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 CBC (Europe) Ltd news

CBC (Europe) GmbH introduces new range of megapixel varifocal lenses
CBC (Europe) GmbH introduces new range of megapixel varifocal lenses

Leading surveillance solutions provider CBC (Europe) GmbH has introduced an exciting new range of high quality megapixel varifocal lenses. These latest Computar lenses enable optical imaging performance from increasingly popular megapixel cameras, maximising their performance in a variety of operational circumstances. The lenses include IR corrected optics, maintaining sharp focus in both day and night modes, and even in otherwise tricky twilight conditions. As well as providing high contrast and sharp images, they ensure precise focus adjustment – an important advantage because setting the focus on megapixel IP cameras can be challenging, especially when facing the limited adjustment ranges and transmission delays that sometimes occur through a network. CBC’s new Computar megapixel varifocal lenses also cover a useful range of focal lengths from super-wide through to telephoto. The AG3Z3112 series, for example, allows users to capture a 105.4° overview in a 16:9 format. Telephoto models in the AG4Z1214 series, meanwhile, are ideal for various outdoor and high ceiling applications. Both manual iris, DC auto iris and P-iris models are available. The P-iris lens, combined with specialised camera software, delivers superior picture quality, enhancing contrast, resolution and depth of field. Other notable features shared by CBC’s new megapixel varifocal lenses include a compact design, built-in slip mount mechanism, and a locking mechanism for zoom and focus rings. “CBC’s new series of Computar megapixel variofocal lenses are the ideal complement for megapixel cameras, enabling users to extract the highest quality images for prevention and detection purposes, and thereby adding considerable value to this camera investment,” says Ken Ota, MD of CBC (Europe) GmbH’s UK operation.

CBC launches a new range of full HD Ganz IP NVR recorders
CBC launches a new range of full HD Ganz IP NVR recorders

Leading surveillance solutions provider CBC (Europe) GmbH has launched its new range of full HD Ganz IP Network Video Recorders (NVRs). Offering four or eight channels, the NVRs provide 1080p high definition quality images along with a free app and CMS software allowing images to be displayed remotely, quickly and easily in quad or full-screen on Apple and Android smartphones and tablets. Supplied in a space saving compact profile, the new Ganz IP NVR recorders work seamlessly with CBC’s PixelPro range of indoor and outdoor IP cameras to provide an optimised image/storage solution. PixelPro cameras connect simply and directly to the NVRs using a single network cable per camera. To improve the ease of installation, the NVR is capable of supplying power to each camera over PoE. CBC’s NR4HL and NR8HL Triplex NVRs (available in 2Tb and 4Tb storage versions) use H.264 compression.  Each camera can be viewed in Live mode and recorded at 25 images per second, offering numerous surveillance recording and monitoring applications both internally and externally.  Multi-site device management is also achievable using the Ganz DMS Lite software supplied free with each NVR. Up to two HDDs can be installed on each NVR. Storage expansion is achieved via e-SATA. “CBC’s cost-effective new NVRs address the increasing demand for network capable image storage and flexible means of monitoring and reviewing that make customers’ access to surveillance systems much easier and time-efficient. They’re also space-efficient and offer solutions for a variety of security-related monitoring and recording applications,” says Ken Ota, MD of CBC (Europe) GmbH’s UK operation.

CBC cameras assists Carynx Wild in protecting and observing wild life
CBC cameras assists Carynx Wild in protecting and observing wild life

CBC supplies C-AllView cameras to monitor activities at a nature reserve in Hampshire Leading surveillance solutions provider CBC (Europe) has assisted natural history/wildlife production company Carynx Wild at two outdoor filming sites, helping to observe and protect potentially vulnerable birds. CBC recently supplied its versatile and optically powerful C-AllView cameras to monitor activities at an RSPB Reserve in north Wales and a nature reserve in Hampshire. Independent specialist Carnyx Wild works with broadcasters including the BBC’s acclaimed Natural History Unit, maker of programmes including Planet Earth and Springwatch/Autumnwatch, as well as clients such as the Forestry Commission and nature reserves around the country – for example, putting real-time and recorded wildlife footage onto websites and viewing screens at visitor centres. Carnyx’s Director and co-founder, Peter Dobson, explains that having become aware of CBC’s system capabilities he discussed the potential for C-AllView’s powerful 36x optical zoom to film animals at the two sites with Regional Sales Manager Mike Barrett. The cameras were required, firstly, to observe birds including guillemots, puffins and razorbills 100m vertically down the cliff face at South Stack Cliffs RSPB Reserve in Holyhead, north Wales. Optically powerful C-AllView cameras to monitor activities at an RSPB Reserve in north Wales and a nature reserve in Hampshire Here, a unit was installed by experienced climbers and mounted on a purpose-built marine-grade stainless mount with transmission cabling to a nearby café and visitor centre. Video images from the camera are also shown live on the internet. “The Reserve and its sea cliffs are a sensitive nesting area for visiting sea birds, but licensed access to these sea cliffs is only permitted between September and February. So after being installed the camera cannot be revisited for seven months,” Peter explains. “It was therefore extremely important that we have a reliable and robust unit for this challenging task, and the C-Allview camera comes into its own for requirements including close-up shots of animals. Dome cameras have horizontal limitations in their field of view and their lenses are difficult to keep clean in these situations, whereas the C-AllView can provide a 360° field of view, has a built-in wiper unit, and is less obtrusive than a PTZ camera. The C-AllView is therefore ideal for this type of filming work and we use the cameras in conjunction with infrared lighting when light levels are low.” Meanwhile, a C-AllView camera is also being used at Hampshire County Council’s 370-acre Titchfield Haven National Nature Reserve, overlooking the Solent, where it’s being used to monitor rare Avocet wader birds in a nesting area on-site. Live video images are shown in the main visitor centre. Commenting on the service provided by CBC, Peter Dobson adds that the company’s customer service and technical dept have proved “really good at resolving any issues we’ve had in the sometimes very tight schedules involved, for example by sending out equipment overnight so that we don’t lose any precious filming time. Mike Barrett has also been proactive, keeping us in touch with equipment developments so that we don’t fall behind on the available technology.”