As conflict, famine and poverty have led to an influx of migrants and refugees seeking asylum in European Union states, EU members are now employing more advanced methods to secure their borders. The use of infrared (or thermal) cameras by law enforcement officials being one such approach.
Twenty members of the Hungarian police, acting in support of Serbian authorities, are currently stationed along the 39 mile Serbia-Macedonia border to help curb the flow of migrants entering the EU. Equipped with infrared cameras, these officers are attempting to stop migrants travelling North across Serbia to the Hungarian border where they may claim asylum. Around 60,000 migrants and refugees have already entered Hungary illegally in 2015 with a majority being from Serbia. This has prompted the Hungarian government to take action.
Although the Hungarian police presence on the border is anything but a long-term solution. Backed by a growing right-wing sentiment in Hungary, construction is already well under way of a gigantic 4 metre high and 100 mile long fence spanning the Hungary-Serbia border designed to dissuade migrants from seeking asylum in the country.
Infrared Cameras For Border Security
Law enforcement personnel, such as the Hungarian police, use infrared cameras because these devices greatly enhance their ability to track suspicious individuals in all conditions, be it fog, darkness or rain.
But how is this possible?
The human eye and conventional night vision cameras depend on existing light and can only view so much. Infrared cameras, however, are able to see the infrared radiation (heat) emitted from an object and make even the smallest temperature differences visible. A picture is then formed based on these variations that enables the user to quickly and accurately distinguish between objects in total darkness.
Human bodies emit a large amount of infrared radiation. Using an infrared camera, individuals are easy to spot against the relatively cooler surroundings of buildings and foliage, for example. This allows the Hungarian police to effectively carry out their task of locating migrants regardless of operational visibility.