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CCTV pan tilts - Expert commentary

Overcoming challenges and mapping the future of video surveillance
Overcoming challenges and mapping the future of video surveillance

Over the last year, we have continued to see the rise of manufacturers from China in the mid- to low-end market for video surveillance - a trend that currently shows no signs of tapering. Additionally, the shift from analogue to IP systems has remained consistent, with end users increasingly looking to network-enabled devices to mitigate risk from both a physical and cyber perspective. Complex network attacks in 2016 demonstrated the need for increased network security for network-connected devices such as IP cameras and network video recorders. More and more manufacturers are considering the potential for such attacks when designing updates for existing hardware and software technology, strengthening password requirements, incorporating robust data encryption, and educating integrators and end users on how to put protocols in place to protect the valuable information being collected. Increased security collaborations Today’s surveillance technology - and the new innovations right around the corner - incorporates more IT protocols in response to high-profile cyber incidents. As a result, IT standards will finally start being adopted by security system manufacturers over the course of the next few years. At the same time, we'll see increased collaboration between IT and security leaders within enterprises. Intelligent, big data analysis Video technologies such as panoramic 360-degree cameras with advanced dewarping capabilities are being rapidly adopted, along with video analytics software that enables the extraction of data for business intelligence, apart from just security video. The future includes more widespread availability of cloud technologies and services. In 2017, we can look forward to the more widespread adoption of intelligent analytics and big data analysis, which has the potential to streamline processes and optimise sales operations for organisations to drive new levels of business intelligence. See the full coverage of 2016/2017 Review and Forecast articles here Save

Security lapses and hooliganism dampening Euro 2016 – How will France re-structure security focus and ensure fan security?
Security lapses and hooliganism dampening Euro 2016 – How will France re-structure security focus and ensure fan security?

No matter how strong the security planning, it will take only one small failure tocreate an opportunity for unimaginable events(Photo credit: Marco Iacobucci EPP / Shutterstock.com) Successful security at UEFA Euro 2016 may well depend on the ability of the French to bring cohesiveness to disparate technologies. Given the scale of the threats, a variety of security solutions are being used visibly and behind the scenes – in addition to the presence of 90,000 police, gendarmerie and uniformed soldiers. I can’t remember an event where there has been a greater need for multi-agency working than the Euro 2016 football tournament now taking place at 10 stadiums across France, a country still recovering from the Paris attacks in November, torn apart by ethnic tensions, and in the grip of labour strikes. The security backdrop to the tournament is already dampening what should be a joyous festival for 2.5 million spectators watching the 51 matches over four weeks. Despite the comprehensive resources available to France and her neighbours, I see little cause for optimism. Security communications Starting at a macro level, there will be an enormous signals intelligence (SIGINT) operation in an attempt to intercept and analyse information from suspected terrorist cells, potential “lone wolf” jihadists and anybody whose communications arouse suspicion. The French government has been fighting a protracted battle to have voice over Internet protocol (VoIP) communication services (notably Skype, which is a known favourite of terrorists) registered as telecoms operators and thus subject to stricter regulation.  The French government has beenfighting a protracted battle to haveVoIP communication servicesregistered as telecoms operatorsand thus subject to stricter regulation Internet communication may yet solve rather than cause problems during the tournament with the release of a mass notification phone App. In the event of an attack, the App will alert users on a geo-location basis and in a discrete manner should they be near an incident. Users will also be able to pre-program up to eight geographical zones that they might be visiting in order to receive context-specific information and advice on how to minimise risk. Hooligans distract police attention from terrorism During the first weekend, the tournament was already marred by fighting between Russian and English fans (with involvement from locals) in the port of Marseille, where tear gas and water cannon have been deployed. An England supporter is critical after suffering a heart attack while being beaten senseless. UK politicians have been quick to denounce these incidents but also to make the broader point that hooliganism distracts French police from vigilance against terrorism. The England vs Russia game in Marseille has thrown up concerns at many levels. Toward the end of the match, Russian fans donned gum shields and martial arts gloves, turned their t-shirts into masks and charged English fans including family groups who were forced to jump over perimeter barriers with 10-foot drops in order to escape. Neutral observers complained about a lack of police presence and ineffective stewarding. Inappropriate security scanning As if this wasn’t bad enough, Russia’s equalising goal in the final minutes saw one of their supporters using a flare gun. Yes, a flare gun, which is larger than a handgun. This was accompanied by smoke bombs. A photo is doing the media rounds of a Russian holding two flares, each the size of a Coke bottle. One doesn’t have to speculate long on what might have happened if these containers were filled with plastic explosives. During the first weekend, the tournament was already marred by fighting between Russian and English fans(Photo credit: Marco Iacobucci EPP / Shutterstock.com) Am I alone in thinking that terrorists, seeing how lax security must be at the Stade Vélodrome, may be tempted to smuggle in more sophisticated explosives? The presence of the fireworks is doubly embarrassing since security at the Stade de France failed miserably in May during a domestic cup final when dozens of firecrackers were brought into the ground despite what was claimed to be vigilant searching of fans. Debate over fan zone The French are flexing their technological muscle and have made much of the fact that there is anti-drone technology at the 90,000-capacity fan zone beneath the Eiffel Tower. This is to guard against a possible terrorist “spectacular” such as a chemical or biological attack of the kind hinted at in data found on a laptop used by Paris attacker Salah Abdeslam. The future of the fan zone is uncertain. Former president Nicolas Sarkozy sees it as a sitting duck for a terrorist attack and has asked for it to be scrapped while police chief Michel Cadot wants it to operate only during games played outside the two Parisian stadiums. Am I alone in thinking thatterrorists, seeing how laxsecurity must be at the StadeVélodrome, may be tempted tosmuggle in more sophisticatedexplosives? Generally, the French government prefers a concentration of fans rather than dispersed groups. Of course, commerce should not be a factor, but there will inevitably be behind-the-scenes pressure from advertisers to retain fan zones since their merchandising potential is enormous. If they go ahead, the zones will feature CCTV surveillance, bag searches and even body-frisking should police suspicions be aroused. Conducting mock disaster drill to improve emergency response I recently reported on a disaster scenario exercise in London, and the French are conducting exhaustive equivalents in order to test response techniques should there be an attack at a stadium or fan zone. One such operation saw volunteers pretend to be fans at a mocked-up Northern Ireland vs Ukraine game in Lyon where actors, pretending to be jihadists, conducted a suicide bombing. Other drills have simulated chemical attacks, and in Nîmes over 1,000 cadet police officers acted out the role of spectators at a fan zone while colleagues in protective clothing went through decontamination routines. Violence likely to overshadow Russia vs. Ukraine match In terms of fan behaviour, what are the upcoming games with the most potential for violence? Turkey vs Croatia has passed off peaceably despite grave concerns. One nightmare scenario that UEFA must be dreading is if Russia were to come top of their group and Ukraine qualify as a third-placed team. Then the tournament has the prospect of the two sides meeting in Paris. Anybody who thinks this would be a sporting contest is misguided. The game would be a hate-filled microcosm of the recent Russian annexation of Crimea and the war in east Ukraine. No matter how much planning and technology the French authorities have at their disposal, it will take only one small failure to create an opportunity for unimaginable events. All we can hope is that sport will soon disappear from the front pages of our newspapers and be relegated to the back with the tournament remembered for sporting achievement rather than security lapses. Read more about security at UEFA Euro 2016 here  

London Metropolitan Police adapting to changing patterns of crime
London Metropolitan Police adapting to changing patterns of crime

The nature of crime in general – and particularly types of theft – are changing. Craig Mackey, Deputy Commissioner of London’s Metropolitan Police Service, says falling rates of conventional “property” crime are being of offset by an increase in computer-related crimes. Fall in “property” crime rate Mackey stressed that there has been no “magic bullet” responsible for the pronounced fall in burglaries and other property crimes. Theft of, say, a flat-screen television from a house in Brent [a north-west London borough] by a prototypical thief is no longer representative of the standard challenge facing the Met, he notes. Rather, sending out 10,000 phishing emails is more likely to be the operational method of the average small-time criminal. In 2014, burglaries in London fell by 8% (7,500 incidents) to their lowest level in London since 1974. (This figure was not quoted specifically by Mackey but has been reported widely by major news sources including the BBC.) Deputy Commissioner Mackey speculated on the typical day of an employee in London and observed that they are probably far more vulnerable to criminals during their leisure computing time once they have returned to the suburbs than they are while travelling to their place of work Deputy Commissioner at Cass Business School Addressing MBA students at Cass Business School, City University London, Deputy Commissioner Mackey asked how many of the audience had an iPhone 6 in their pocket. Seeing a healthy show of hands, he pointed out that now Apple has enabled a remote “Kill Switch” facility for its latest release. The phones now have little intrinsic worth when stolen. What thieves really value is the data they can extract from a mobile phone in the first vital minutes before it is reported missing. The second most senior British chief police officer, Deputy Commissioner Mackey addressed the MBA students on current trends in policing. His wide-ranging talk covered many aspects of security technology as it relates to modern policing. His lecture at the London Transport Museum was set against a backdrop of a city where people speak 300 languages and are bucking national trends insofar as the population is getting younger. For the evolving Met, “new policing” is synonymous with new types of crime that increasingly take place on the Internet and can be anything from online harassment to fraud Internet-related crime Deputy Commissioner Mackey speculated on the typical day of an employee in London and observed that they are probably far more vulnerable to criminals during their leisure computing time once they have returned to the suburbs than they are while travelling to their place of work. He noted with concern that people unthinkingly share information on Facebook that they would hesitate to share with one of his officers. For the evolving Met, “new policing” is synonymous with new types of crime that increasingly take place on the Internet and can be anything from online harassment to fraud. Better police support through refurbished Met premises SourceSecurity.com (with justification) speculated gloomily about every conceivable physical threat to London during the 2012 Olympics. The fact is that the Met, aided by regional police forces and the army, delivered a spectacularly successful Games to the capital and the rest of the world. Just as the Olympic sites have continued as sporting and residential legacies for Londoners, the Metropolitan Police Service is seeking to evaluate and change the usage of its own real estate. "Policing can only have legitimacy if it enjoys the trust of the community, and we’re working with the Royal Society of Arts to help us move forward in terms of talking to stakeholders" The deputy commissioner described how the service’s properties are being modified in line with modern requirements and explained how a third of the square footage of police premises will be released since many of them “have more to do with Peel than a strategic plan.” The reference to Sir Robert Peel may have been lost on Mackey’s audience since most of these high-achieving MBA students were under 30 and resembled a mass audition for the British (and US) reality TV show “The Apprentice.” Twice a prime minister during the 19th century, Peel founded the modern police force and his name survives in the antiquated slang “Peeler” for a policeman. Mackey’s history lesson had a point. He was at pains to show that police premises will either be refurbished so that they are better designed places of work for staff and more suitable places for the public to visit, or they will be returned to the property market with the capital being reinvested into technology that better reflects the challenges faced by a modern police force. In this way, the deputy commissioner argued (credibly) that cuts of £800m to a £3.5bn budget over the next four years will not be at the expense of front-line staff whose numbers will in fact increase from 63 to 74 percent of total employees. (The Met is one of the few police forces worldwide to be increasing its presence on the street.) And business support will be squeezed from 26 to 15 percent of wage bills. The deputy commissioner took evident pride in being able to tell his audience that even in a time of spending austerity, London can make a credible claim to be the safest major city in the world. He said: “We talk about policing as part of the economic development of London. People thinking of relocating here will ask: ‘How safe is it? How tolerant is it of business and how inclusive is it?’ With fewer senior managers and supervisors in the force, we see a culture where there is less and less physical reliance on front desks and counters for getting hold of police support. We offer this service but in reality it isn’t used very much, and a more technological approach is better suited to putting people through to interpreters for any of the 300 languages I’ve mentioned. Policing can only have legitimacy if it enjoys the trust of the community, and we’re working with the Royal Society of Arts to help us move forward in terms of talking to stakeholders. Outside of the Ministry of Defence and the National Health Service, this is likely to be the biggest [post UK general election in May] change programme. It would be an organisational challenge for anybody.”

Latest Conway UK news

Conway Security Products partners with Hikvision Digital Technology
Conway Security Products partners with Hikvision Digital Technology

Conway's partnership helps integrators and end-users to benefit from Hikvision's product range UK CCTV manufacturer Conway Security Products are delighted to announce that they have become a Value-Added Solution Partner (VASP) of Hikvision Digital Technology Co., Ltd. The new agreement formalises a relationship that Conway and Hikvision have been growing for over two years and gives both companies new and exciting opportunities in what is one of the most technically-challenging eras of the CCTV industry. “We are very familiar with the Hikvision range and intend to use our relationship to develop new and complementary products that closely integrate with their product portfolio” said Conway’s co-managing director Ricky Oliver. “Customers are getting an overwhelming amount of technology thrust at them at the moment with IP and HD finally starting to come of age. We see our partnership with Hikvision as helping to get this technology out into the market and making it easier to achieve the results that it was intended to deliver”. Conway’s track record in the CCTV market goes back to 1986 so this is not the first technology revolution the company has seen.The ability to grasp the potential of technology products and produce complementary offerings to turn a good product into a great solution has always been the company’s core strength and this is the platform that the partnership is being built on. “This VASP Program was never built on box-shifting or logistics,” said Hikvision’s Tony Yang. “The phrase ‘Value-Added Solution Partner’ encapsulates everything that this relationship is about. Conway is able to add something to our range and turn products into the solutions that the market needs.” Conway will be part of a group of VASPs in the UK and Europe that will help integrators and end- users benefit from the current and future Hikvision range. Hikvision is a leading developer in CCTV and IP video surveillance and is driving product performance in megapixel and HD technology. Partners such as Conway will be an integral part of taking Hikvision products to probably the most discerning CCTV market in the world.

Conway’s CM230IR and CM230IR-EX deployed at a high-security correctional facility in New South Wales
Conway’s CM230IR and CM230IR-EX deployed at a high-security correctional facility in New South Wales

UK-based manufacturer Conway Security Products have supplied a large number of their custodial corner-mounted cameras as part of a refurbishment and updating project at a high-security correctional facility in New South Wales. The project called for Conway’s CM230IR, the standard corner-mounted camera, plus the external CM230IR-EX which has been fitted in the individual exercise yards attached to each high-security cell. Both the CM230IR and CM230IR-EX feature a day/night camera with a wide-angle lens which delivers exceptional room coverage, minimising any chance of blind spots. Conway supplied the units through their Australian partner Techniche Security & Surveillance. Lee Evans, Techniche’s Managing Director, said: “The fact that Conway produce all their units entirely at their own manufacturing base means they can be extremely responsive to specific requirements on major applications such as this one.  It was important that Conway were able to supply the second unit [the CM230IR-EX ] with a higher level of environmental protection so that the unit could be used externally. ” Lee continued: “By having a common core in terms of the optical components for these two units, the stockholding of spares is simplified. The Conway cameras score highly in terms of ease and speed of installation which are crucial at a prison where disruption to regular activities and engineers’ time on site must be minimised.” The flush-mounted front fascia of the CM230IR described here minimises the risk of the unit being used as a ligature point, a crucial consideration in the custodial sector. In addition to this prison application, the cameras are also being used at juvenile detention centres, custody suites, police premises and immigration detention centres throughout the UK and in Europe. The inclusion of energy-efficient 940nm IR LED illumination ensures that the camera can deliver high-quality pictures regardless of lighting conditions. 940nm IR is invisible to the naked eye, making it highly discreet. Observation of cell occupants who may be in a distressed state can continue for their own protection under dimmed lighting or even in complete darkness. An optional integrated microphone can provide audio monitoring. Sydney-based Techniche provide integrated building management and security-related systems throughout Australia. The company has wide-ranging expertise and products to call on and is able to offer consultative advice, system design and implementation in all aspects of physical security.

CCTV community supports charity golf day at Weston Turville Course
CCTV community supports charity golf day at Weston Turville Course

  The CCTV community raised funds for the Parasol and Mencap projects at a charity golf day held at Weston Turville Course  An annual golf day held at the Weston Turville Course near Aylesbury and supported by the CCTV community raised £2,000 for the Parasol Project and Mencap. The Parasol Project is an Oxford-based charity committed to redressing the balance for disabled and disadvantaged young people experiencing or at risk of social exclusion. Mencap National College, Lufton, is a residential further education college in Somerset which offers courses for students aged 16-25.The golf day is in its eleventh year and has raised over £25,000 in total.  The event was organised by a group of parents and volunteers from sponsoring companies. The sponsors included Conway Security Products, NatWest Bank , Aylesbury Honda, P&H, and Weston Turville Golf Club itself which has been most generous over the years by making the course available and waiving green fees.The event was won by a team captained by Dominic Hare who returned an impressive gross under-par total in the ‘Texas Scramble' format. As usual, Jeremy Rowe of NatWest not only drummed up competitors but played in the competition and acted as emcee. Conway Security Products was a principal sponsor and the security community was well represented by executives, engineers and media.Angela Taylor of the Parasol Project said: "We're extremely grateful for the funds raised by the golfers, and the money has been earmarked for supporting youth initiatives for 13-year-olds and upwards with inclusive activities during term time and school holidays."The PARASOL project was established in 1991 in response to a lack of play and recreation provision for disabled children and young people. Mencap National College, Lufton, provides education and care to young people aged 16 to 25 with a range of learning disabilities. Vocational options at the college include animal care and management, agriculture and horticulture.