A Minority Report style CCTV system which helps predict crimes before they actually happen has been installed for the first time in a UK city.
Portsmouth City Council has set up the network of 'intelligent' cameras which can alert an operator to suspicious behaviour.
The Perceptrak system, produced by Smart CCTV Ltd, is able to spot 'unusual' incidents such as somebody loitering or a vehicle travelling too fast.
CCTV frame 2: The two men are now seen exchanging words and perhaps something else. The operator is alerted
It then alerts the CCTV operator who can assess the situation and take appropriate action if they believe a crime has been committed or is about to be.
The system is being set up to watch quiet areas such as car parks, stairwells or corridors in buildings and streets at night-time.
This allows a CCTV operator to monitor many more cameras without having to watch every screen simultaneously.
Crystal ball: This new CCTV in Portsmouth can automatically detect potential crimes before they happen
Nick Hewitson, managing director of Smart CCTV, said: 'Although we are a long way off Minority Report, it is a step closer.
'It is able to alert the operator to something that might be interesting such as a guy hanging around or somebody running.
'But what it cannot do is say whether that guy is waiting for his girlfriend or about to commit a crime.
'That is for the operator to make a subjective human decision on and make an appropriate response.
'The software is able to filter out all the boring information and gives the security operator alerts on things that might be interesting.' [I'd imagine being one of those big brother operators is extremely fun and gives them nice power trip.]
The system, which has been run successfully in several U.S. cities, including New York, Washington and Chicago, is being provided to Portsmouth for free. [Lucky Portsmouth!]
Crimes are predicted by special CCTV operators in the blockbuster Minority Report, starring Tom Cruise
The city's CCTV control rooms have 142 cameras with live monitoring, watched 24 hours a day.
Councillor Jason Fazackarley, Portsmouth City Council cabinet member for community safety, said: 'This is a fantastic development. It's the 21st century equivalent of a nightwatchman, but unlike a nightwatchman it never blinks, it never takes a break and it never gets bored.' [You are being watched.]
In the film Minority Report, starring Tom Cruise, crimes are predicted by special CCTV operators.
Smile you're on camera: Portsmouth City Council is introducing a new sophisticated CCTV system
Edit: Bringing things back in my comfort zone; Britney's top-hat ritual continues (originally with Madonna and Christina), she won a Bambi award (awww), note grid ball type thing. I'll watch her X-Factor (Simon Cowell programmer/handler/general stooge, Dannii Minogue victim, etc) performance with interest, get started on final Britney part soon (almost finished a Fringe post; finally came out of the closet with its Monarch programming).