A showcase of new science and technology that could help fight crime has demonstrated how a human jet suit can head off a criminal.
The event, hosted by Dstl, saw the Marvel superhero-style ‘Gravity’ tech displayed to senior officials from the National Police Chiefs’ Council and the Home Office.
The pilot swooped in to amaze the invited guests then presented a fictitious scenario, flying rapidly through the air and tracking down a would-be assailant.
Those watching the event included Assistant Commissioner Martin Hewitt and Professor Paul Taylor, the Police Chief Scientific Advisor.
Hewitt, who chairs the National Police Chief Council and coordinates the operational response across the police service to the threats the UK faces, including terrorism, organised crime and national emergencies, said: “Seeing a human flying is really impressive. To see something that feels like you’re watching science fiction took all those watching by surprise.
“It is clear the Gravity system has lots of potential and we are fascinated to see how it will develop and if there are any possible uses in a policing environment in years to come.”
Richard Browning is the founder and test pilot of Gravity. He said: “It’s always the same reaction – almost disbelief that you could see a human being moving in that way when your only real reference point is probably a Marvel superhero film.
“However, the application of Gravity is endless, to be able to move specialist personnel in an urban environment very quickly in a three dimensional space, be it onto a rooftop, over a river or difficult terrain to potentially contain a roving threat is really powerful.”
The group were also able to witness the latest research into knife crime, where scientists are working on knife detection systems that could mean fewer body searches and better protection for police officers and the public.