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CCTV cameras - Expert commentary

Reopening doors: What steps should be taken to ensure safety and security?
Reopening doors: What steps should be taken to ensure safety and security?

A total of £1.6 billion worth of goods are reported as ‘lost’ to in-store theft in supermarkets each year, with figures increasing steadily. The presence of self-checkout systems have increased in supermarkets, as well as other industry retailers. By 2021, we’re globally on track to have 468,000 self-checkout machines in operation, nearly double the 240,000 in existence since 2016. While this increase comes with such benefits as reduced wait times for customers and staff costs, it also comes with a risk of retail theft at self-checkouts. With the circumstances the world now finds itself in i.e. mass unemployment, financial uncertainty, the retail industry has seen an influx in these types of petty crimes, hitting retailers during an already turbulent period. While retailers are taking precautions to protect themselves and their patrons in this new era of in-person shopping, it’s important to ensure the business itself is protected. A popular method to combat these fears is to employ on-site security personnel, however, as we continue to adapt to new operating guidelines, retailers must begin thinking past the immediate future, and begin implementing long-term security solutions to prepare for life after lockdown such as strong CCTV systems with remote access. How has the security industry adapted its services to a post-lockdown world? Technological innovations like thermal recognition are key to adapting security systems for a post-lockdown world. Businesses which previously relied on facial recognition now must update their methods to account for shoppers wearing masks on-site and in-store. By 2021, we’re globally on track to have 468,000 self-checkout machines in operation, nearly double the 240,000 in existence since 2016 Biometric systems are now able to identify people with face masks, and thermal recognition such ADT’s Thermi-Scan system which can track human body temperature without the need for contact. Implementing these safe protocol procedures protect both employees and customers against virus outbreaks such as COVID-19. The need for these advances in video surveillance will reportedly increase the biometric facial recognition market by 14 per cent by 2027. Artificial intelligence has been hailed recently as the way forward for remote security needs, and whilst business-owners continue to navigate procedures of returning to work post-lockdown, having remote access to real-time security monitoring is essential now more than ever. What are the main measures stores can take to prevent or reduce theft? Strategically placing a multi-camera surveillance system to ensure clarity, eliminate blind spots, and deter thieves should be top priority. It’s equally essential to invest in a system which has an efficient playback programme, particularly in situations where reviewing important footage efficiently can offer vital information to the police force. Advances in video surveillance will reportedly increase the biometric facial recognition market by 14 per cent by 2027 As business-owners continue operating at reduced hours and with limited on-site staff, being able to access camera footage quickly and remotely is a key factor to consider. Whether owners opt to receive an alert on a mobile device allowing them to review notifications, or if their system is monitored by a remote security centre, it’s important to be able to access footage quickly for added efficiency and ease. Facial recognition and AI have been popular points of discussion in relation to security cameras and CCTV. While careful considerations must be taken prior to utilising any sort of facial recognition technology, including conducting a Privacy Impact Assessment, the benefits include being provided with real-time tracking of repeat offenders which immensely helps the prevention of in-store theft. Here are some key points to consider when choosing in-store surveillance: Assess your needs – To get the best out of your security system, it is essential to analyse what your requirements are for your business as they might have changed to adapt to a post-lockdown world Camera setup – With store layouts shifting to accommodate social distancing guidelines, it’s important to re-evaluate the current set-up of any security cameras. Depending on any layout updates, it might be important to consider operating multiple cameras in one area to ensure a peripheral view and eliminate any blind spots Camera positioning – For optimal performance, check that light sources are not obstructing your view such as glare from the sun. It is also worth considering the height at which cameras are installed to maximise surveillance Check the focus – It is worth testing camera lenses bi-monthly to ensure that lighting or weather hasn’t affected the focus of the lens, resulting in a blurry visual Remote access – As guidelines continue to evolve, ensure you’re able to access any necessary camera footage quickly and safely in case of emergency Will we begin to see a reduction of theft as new technology is implemented? We’re beginning to see incidents of shoplifting and theft being taken more seriously by law enforcement. In the coming months, for the first time in Britain nearly twenty shoplifters who were either caught red-handed or identified on CCTV will be appearing before magistrates. While currently these court cases are being pursued by a private police force, these actions come after a Government plea to high-level police to prosecute shoplifters stealing under £200. Retailers have long voiced concerns that forces have abandoned low-level thefts and these steps are small but show that businesses are being heard. As innovations in surveillance security continue, we’ll be seeing a move away from human involvement which will create a more reliable and efficient system able to rely on machine learning and analytics. While there have been wider strides made in utilising AI for surveillance, these are largely being used currently by local governments to alert police forces to threats of criminal activity. It’s not unreasonable to think that in the near future, these types of smart technology will be employed by private businesses to analyse suspicious behaviour or possible theft. However, as we see an increase in the advancement of security technology, we anticipate that those inclined to commit in-store theft will adapt their methods, therefore retailers should look to regularly evaluate their security needs to keep risks at bay.

Can CCTV become a more effective tool?
Can CCTV become a more effective tool?

We all know that having CCTV around your home can help to protect you and your family. Without CCTV, you could end up in danger and an intruder could get away with breaking into your house, hurting your loved ones and stealing your possessions. Similarly, without CCTV in the office, you’ll be leaving yourself open to all kinds of damage and could lose a lot of equipment in the process. In short, making sure you have CCTV is important for both home and business security. However, it can be improved to become a more effective system so that you’re better protected, and can even deter a potential intruder without having to panic. In our world of ever-changing technology, we’re able to upgrade and enhance our CCTV systems so they can become a monitored system. Remote CCTV monitoring is an ideal way to protect everyone and everything whether you’re at home or at a workplace. What is remote CCTV monitoring? For a long time, CCTV was one of the best ways to keep your home, the office and people safe. But people started to notice that it would only deter people so much of the time and often the cameras were ignored by intruders. They would just cover their faces and hope for the best as they steal from a home, office or any other premises. Remote CCTV monitoring is a system that can loop into your existing CCTV, or come preinstalled with a new system. This technology sends a feed to a control room full of trained operators that are on call 24/7. Within this control room, operators are able to respond to any sort of distress call or unauthorised movement on the property line.  How does it work? Remote CCTV monitoring works by attaching to a live feed of your CCTV system, existing or new, so that the signal and images can be passed to a team of operators. These operators are on hand 24/7 so that if there is a problem, you know that you're safe in the hands of a specialist team. The specialist team has been trained to mitigate the chances of somebody breaking into your home when the system is triggered; similarly they call the local authorities instantly so that the potential intruder has less time to flee the scene. This is especially important if an intruder is already inside your property because they have less time to steal your items and leave. Without CCTV in the office, you’ll be leaving yourself open to all kinds of damage and could lose a lot of equipment in the process One of the biggest questions that revolve around remote CCTV monitoring is the idea of operators watching the CCTV at all times. Luckily most remote CCTV monitoring systems will incorporate a motion detection system to accompany your CCTV. Motion detection offers the ability to alert a control room if there is an unauthorised entry to the property line. These motion detection systems are state-of-the-art and so, depending on the system that you choose, they can watch over your property from a number of angles. Once the motion detection system has been triggered and the alert has been sent to the control room, then and only then will the operators get involved. This means that until the motion detection system has been triggered, nobody will watch your live CCTV feed. After one of the systems has been triggered, one of the specialist operators will instantly jump into action. This means that they can take different measures to deter any potential intruder and make sure that they do everything in their power to stop any damage or theft from the premises. In addition to the motion detection system and CCTV, you are able to opt for a public address (PA) system too. This means that an operator is able to shout commands through the PA system and potentially scare away any intruder. The intruder will also be warned about the fact that local authorities have already been called to the location.  Remote monitoring versus traditional CCTV Motion detection offers the ability to alert a control room if there is an unauthorised entry to the property line Having a monitored CCTV system means that you're able to better protect yourself, your business, employees and even your loved ones. Whether you're at home or in the office, having someone looking over your shoulder protecting your every move is something that can be appreciated by everybody. The biggest problem with just having traditional CCTV, is that it is a reactive system. This means that rather than stopping crime, a CCTV system just records it. While the thought is that having a CCTV camera visible can deter some intruders, there's no real evidence to suggest that it stops anybody; anyone can simply cover their face and carry on breaking into your home, office or even your car. As mentioned, remote CCTV monitoring is going to tackle that problem and make sure that someone is on hand to protect you at all times.

The digital transformation of access control solutions
The digital transformation of access control solutions

The safeguarding of premises through the monitoring of entrance and exit points has traditionally been a very manual aspect of security. Human operators have been relied on to make decisions about who to admit and deny based on levels of authorisation and the appropriate credentials. But the access control business, like many industries before it, is undergoing its own digital transformation; one where the protection of premises, assets and people is increasingly delivered by interconnected systems utilising IoT devices and cloud infrastructure to offer greater levels of security and protection. Modern access control solutions range from simple card readers to two factor authentication systems using video surveillance as a secondary means of identification, right through to complex networks of thermal cameras, audio speakers and sensors. These systems, connected through the cloud, can be customised and scaled to meet the precise requirements of today’s customer. And it’s the ease of cloud integration, combined with open technologies and platforms that is encouraging increasing collaboration and exciting developments while rendering legacy systems largely unfit for purpose. Remote management and advanced diagnostics Cloud technology and IoT connectivity means remote management and advanced diagnostics form an integral part of every security solution.Cloud technology and IoT connectivity means remote management and advanced diagnostics form an integral part of every security solution. For example, as the world faces an unprecedented challenge and the COVID-19 pandemic continues to cause disruption, the ability to monitor and manage access to sites remotely is a welcome advantage for security teams who might otherwise have to check premises in person and risk breaking social distancing regulations. The benefits of not physically having to be on site extend to the locations within which these technologies can be utilised. As an example, within a critical infrastructure energy project, access can be granted remotely for maintenance on hard to reach locations. Advanced diagnostics can also play a part in such a scenario. When access control is integrated with video surveillance and IP audio, real-time monitoring of access points can identify possible trespassers with automated audio messages used to deter illegal access and making any dangers clear. And with video surveillance in the mix, high quality footage can be provided to authorities with real-time evidence of a crime in progress. Comprehensive protection in retail Within the retail industry, autonomous, cashier-less stores are already growing in popularity The use of connected technologies for advanced protection extends to many forward-looking applications. Within the retail industry, autonomous, cashier-less stores are already growing in popularity. Customers are able to use mobile technology to self-scan their chosen products and make payments, all from using a dedicated app. From an access control and security perspective, connected doors can be controlled to protect staff and monitor shopper movement. Remote management includes tasks such as rolling out firmware updates or restarting door controllers, with push notifications sent immediately to security personnel in the event of a breach or a door left open. Remote monitoring access control in storage In the storage facility space, this too can now be entirely run through the cloud with remote monitoring of access control and surveillance providing a secure and streamlined service. There is much to gain from automating the customer journey, where storage lockers are selected online and, following payment, customers are granted access. Through an app the customer can share their access with others, check event logs, and activate notifications. With traditional padlocks the sharing of access is not as practical, and it’s not easy for managers to keep a record of storage locker access. Online doors and locks enable monitoring capabilities and heightened security for both operators and customers. The elimination of manual tasks, in both scenarios, represents cost savings. When doors are connected to the cloud, their geographical location is rendered largely irrelevant. Online doors and locks enable monitoring capabilities and heightened security for both operators and customers They become IoT devices which are fully integrated and remotely programmable from anywhere, at any time. This creates a powerful advantage for the managers of these environments, making it possible to report on the status of a whole chain of stores, or to monitor access to numerous storage facilities, using the intelligence that the technology provides from the data it collects. Open platforms power continuous innovation All of these examples rely on open technology to make it possible, allowing developers and technology providers to avoid the pitfalls that come with the use of proprietary systems. The limitations of such systems have meant that the ideas, designs and concepts of the few have stifled the creativity and potential of the many, holding back innovation and letting the solutions become tired and their application predictable. Proprietary systems have meant that solution providers have been unable to meet their customers’ requirements until the latest upgrade becomes available or a new solution is rolled out. This use of open technology enables a system that allows for collaboration, the sharing of ideas and for the creation of partnerships to produce ground-breaking new applications of technology. Open systems demonstrate a confidence in a vendor’s own solutions and a willingness to share and encourage others to innovate and to facilitate joint learning. An example of the dynamic use of open technology is Axis’ physical access control hardware, which enables partners to develop their own cloud-based software for control and analysis of access points, all the while building and expanding on Axis’ technology platform. Modern access control solutions range from simple card readers to two factor authentication systems using video surveillance as a secondary means of identification Opportunities for growth Open hardware, systems and platforms create opportunities for smaller and younger companies to participate and compete, giving them a good starting point, and some leverage within the industry when building and improving upon existing, proven technologies. This is important for the evolution and continual relevance of the physical security industry in a digitally enabled world. Through increased collaboration across technology platforms, and utilising the full range of possibilities afforded by the cloud environment, the manufacturers, vendors and installers of today’s IP enabled access control systems can continue to create smart solutions to meet the ever-changing demands and requirements of their customers across industry.

Latest Forward Vision CCTV Limited news

Forward Vision MIC1-series PTZ cameras keep crime and vehicles off the Bristol City streets
Forward Vision MIC1-series PTZ cameras keep crime and vehicles off the Bristol City streets

 Forward Vision MIC1 cameras helping to combat crime in BristolBristol is no different from any other major city in the UK in that it has to put up with its fair share of challenges, from inner-city crime through to congestion on its roads. In both cases, however, there is one product that is helping the City Council's teams to stay one step ahead of the game, a product noted for its reliability and flexibility even in the most demanding environments: the MIC1, or ‘Metal Mickey', series from Forward Vision, a member of the Bosch group.Bristol City Council first started using MIC1 cameras eight years ago in a city centre surveillance role, after the technology was recommended by a local installer, Select Electrics. Select had installed the fibre network infrastructure across the city and was the Council's principal contractor for the installation and maintenance of CCTV: "At the time, MIC1 cameras were seen as quite a radical design," explains Select Electric's managing director Ray Murphy, "and the Council needed to be convinced that it would give them the level of performance and reliability they needed." "It is a testimony to its quality that there are now more than 250 cameras from the MIC1 series deployed in Bristol, not only for security but also in a traffic management capacity. On sites where other manufacturers' technology is installed, these cameras are gradually being replaced with MIC1 cameras as budgets become available."Images from the cameras are transmitted to the City Council's award-winning control room in the council offices. The facility is both CCTV User Group Gold accredited as well as having a national accreditation for social alarm monitoring - one of the few councils in the UK to be so recognised. It has recently been granted funding for a new monitoring wall and matrix system that will allow access to all council, traffic, police and retail CCTV systems.The ‘Metal Mickey' is in essence everything you could possibly want from a CCTV camera," says Ray MurphyIn charge of the control room is manager Gordon McLanaghan: "We first trialled one of the cameras in 2000 and have never looked back," he explains. "They give us a level of flexibility and reliability that we need, and are sufficiently robust to operate in a number of challenging environments. They are also ‘plug and play' which is excellent from an installation and maintenance perspective, and if parts need to be replaced they can be changed with the minimum of downtime."The success of the cameras in a security surveillance capacity led the Council to look at MIC1 cameras for use in traffic management, managed through a dedicated urban traffic control room: "The cameras used across the city - whether for traffic management or city centre surveillance - can be viewed in either control room," Gordon McLanaghan says. "Recently, my colleagues in traffic secured funding to increase the number of cameras deployed, and because they could access the cameras we have already installed, they were able to extend their scheme quite dramatically. I recommended they use MIC1 cameras and after a trial against a range of competitor technology, they agreed that the MIC1s offered greater performance and better value for money." "The quality of images and the effectiveness of the zoom from each of the cameras is second to none," Gordon McLanaghan adds, "but there are also other advantages. It is easy to configure Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) functionality, for example, on any of the cameras, which gives us tremendous flexibility, and their design makes them unobtrusive and aesthetically better looking. We are replacing the old ‘shoebox' cameras with MIC1 cameras wherever we can as budgets become available. "The quality of images and the effectiveness of the zoom from each of the cameras is second to none," says Gordon McLanaghan"The ‘Metal Mickey' is in essence everything you could possibly want from a CCTV camera." A further advantage is the use of brushless motor technology as Select Electrics' Ray Murphy concludes: "The use of brushless motors further improves what is already a brilliant performance. The ‘Metal Mickey' has effectively become the benchmark that every other manufacturer aspires to and with further investment now as part of the Bosch brand, the quality is likely to get better still."The latest MIC1 cameras to be installed in Bristol are units from the MIC1-400 aluminium and MIC1-400 infrared ranges. Both are rated to IP68 for the ultimate in environmental protection, come with a choice of 18x or 36x true day/night camera modules and offer extremely flexible mounting options. The MIC1-400 infrared range benefits from built in infrared illuminators providing over 55 metres of illumination at night.

Derwent launches campaign to light up dark winter nights
Derwent launches campaign to light up dark winter nights

Derwent Illumination will be showcased at Bosch's Technology DaysWith the earlier onset of dark winter nights, security lighting specialist Derwent, a member of the Bosch Group, has launched a new campaign to encourage security professionals to review the performance of their security systems after dark. With the majority of crimes taking place at night, many CCTV installations that work perfectly well in the day can be compromised in low light and no-light conditions. And with winter nights starting as early as 4pm, it means that many systems are ineffective for up to 16 hours out of 24."Today's security systems demand 24/7 effectiveness and relying on ambient lighting is not enough," says Peter Beare, Managing Director of Derwent. "Without specialist security lighting, dark night time scenes will remain dark to CCTV cameras, and the images they capture will suffer from shadows, signal noise and loss of focus." As part of its campaign, Derwent has produced a free Dark Nights Information Pack and will provide free lighting surveys of existing and planned installation sites throughout the winter months."Many CCTV cameras installed during the light summer months will fail when they come up against the challenges of dark winter conditions," Peter continues. "Adding specialist illumination to an existing system can bring it alive again, ensuring it delivers high-resolution surveillance on a true 24 hour-basis."Bosch's recent acquisition of the Extreme Group, which includes Derwent and Forward Vision, means that security professionals have greater access to a wider portfolio of surveillance systems, according to Peter. "The integration of Bosch's proven Dinion camera range with our own award-winning Derwent Illumination is a powerful combination," he says. In addition to the Dark Night Information Pack and Lighting Surveys, Derwent Illumination will be showcased at Bosch's Technology Days, with events still to be held on the following days:2nd December - Curraheen Park Greyhound Racing, Cork4th December - Camac Valley, Dublin, Ireland

Bosch reveal  2008 Technology Day schedule
Bosch reveal 2008 Technology Day schedule

 Bosch LIVE cameras shoots-out with Derwent and Forward Vision part of Bosch Group Following the successful integration of Bosch Security Systems and the Extreme CCTV Group, a winter schedule of Technology Days has been announced, which this year has been extended to incorporate more locations across the country.These Bosch Technology Days, targeted at security consultants, installers and end users, are a development of the Bosch Camera Shootouts.  However, this year Bosch will be demonstrating the capabilities of its extended range of products, from CCTV cameras to infrared and white light security, along with focusing on the full potential of integrated solutions that Bosch now offers.  The schedule is as follows:17th November - London Zoo20th November - Celtic Manor, Cardiff 24th November - St John's Hotel, Solihull 27th November - Walton Hall Golf Club, Warrington2nd December - Curraheen Park Greyhound Racing, Cork, Ireland4th December - Camac Valley, Dublin, IrelandCommenting on the Technology Days, Paul Wong, Managing Director of Bosch Security Systems said: "The locations for each event have been carefully selected to offer the ideal environment and with light levels dropping as early as 4pm the technology will be thoroughly tested."The Bosch Technology Days will be complementing the Derwent's Dark Nights campaign, which is highlighting the importance of illumination and the importance of reviewing the effectiveness of security systems at night.For more information or to book your place please email Christine Cooper.

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