16 May 2006

Smiths security screening equipment selected for trial on the Tube

Smiths Detection high-speed explosives ticket scanner and x-ray system provided for trials at Canary Wharf station

SMITHS Detection, part of the global engineering business Smiths Group, today announced it is providing security equipment to the UK Department for Transport as part of a pilot programme on the London Underground, starting today.

Smiths Detection is supplying a document scanner that will be used to test Tube tickets for traces of explosives and an advanced technology x-ray machine that will be used to scan passengers bags for dangerous items.

The trial starts today at Canary Wharf station in East London and will run for about one month. It is not intended to enhance security at the station but to assess the impact on passengers and how the equipment has performed.

The trial will involve passengers being selected at random and their participation will be entirely voluntary. The trial will be monitored carefully to ensure no disruption or delay is caused to passengers.

At the end of trial the results will be analysed and used to inform how the Department for Transport approaches security arrangements in the future. No decisions have yet been taken.

Stephen Phipson, Group Managing Director of Smiths Detection, said: We are delighted to be able to provide equipment that can contribute greatly to the identification of threats against the travelling public. The selection of Smiths Detection equipment for high profile trials on rail networks in the US and now in the UK, is recognition of our technological leadership in the global drive to secure transport systems.

Smiths Document Scanner

TheSmithsDocument Scanner detects and identifies traces of over 40 different explosive substances in a rapid analysis taking up to eight seconds. Samples are collected by simply swiping Tube tickets over the sampling disc. The operator flicks a switch and the disc arm is brought into the detector for analysis. If traces of explosives are detected, the specific substance is identified on the display.

A positive identification means that trace amounts of a particular explosive have been found on the item sampled. It indicates that an explosive device may be being carried or that the person may have been handling explosive material and further investigation is necessary.

Smiths HI-SCAN 6046si x-ray inspection system

This is a powerful x-ray system that produces extremely detailed x-ray images. It is able to distinguish between organic and non-organic items, which helps an operator identify the contents of a bag more precisely.

Organic materials, such as explosives, are coloured orange on the screen. Non-organic materials, such as a gun or a lead bullet, are coloured blue/black depending on their density. Materials that are a mixture of organic and non-organic, such as light metals and ceramics, are coloured green on the screen.

ENDS