-rates.

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dog-gps A rare breed of birds called the Black Grouse, which is amongst the most rapidly declining breeds in the U.K. is now being tracked by dogs wearing GPS collars. The way Wildlife Rangers like Ally Macaskill use the dogs, is that they attach a GPS collar to the dogs which then track the birds. The canines location is then transmitted the the handset of the rangers (and can also be saved to view on the computer later to see which land has already been covered). When the dogs finally sniff out one of the birds, and see where they are, they stop on the spot and don’t move. They do this to show that they are “on spot”, which tells the ranger to come catch up and to identify the species of the bird.

“I’ve been very impressed with these GPS collars, which I saw used during trips to Scandinavia… They indicate whether the dogs are on the move or on point. When they get on point the collars mean I can get there quickly, with more chance of seeing what the dogs have found.” Said Mr. Macaskill

Right now, Mr. Macaskill estimates there are about 25 male grouse on the Perthshire’s Schiehallion estate that they are monitoring and trying to help them from going extinct.

(Via BBC)

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radar-vs-gps While driving down the A4174 highway near Bristol, on November 28th 2008, Gareth Powell was clocked going 61 mph in a 50 mph zone by a police officer with a speed gun. The police officer wrote him out a ticket that Powell was positive he didn’t deserve.

He said: “I’m an extremely careful driver and I was certain I hadn’t broken the law.”

At the time, Gareth had a GPS navigation system in his car that was not only tracking him but could also tell how fast he was going. After contacting Navman Wireless (his GPS device’s manufacturer) and getting the records of how fast he was going at the time, he was able to provide proof that he really was within the speed limit. It turns out that Powell had been moving at 48 mph. In court he managed to have the director of Navman Wireless IT, Barry Neill, serve as an expert witness to back him up:
“The GPS fix on Gareth’s vehicle from the tracking system was excellent when he was clocked by the speed gun… The eight satellites locating his vehicle were advantageously positioned. Under good conditions, GPS tracking technology is accurate to within three meters.”
Thanks to the GPS navigation system in Powell’s car, he was not just able to beat a speeding ticket, but he also managed to prove that GPS devices can be more accurate then the speed guns used by the police officers.

(Via RoadTransport)

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th1_nhec-2610-05-2310-145615An elderly man armed with a towel and a spade was caught on tape stealing flowers along a town’s landmark bridge in the U.K. The elderly man was captured on CCTV at County Bridge, Sowerby Bridge, digging up geraniums and shrubs planted by the town’s In Bloom committee.

Samantha Ward, a Calderdale Council parks officer and project coordinator for Sowerby Bridge In Bloom, said: “We couldn’t believe it when we heard what had happened.The flowers had been disappearing for a while and it was a real mystery where they were going.”

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francis_grenfell

Lieutenant Robert Septimus Grenfell

Police are currently looking for the thief who stole a 100-year-old sword from St. Mary and All Saints’ Church in Beaconsfield in the U.K.. The thief stole the sword, shoved it down his pants and then smiled at the church’s surveillance camera before he left.

The sword originally belonged to 23-year-old Lieutenant Robert Septimus Grenfell who used the sword 100 years ago at the Battle of Khartoum in 1898, during which he died.

“It’s of great historic relevance as this is the sword Lt. Grenfell was using when he was killed” stated Churchwarden Peter Sanders.

Sanders also stated that he believed that whoever stole the sword, most probably plans to sell it. Money from the collection box was also taken during the break-in.

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