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in Policing

PUBLISHED: 20 June 2024

Home Office Contracts for Innovation - Knife Detection Technologies - Phase 1


The Home Office is running a Contracts for Innovation competition to develop systems capable of automatically detecting knives concealed on a person, at a distance, to be used by police forces.

The systems must be able to detect knives in the presence of commonly carried items, including but not limited to keys, wallets, mobile phones, and tablets. Systems can either be fixed during operation and capable of scanning a defined area (region) of space containing one or more subjects, or capable of being carried and operated by a single police officer for at least the duration of a shift (8 hours).

Initial, paper based feasibility studies (technology readiness level (TRL) 1) and technology concepts (TRL 2) are assumed to be completed prior to the commencement of this competition. In phase 1 the Home Office are looking to for the development and delivery of a prototype at a minimum. This prototype must be ready for limited initial testing in a controlled environment to prove the concept (TRL 4). If applicants already have a prototype, your plan for this Phase 1 should include steps for further development to maximise system performance, and a clear route to testing in a controlled environment and an operational trial if appropriate.

This is phase 1 of a potential 2 phase competition. The decision to proceed with phase 2 will depend on the outcomes from phase 1 and assessment of a separate application into a subsequent potential phase 2 competition. Only the successful applicants from phase 1 will be invited to apply to take part in a potential phase 2.


Registration Opens: 17/06/2024

Registration Closes: 08/07/2024


The Home Office expect to fund up to 4 projects. The maximum value of a single proposal is £600,000 including VAT.

To find out more, see the funding page here and sign up to the Home Office e-sourcing portal to get full access to the competition details.