DASA competition to help tackle knife crime

Posted on: 31/10/2018

A new Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA) competition is being launched to help tackle knife crime.

For this competition DASA is seeking innovative technologies or approaches in standoff detection or behavioural characteristics that can aid police and security personnel in the identification of concealed knives.  Up to £500k of funding will be available in Phase 1 of this competition to fund proof-of-concept solutions. Additional funding is anticipated to be available for future phases to move towards a deployable solution.

Although crime in general has fallen rapidly in the UK over the past 20 years, some types of violent crime recorded by the police have increased.  In 2017, knife crime rose by 20% across England and Wales when compared to 2015 figures, with a significant increase in fatal stabbings and serious injuries.  While the increase is a result of a number of influencing factors, the ability for police to determine if people are carrying knives is fundamental to reducing the harm caused.

The Home Office is interested in solutions that can identify people carrying, overtly or covertly, a wide variety of steel-bladed knives in public open spaces, including in crowds and uncontrolled areas (where there is typically limited or no Police or security presence). There is a requirement to detect these knives:

  • on the person, typically in the presence of other commonly carried benign metallic items (for example, keys, phones, coins, belts/buckles, watches, jewellery)
  • carried in bags (for example, handbags, rucksacks) which may also contain a variety of other benign metallic and non-metallic items.


Full details will be published soon, a summary of the competition is available here.

If you have any queries on this competition, please email the team here.

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