Body worn video cameras
Reliance Protect, a provider of lone worker solutions, has reinforced its commitment to personal safety by being one of the first to combine the benefits of live audio and video stream functionality, coupled with GPS user location, in a single device. The solution comes in the form of the innovative VB400 body-worn camera, which is designed to enhance lone worker safety through the use of cutting edge features that accelerate response decision making, provide powerful evidence capture, improve the speed of response and prevent incidents from escalating. Audio and video solution Lone worker safety devices and smartphone apps are traditionally audio-only, which often means that alarm receiving centre (ARC) operators have to interpret events as they unfold only through what they can hear. Location information can also be sent via a lone worker safety device or app. To enhance their safety, lone workers are sometimes also given body-worn cameras to act as incident deterrents and to capture powerful evidence, which means that they have to carry two devices. This can be awkward and cumbersome. Reliance Protect has combined live audio, video, and location information for when users want to raise the alarm To bridge that gap, Reliance Protect has combined live audio, video, and location information for when users want to raise the alarm and have the incident monitored and escalated for a response. Furthermore, given that the user may also want to use the camera just to capture video evidence - and not raise an incident to be monitored - the VB400 enables them to just record the audio and video within the body-worn camera element of the product. Need for an easy and compact solution The company’s lone worker services director, Chris Allcard, commented, “Cleaners, security personnel, social workers, traffic wardens, parking attendants, estate agents, healthcare professionals, tradespeople, delivery drivers, postal workers and those employed across the retail sector are just some of those who are at a heightened risk from theft, violence, and assault.” “We recognised the need for a solution that could combine innovative technology, such as integrated live streaming, as well as Global Positioning System (GPS), and Bluetooth functionality, in a rugged, robust, compact, and easy use the device, that enables the user to raise an alarm through an ARC and also gives them the option to just record evidence on the camera without raising an alarm. Our solution provides them with different options.” Video performance and connectivity With best-in-class performance and connectivity, VB400 offers 1080p high-definition video streaming and recording. Its superior battery performance delivers up to 12 hours of continuous recording with pre/post record options to capture interactions leading up to and after an incident. Meanwhile, GPS positioning technology provides location information for mobile users and Bluetooth connectivity with other VB400 cameras to provide a peer-assisted recording. VB400 can stream live footage that can be accessed by authorised individuals VB400 can also stream live footage, which can be accessed by authorised individuals within Reliance Protect’s BS 5979 Category II ARC, where incidents can be monitored as they happen by operators, enabling faster decisions on the most appropriate and effective course of action. The video files are automatically uploaded, stored, and managed securely in the cloud via the Reliance Protect VideoManager portal, where they can also be edited. HD video recording Chris Allcard concluded, “Audio functionality and associated location information has been well established within lone worker safety solutions for many years but combining it with live video presents a far more effective solution for understanding what’s going on before, during, and after an incident.” “Giving the user the option to just record video for evidence, or raise an alarm with a live stream gives the user the best of both worlds. Not only do body-worn cameras offer a more comprehensive way to gather evidence, but they also act as an overt deterrent when an individual exhibits aggressive behaviour.” “What we are doing with the VB400 is gaining a great deal of interest across a diverse range of vertical sectors, particularly as we come out of lockdown and people return to their usual working activities. It represents an excellent example of how the innovative use of technology can provide a greater level of protection.”
Existing CCTV and video monitoring systems are already working well to reduce retail shrinkage and are now being extended to help keep stores ‘COVID Safe’, found a new retail sector study of 111 high street retailers based in the UK, US, Sweden and Norway, carried out by Video Security as a Service (VSaaS) provider AVA Security in March 2021. An array of insights into what value physical retailers’ existing video security systems are detailed in the 15 pages Ava Security retail sector video security trends report 2021, published this week. Video security systems The research revealed that the biggest loss prevention gains from the use of video monitoring in stores were in shoplifting where 58% of retail sector security decision-makers recorded significant reductions in losses from shoplifting as a result of video security and 9% went further to reveal that their video security systems had completely eliminated shoplifting. Nearly half (46%) of retailers reported major reductions in losses linked to vandalism of property Over half (54%) confirmed that their video systems were significantly reducing theft or fraud by staff and contractors. Exactly half reported that in-store CCTV systems were significantly reducing losses from slip and fall insurance claims and 13% confirmed that their video systems had eliminated losses from fraudulent slip and fall claims. Nearly half (46%) of retailers reported major reductions in losses linked to vandalism of property had been achieved through the use of video monitoring and recording. Video security systems One in six retailers (17%) believed that vandalism of their property had been completely eliminated through the use of CCTV. And 41% recorded that ‘damage to goods by our staff’ had been reduced significantly through the use of video security. 39% of retailers reported it takes too long and proves too difficult to find relevant video sequences having uncovered a loss incident. The next most significant factor preventing further loss prevention in this study was the poor performance of their surveillance cameras in low or no light conditions. This was preventing 34% of retailers from reducing shrinkage further. Nearly a third (32%) of retailers’ claimed the fact that their video security systems’ did not offer early warning functionality (which can be provided by good quality audio analytics or video motion detection) was preventing them from reducing shrinkage further. Video monitoring systems The retail sector has been turning to video analytics to help reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission Over a quarter (26%) of retailers admitted that their video monitoring systems don’t work well for loss prevention because the cameras that were installed on-site were originally put in for a different purpose such as remote management of visual merchandising or footfall analysis. The retail sector has been turning to video analytics to help reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission as they open up to more customers. A total of 87% of retail sector decision-makers questioned by Ava Security saw a clear role for their video monitoring systems in supporting safe re-opening of their doors to staff and customers. Nearly half of this group (48%) had already put their existing video monitoring systems to work to help reinforce social distancing measures. A further 39% anticipated doing so over the next 12 months. This means ‘net deployment’ for this purpose was 88%. Onsite video cameras Not far behind was the use of thermal camera-based analytics to help run temperature checks on visitors: 39% of retailers across the four countries in the Ava study had already deployed this capability, while a further 38% predicted to do so in the next 12 months. Only 22% of retail sector respondents had no plans to deploy temperature checking Despite some concerns about the accuracy of these solutions, only 22% of retail sector respondents had no plans to deploy temperature checking via onsite video cameras. The US proved to be the main adopter of temperature checking in retail – with deployment levels almost three times higher than in the UK. Video systems have been adapted to help monitor shopper density levels in high footfall areas within stores. 47% of retailers have already installed this analytics capability, while a further 38% plan to do so within the next 12 months. Facial recognition analytics Despite the controversy associated with the deployment of facial recognition, some 30% of retailers have already deployed facial recognition analytics at the entrances to staff-only areas to enable contactless access control and a further 34% plan to do so over the next 12 months. For the 79% of all retail sector are actively considering Video Security as a Service (VSaaS) options right now. There were many criteria determining provider selection: 91% net considering VSaaS right now agreed with the statement ‘it (the VSaaS provider selected) must allow us to continue using our existing third-party cameras which we have already installed, we don’t want to rip & replace any equipment.’ The desire to hold onto existing security cameras and other equipment through the migration to VSaaS was considered a very important consideration in provider selection by 43% of retail respondents. Video analytics capabilities Not wasting prior investment in on-premise security systems is key to VSaaS provider success Net 90% of retailers considering VSaaS confirmed, ‘It must allow us to view their directly attached cloud cameras alongside our third-party cameras on the same interface.’ The fact that these two factors are so important confirms that not wasting prior investment in on-premise security systems is key to VSaaS provider success. Net 86% of retailers regarded it as important that the VSaaS it selected ‘must enable us to run the latest video analytics capabilities such as occupancy levels for social distance management (in a room), noise analytics (e.g., breaking glass, screaming, yelling, etc.), people and vehicle search, object searching and color searching.’ The fourth most important factor was the cyber security credentials of the selected VSaaS provider, net 84% confirmed that its VSaaS ‘must have very strong cyber security, including end-to-end encryption from the camera to the cloud.’ Cyber security credentials Only marginally behind cyber security credentials came to Video Management Software functionality continuity - a net 83% of retailers specified that their selected VSaaS ‘must allow us to use our existing Video Management Software (VMS) or provide the same functionality as we get from our VMS.’ A net 82% insisted their VSaaS ‘must allow us to continue existing integration with other physical security and safety systems. The Ava Security Retail Sector Video Security Trends Report 2021 provides a wealth of data, graphs and insight linked to how Operations, Facilities Management, Security and IT directors and managers within the retail sector in the US, Norway, Sweden and the UK, are adapting their video security systems in the wake of the pandemic. Increased operational efficiencies It also provides insight into how they are now preparing for the easing of lockdown restrictions It also provides insight into how they are now preparing for the easing of lockdown restrictions. Most states across the USA have already reopened their shops but mask-wearing and social distancing recommendations are still being encouraged in stores across the US and Europe. Vegard Aas, Head of Online Business at Ava Security, commented: “Our findings indicate that retailers, which have been enthusiastic adopters of video security to reduce well-known shrinkage sources and deliver increased operational efficiencies through remote monitoring for example, are now upgrading these systems by adding new video analytics to reduce losses further and promote COVID Safety in stores.” Video security systems “We are also seeing a strong interest from this sector for moving video security systems into the cloud. It makes sense because many retailers have multiple shops which their managers monitor remotely using the in-store cameras.” “Moving video recording and management into the cloud using a VSaaS system could help ensure more efficient access and storage of key video sequences and cut capital expenditure as dedicated PCs running VMSs locally should no longer be needed in each shop in a VSaaS scenario. There are significant savings to be had and efficiencies to be derived if cloud migrations are managed correctly.”
Spectra Logic, a global pioneer in data storage and data management solutions announced a partnership with StorMagic, a company that simplifies storage and security from the edge to the core, to deliver a complete end-to-end active archive for video surveillance and digital evidence management. The joint storage solution combines StorMagic’s ARQvault, the first active intelligent repository to manage and retrieve digital assets using powerful analytics, and Spectra Logic’s award-winning BlackPearl® NAS system and enterprise-class tape libraries to protect large amounts of data in multiple locations for as long as needed. To learn more about the joint solution, register on the company’s website for the webinar entitled, ‘Building a Complete Active Archive Repository’, to be held on Tuesday 17th August at 4 PM BST. Creating storage for video content The global video surveillance market is expected to record high growth over the next several years as organisations and municipalities collect and save petabytes of video footage to enhance public safety, prevent crime and terrorism, thwart theft, mitigate corruption and capture evidence of criminal behaviour for legal purposes. Organisations are also using video surveillance assets to enhance business processes and identify new opportunities. This growth in video surveillance has accelerated the need for efficient, high-capacity storage of raw video content. In addition, growth in media and entertainment content has compelled organisations with hundreds of thousands of hours of digital video, audio, and images to optimise their workflows with storage infrastructures designed for simple retrieval and long-term content repurposing. Modernising storage requirements The simple, scalable solution enables organisations with huge digital storage requirements To address these requirements, the new joint storage solution from StorMagic and Spectra Logic combines StorMagic ARQvault software’s ability to move data automatically to Spectra BlackPearl NAS and Spectra Tape Libraries for nearline and long-term storage and facilitates the fast retrieval of video footage and digital assets when it must be recalled. The simple, scalable solution enables organisations of all sizes with huge digital storage requirements to modernise their security and storage infrastructures for preservation and usage. End-to-end solution “We are excited to partner with StorMagic to provide customers with a storage solution that meets industry requirements,” said Matt Ninesling, Spectra Logic senior director of hardware engineering. “In the case of video surveillance, more and more organisations worldwide are deploying 24/7 surveillance systems with more and higher resolution cameras that require greater storage capacities and faster access to video footage. The joint Spectra and StorMagic solution answer those needs perfectly, providing an end-to-end solution from ingesting of video footage to storage to forever access.” Delivering intelligent storage solutions ”Through this joint solution, StorMagic and Spectra Logic together are delivering intelligent digital asset management, retrieval, analytics, and protection, a collection of our respective products’ best features,” said Brian Grainger, president of StorMagic, Inc. (U.S.), chief revenue officer and board member. “We are excited to deliver this simple, scalable, complete archive repository for video surveillance, digital evidence, and media and entertainment for organisations of any size.”
LENSEC, the provider of IP-based video surveillance management, announces the release of its perspective VMS Version 4.4.1 that will provide users access to integrations with intrusion, access control, and video surveillance companies and the ability to pair critical video data with input sensors from access control and intrusion detection platforms. In consecutive months, LENSEC has released Version 4.4.0 and 4.4.1 to allow customers access to a broad array of new features and integrations within its Unified Security Management Platform. Security management platform Perspective VMS® (PVMS) is the central component of a security management platform, allowing users to access critical security and business operations data via a video-centric interface, pairing live or archived video data feeds with various integrated security or building automation components. The releases of PVMS 4.4 allows users access to new and/or improved integrations with DMP The releases of PVMS 4.4 allows users access to new and/or improved integrations with DMP (Intrusion and Access Control), Open Options’ DNA Fusion Access Control, CredoID Access Control, RS2 Access It! Access Control, and Axis Body Worn Camera Systems. The PVMS 4.4 release also introduces new methods of archive video playback leveraging WebAssembly (Wasm) for large megapixel cameras with higher frame rates, allowing for faster archive playback and review. Several user interface modifications were made as well to improve the overall user experience for novice and advanced users. A complete list of features can be found on LENSEC’s website. Additional body cameras “PVMS 4.4.x allows users an improved opportunity to take advantage of integrated sub-systems, pairing critical video data with input sensors from various access control platforms and intrusion detection,” says LENSEC’s Chief Product Officer, Jeff Kellick. “Of note, the integration with the Axis Body Worn Camera system is a huge benefit to districts or municipalities leveraging video evidence on behalf of their officers and staff with the ability for retrieval and review directly within Perspective VMS.” “This integration also allows for a combination of evidence data points within a single interface. Along with the body camera video, users or operators have side-by-side (synchronised) access to additional body cameras, fixed cameras, PTZ cameras, audio, as well as integrated sensor data, all of which allows for a more complete investigation of events.” Perspective VMS® Version 4.4 is available for download now. Existing users can contact their systems integrators for support or upgrades of their current version.
Amongst the many negative consequences of the pandemic is a rise in violent and abusive behaviour across society. Health workers have experienced it on a regular basis. So too have police officers and public transport workers. Unfortunately, violence and abuse towards shop workers is also endemic in British society. To address this problem which, in truth, has been on the rise since long before the emergence of COVID-19, we need better deterrents. The ability to prosecute these offences is one such deterrent, but just as important is the ability to deescalate situations before they spill over into unacceptable or unlawful behaviour. Major retail customers In both instances, organisations of all sizes are now recognising that the answer could involve greater use of rapidly advancing body worn camera technology. Andy Marsh, the Chief Constable of Avon and Somerset Police, is one of the police officers responsible for introducing body worn cameras to the UK police force, where they are now in widespread use. Andy Marsh is one of the police officers responsible for introducing body worn cameras to the UK police force He explains that “The reason the majority of people don’t speed or drink-drive is that rational human beings weigh up the risk and consequences of breaking the law and getting caught. Body worn cameras help provide appropriate ‘desistance’, especially where there are forward-facing screens so the person interacting with the wearer can see themselves and their behaviour.” Evidence shows that if a forward-facing camera is switched on before the intervention becomes hostile, it will generally lead to a de-escalation – as often as 90% of the time, according to one of our major retail customers. Digital evidence investigations Only a tiny handful of abusive incidents ever translate into arrests and prosecutions. A key issue is a lack of clear evidence – how to get past the usual impasse of one person’s word against the other. Body worn cameras break the deadlock and allow organisations to report incidents to the police with confidence, knowing that they will lead to action. Marsh suggests that “We usually see an earlier admission, an earlier guilty plea and a more appropriate sentence, where body worn camera footage is in play.” The technology has come on in leaps and bounds in recent years. For example, it’s now possible to record high-definition footage on a lightweight device that’s barely the size of a palm. And it’s not just about the evidence organisations gather themselves. Many police forces are looking at ways to make it easier for businesses and the public to collaborate on digital evidence investigations. Body worn cameras This is good for the victims of crime because it means we get the evidence more quickly" “We’ve created an online crime portal in Avon and Somerset which people can use to pass digital evidence and material to us without an officer having to attend their premises. This is good for the victims of crime because it means we get the evidence more quickly and can take action more swiftly to resolve that issue,” adds Marsh. Our body worn cameras can now even support facial recognition thanks to new, smart AI on the devices themselves, which can scan and process faces within a three-metre distance against a pre-defined database of people (which we call a watchlist). Any matches trigger alerts or additional camera activity such as recording and streaming, while the facial recognition data of people not on the watchlist itself is not recorded or saved to assuage privacy concerns. Similar criminal behaviour Where could this technology come in handy? Well, staff at gambling venues or in-store retail workers could undoubtedly benefit from the ability to quickly spot known fraudsters or addicts who have requested that venues refuse their custom. Stewards at mass sporting events could play a key role in helping to identify people who have been banned from attending. The primary reason for using body worn cameras is to increase the safety of frontline workers The primary reason for using body worn cameras is to increase the safety of frontline workers, deescalating confrontations and limiting the use of force. AI-powered facial recognition can also serve this purpose by helping them make better-informed choices about how to handle specific situations. For example, it is a massive advantage to police officers on the beat to understand that the person they are dealing with may have a history of similar criminal behaviour. Facial recognition technology But it’s also an advantage within retail, where aggressive incidents are on the rise and staff need all the help they can get to determine what an appropriate response should be to a particular customer incident. In fact, extensive consultation with our retail, police, transport and gambling customers indicates that introducing facial recognition technology to body worn cameras could be instrumental, not just in helping to prevent crime, but in tracking down vulnerable and missing people too. Of course, facial recognition technology has to be balanced against the need to protect the privacy of ordinary citizens. Video recording using body worn cameras has to be done proportionately – the same is true for the use of facial recognition technology. The technology also has to be compliant with GDPR, Data Protection, the Information Commissioners recommendations and so on. Positive working environment Violent and abusive incidents affect everyone in the immediate vicinity and create a culture of fear Importantly, it should be for a specific, proportionate and justifiable reason which, of course, means it should never be used for indiscriminate mass surveillance. Every organisation using this technology must remember that a facial recognition system match is not proof of someone’s identity, but rather, an indication of likelihood to help inform the user rather than dictate the course of action. Violent and abusive incidents affect everyone in the immediate vicinity and create a culture of fear and apprehension. This is why it’s so important to get on top of the problem – both on a societal and at an organisational level. Body worn cameras have a vital role to play, as an evidence-gathering tool and as a deterrent that empowers the wearer and creates a more positive working environment. Deterring unlawful behaviour One of the critical roles these cameras play is in staff training, providing real-world video evidence that can be used to educate and upskill workers across a variety of industries. Society’s problem with abusive and violent behaviour cannot be solved by technology alone. But with exceptional quality camera footage now a reality, and the possibility of AI technology at the device level in real-time, body worn cameras will only get better at deterring unlawful behaviour and helping to protect hardworking frontline staff. Alasdair Field is CEO of video technology provider Reveal, which works with UK police forces and major brands such as Matalan, JD Sports and Boots to help them improve staff safety, deescalate confrontations and reduce violent and abusive incidents.
Supermarket employees have been the hidden key workers of the past year, keeping shelves stocked and queues under control as panic buying gripped the nation. As a result of being expected to enforce face covering and social distancing regulations, they also been asked to act as de-facto security guards alongside their existing duties. This is problematic as many employees have never had to deal with this kind of responsibility before, let alone received any conflict de-escalation training. In order to maintain the safety and security of their staff retailers must take additional steps to uphold their duty of care, with the NPCC recently specifying that it is the responsibility of retailers ‘to manage entry to their stores and compliance with the law while customers are inside’. Supermarkets in particular need to be aware of this requirement, as the big four recently announced that their employees would now be challenging customers shopping in groups and those not wearing masks. Verbal abuse from the public Crime against retail employees has already been a major issue over the course of the pandemic, confirmed by research from the Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers that found 90% of retail staff in the UK experienced verbal abuse last year. The Co-op has recently been vocal about the effects of the pandemic and lockdown-related frustrations on its employees.90% of retail staff in the UK experienced verbal abuse last year The supermarket reported a 140% increase in crime within its stores over the past year, with many of the 200,000 cases related to verbal and physical abuse experienced by employees. Jo Whitfield, Co-op Food chief executive, confirmed that the number of issues has already increased drastically as a result of staff enforcing COVID-secure guidelines. So, what steps must retailers take to ensure their duty of care remains intact as employees take on new enforcement responsibilities? Introducing real-time surveillance technology to support security guards and shop floor employees alike is vital. Bolstering front line defences Security guards posted at supermarket entrances are the first line of defence against shoppers determined to break the rules. However, they are now being pulled in multiple directions with queues to monitor and occupancy to manually keep track of, along with the usual security alarms to respond to. With one person usually posted at the entrance at any one time it’s simply impossible to have eyes everywhere, which is where automated video surveillance comes in. COVID-specific technologies, such as mask detection and occupancy management systems, are now the golden bullet to retail safety and security.Mask detection and occupancy management surveillance tools can automatically alert a shopper Mask detection and occupancy management surveillance tools can automatically alert a shopper whether or not they are allowed to enter the store on their approach to the door. The system surveys the person and a screen will automatically display different instructions depending on the situation: whether they must put a mask on before they enter, wait until capacity is low enough to enable social distancing or, if the previous criteria are fulfilled, that they are free to enter. COVID-secure safety This stand-off technology minimises the need for contact between security personnel and shoppers, allowing security guards to complete their usual duties, safe in the knowledge that the store is being managed in a COVID-secure way. With a hands-off approach enabled by surveillance technology, the potential for tense confrontation is greatly diminished as customers will usually comply to the reminder shown to them and put on a mask or wait without further prompting from staff. With security personnel able to better focus their attention on the stubborn rule-breakers,It is crucial that retailers choose a solution embedded in real-time connectivity this responsibility will no longer land with staff on the shop floor who are often ill-equipped to deal with this situation. It is crucial that retailers choose a solution embedded in real-time connectivity that will allow all store entrances to be screened simultaneously. Nobody can be in multiple places at once, but this connectivity allows alerts to be streamed instantly to any connected device that can be monitored by just one employee, meaning they can review the alerts that require their attention without needing to be physically present or re-tasked away from their day-to-day duties. Instant reassurance with body worn tech As a customer-facing role, there can be no guarantee that shop workers will never experience a potentially violent confrontation with a customer, which is where the presence of live streaming body worn cameras can help. While they may not always be trained to de-escalate a risky situation, being able to discreetly call for assistance can provide the reassurance employees need to feel safe and supported at all times. If an employee asks a customer to put a mask on while they’re in the store or step back from another shopper and the situation turns abusive – verbally or physically – a live streaming-enabled body worn camera can be triggered to stream a live audio and video feed back to a central control room manned by trained security personnel.A live streaming-enabled body worn camera can be triggered This real-time footage gives security staff exceptional situational awareness, allowing them to fully assess the situation and decide on the best course of action to support the employee in distress, whether that is going to the scene to diffuse the situation or contacting the police in more serious circumstances. Bolstering front line security This goes one step further than record-only body worn cameras, the capabilities of which these next generation devices match and exceed. Record-only cameras are well-suited to provide after-the-fact evidence if a customer interaction turns sour, but they do little to provide reassurance to out of depth employees in the moment. The duty of care grocery retailers must provide to their employees has never been more important, with staff taking on new mask and social distancing enforcement responsibilities and managing interactions with frustrated customers. Bolstering front line security and giving staff extra reassurances with the introduction of real-time video surveillance technology is a crucial step for retailers striving to keep employees and shoppers safe during these challenging times.
This year has been characterised by uncertainty and extraordinary strain, which has fallen heavily on all manner of key workers. Alongside our celebrated healthcare professionals, carers and the emergency services, those working in essential retail have proved themselves to be the backbone of our society during this challenging period. As people try to grasp onto normality and cope with the unexpected changes taking place in every aspect of their lives – including the way they are allowed to shop – it’s no surprise that tensions are now running higher than ever. Retail crime was already on the rise before the pandemic struck, with the British Retail Consortium finding that at least 424 violent or abusive incidents were reported every day last year. The Co-op recently reported its worst week in history in terms of abuse and antisocial behaviour, with 990 incidents of antisocial behaviour and verbal abuse suffered by staff between 20th and 26th July. 990 incidents of antisocial behaviour and verbal abuse suffered by staff between 20th and 26th July To manage the increased risks currently faced by retail employees, businesses must adopt new initiatives to safeguard their staff. Growing numbers of retailers including the Co-op and Asda have equipped their in-store and delivery staff with body worn cameras to enhance safety and provide them with peace of mind, as well as to discourage altercations from taking place at all. Traditional tech Body worn cameras are nothing new and have been used within the law enforcement industry for years. Traditional devices are record-only and can be used to record video evidence able to be drawn upon ‘after the fact’ should it be needed as an objective view of an event and who was involved. These devices can also be used to discourage violent or verbally abusive incidents from occurring in the first place. If a customer is approached by an employee, they are likely to think twice about retaliating if they know their interaction is being recorded. This stance is supported by research from the University of Cambridge that found the use of body worn cameras improves the behaviour of the wearer and those in its vicinity, as both are aware of the fact it can act as an objective ‘digital witness’ to the situation. However, record-only body worn cameras do leave much to be desired. In fact, the same University of Cambridge study found that, in the case of law enforcement, assaults against officers wearing these devices actually increased by 15%. This could be attributed to those being recorded being provoked by the presence of the camera or wanting to destroy any evidence it may hold. Out with the old, in with the new Live-streaming enabled body worn cameras provide the benefits of record-only devices and more Fortunately, there is a better option. Live-streaming enabled body worn cameras provide the benefits of record-only devices and more. Live-streaming capabilities are able to take ‘after the fact’ evidence one step further and provide the wearer with ‘in the moment’ safety and reassurance. With these devices, if a retail employee is subject to a volatile situation with a customer, they can trigger live video to be streamed back to a central command and control room where security officers will be able to take the most appropriate course of action with heightened and real-time situational awareness. Having access to all of the information they could need instantly will enable security personnel to decide whether to attend the scene and diffuse the situation themselves or to take more drastic action if needed, before any harm has been caused. This capability is especially valuable for lone workers who don’t have access to instant support – such as delivery drivers, in-store or warehouse staff and distribution operators to name a few. The pandemic has also doubled the number of consumers who do their regular grocery shopping online, leading to potential supply and demand issues resulting in unhappy customers. Live-streaming body worn cameras rely on uninterrupted mobile connectivity to excel, as they are not connected to any physical infrastructure. To minimise the risk of the live video stream buffering or freezing – a real possibility for delivery drivers who can be working anywhere in the country – retailers should look to deploy devices capable of streaming in real-time, with near zero latency footage, even when streaming over poor or constrained networks. To get the most out of their tech, retailers should also look to implement devices that can be multi-use and can be deployed as a body worn camera or a dashcam to record any incidents that may occur whilst driving. Novel threats This year brought about a new threat that retailers must protect their staff from While not to the same extent, retail workers have always been subject to a level of potential physical or verbal abuse. However, this year brought about a new threat that retailers must protect their staff from. The COVID-19 pandemic has been the cause of many of the new threats facing employees, but is also a threat in itself. To mitigate this, retailers should look to introduce remote elevated temperature detection cameras in their stores, which analyse body temperature and sound an alarm when somebody’s temperature exceeds a certain threshold – as this could indicate the presence of a potential fever. When deployed on the same cellular network as live-streaming enabled body cameras, these tools can be linked to a central command centre and the alarms viewed remotely from any connected device. This means a network of cameras can be monitored efficiently from a single platform. Ensuring the protection and security of retail workers has come to the fore this year. With the risk of infection in high-footfall locations, such as supermarkets, and the added pressure that comes with monitoring and enforcing safety guidelines, retail staff are having to cope with a plethora of new challenges. Retailers should adopt innovative technologies within their stores and delivery trucks, such as live-streaming enabled body cameras and remote elevated temperature screening solutions, to minimise the threat faced by their employees and provide them with instant support and reassurance should it be required.
Artificial intelligence (AI) is more than a buzzword. AI is increasingly becoming part of our everyday lives, and a vital tool in the physical security industry. In 2020, AI received more attention than ever, and expanded the ways it can contribute value to physical security systems. This article will revisit some of those development at year-end, including links back to the originally published content. In the security market today, AI is expanding the use cases, making technologies more powerful and saving money on manpower costs - and today represents just the beginning of what AI can do for the industry. What it will never do, however, is completely take the place of humans in operating security systems. There is a limit to how much we are willing to turn over to machines - even the smartest ones. Beyond video analytics "Apply AI to security and now you have an incredibly powerful tool that allows you to operate proactively rather than reactively," said Jody Ross of AMAG Technology, one of our Expert Roundtable Panelists. AI made its initial splash in the physical security market by transforming the effectiveness of video analytics AI made its initial splash in the physical security market by transforming the effectiveness of video analytics. However, now there are many other applications, too, as addressed by our Expert Panel Roundtable in another article. Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning provide useful tools to make sense of massive amounts of Internet of Things (IoT) data. By helping to automate low-level decision-making, the technologies can make security operators more efficient. Biometrics with access control Intelligent capabilities can expand integration options such as increasing the use of biometrics with access control. AI can also help to monitor mechanics and processes. Intelligent systems can help end users understand building occupancy and traffic patterns and even to help enforce physical distancing. These are just a few of the possible uses of the technologies - in the end, the sky is the limit. AI is undoubtedly one of the bigger disrupters in the physical security industry, and adoption is growing at a rapid rate. And it’s not just about video analytics. Rather, it is data AI, which is completely untapped by the security industry. Bottom line: AI can change up your security game by automatically deciphering information to predict the future using a wide range of sources and data that have been collected, whether past, present, and future. That’s right. You can look into the future. Smarter perimeter protection Now, Intrusion Detection (Perimeter Protection) systems with cutting-edge, built-in AI algorithms to recognise a plethora of different object types, can distinguish objects of interest, thus significantly decreasing the false-positive intrusion rate. The more advanced AI-based systems enable the users to draw ROIs based on break-in points, areas of high-valuables, and any other preference to where alerts may be beneficial. AI Loitering Detection can be used to receive alerts on suspicious activity outside any given store Similarly, AI Loitering Detection can be used to receive alerts on suspicious activity outside any given store. The loitering time and region of interest are customisable in particular systems, which allows for a range of detection options. Smart security is advancing rapidly. As AI and 4K rise in adoption on smart video cameras, these higher video resolutions are driving the demand for more data to be stored on-camera. AI and smart video promise to extract greater insights from security video. Meeting urban needs Complex, extensive camera networks will already require a large amount of data storage, particularly if this is 24/7 monitoring from smart video-enabled devices. Newer edge computing will play an important role in capturing, collecting, and analysing data. There are many more types of cameras being used today, such as body cameras, dashboard cameras, and new Internet of Things (IoT) devices and sensors. Video data is so rich nowadays, you can analyse it and deduce a lot of valuable information in real-time, instead of post-event. In smart cities applications, the challenge of identifying both physical and invisible threats to meet urban citizens’ needs will demand a security response that is proactive, adaptable and dynamic. Optimise security solutions As we look ahead to the future of public safety, it’s clear that new technologies, driven by artificial intelligence (AI), can dramatically improve the effectiveness of today’s physical security space. For smart cities, the use of innovative AI and machine learning technologies have already started to help optimise security solutions. In sports stadium applications, AI’s role in getting fans and spectators back after the COVID pandemic is huge, through capabilities such as social distance monitoring, crowd scanning/metrics, facial recognition, fever detection, track and trace and providing behavioural analytics. Technologies such as AI-powered collaboration platforms now work alongside National Leagues, Franchises and Governing Bodies to implement AI surveillance software into their CCTV/surveillance cameras. AI surveillance software In many ways, it’s the equivalent of a neighbourhood watch programme made far more intelligent through the use of AI This is now creating a more collaborative effort from the operations team in stadiums, rather than purely security. AI surveillance software, when implemented into the surveillance cameras can be accessed by designated users on any device and on any browser platform. One of the biggest advantages of using AI technology is that it’s possible to integrate this intelligent software into building smarter, safer communities and cities. Essentially, this means developing a layered system that connects multiple sensors for the detection of visible and invisible threats. Integrated systems mean that threats can be detected and tracked, with onsite and law enforcement notified faster, and possibly before an assault begins to take place. In many ways, it’s the equivalent of a neighbourhood watch programme made far more intelligent through the use of AI. Fighting illicit trade Using technology in this way means that thousands of people can be screened seamlessly and quickly, without invading their civil liberties or privacy. AI’s ability to detect visible or invisible threats or behavioural anomalies will prove enormously valuable to many sectors across our global economy. Revolutionary AI-driven technologies can help to fight illicit trade across markets. AI technologies in this specific application promise to help build safer and more secure communities in the future. AI can support the ongoing fight against illicit trade on a global scale in a tangible way. For financial transactions at risk of fraud and money laundering, for example, tracking has become an increasing headache if done manually. As a solution to this labour-intensive process, AI technology can be trained to follow all the compliance rules and process a large number of documents - often billions of pages of documents - in a short period of time.
Axis Communications has introduced a body-worn camera solution, which the company says represents a natural extension of their corporate vision, business strategy and core competence. The new body-worn cameras and other elements of the system will provide Axis new opportunities to grow by tapping into existing and new customers. The fast-growing body-worn camera market is an attractive one, and Axis sees opportunities to extend the use of body-worn cameras beyond the current core market of police and corrections officers. Private security applications for the technology include healthcare, education, banking, public venues, retail, logistics, transportation and places of worship. The new body-worn camera system was designed with Axis partners and ecosystem in mind, says Martin Gren, Founder and Director of New Projects at Axis. “We try to make it fit with existing customers.” Deploying and using the system The new body-worn camera system was designed with Axis partners and ecosystem in mind Gren says the system is easy to deploy and use. The Axis W100 camera provides 1080p images, wide dynamic range (WDR) and has dual microphones, operating 12 hours on a single charge. GPS/GNSS global satellite navigation provides location, and a six-axis gyroscope and accelerometer offer additional data beyond the video image. For example, sensors might be triggered in some situations to initiate recording. One-bay (Axis W700) or eight-bay (Axis W701) docking stations enable high-speed supervised data offloading and battery charging, and a system controller (Axis W800) provides a central point for integration and management. Use of Zipstream compression technology saves on bandwidth and storage. Video cannot be accessed in the field, but only when a camera has been docked. There are many layers of security, and encryption protects all data used in the system from being accessed by outside agents. The USB interface cannot be connected to an ordinary computer but only to the docking station. Open standards Open standards ensure easy integration with video management systems and/or evidence management systems, whether on-premises or in the cloud. At the time of release, the Axis body-worn camera system is already integrated with Milestone XProtect, Genetec Security Center, and Axis Camera Station VMSs. It is also integrated with the Genetec Clearance cloud-based evidence management system. An application programming interface (API) will facilitate additional integrations over time. The body-worn cameras will be sold through the current Axis channels The body-worn cameras will be sold through the current Axis channels of distributors, systems integrators and resellers. The camera is part of the Axis “ecosystem,” which includes the company’s familiar network cameras as well as recent additions such as access control, network audio systems (including loud speakers), intercom door stations, a radar detector and other Internet of Things (IoT) devices. “The more things you integrate, the more value you add to customers,” said Gren. The new body-worn camera systems are core products for Axis; they are not made by another original equipment manufacturer (OEM) and merely sold under the Axis label. “When we decided to do body-worn cameras, OEMing was not an option,” said Gren. “Instead we took some experienced Axis engineers and a bunch of new ones to develop this product line to ensure the same Axis quality and compatibility.” Introducing the new product The body-worn camera system was unveiled remotely in a press conference webinar; the original plan was to introduce the new product at ISC West, which was cancelled to minimise spread of the novel coronavirus. In addition to announcing the new product, the Axis executives provided commentary and insight into the ongoing coronavirus crisis. “The security industry is a close-knit community that is connected in more ways than one,” said Fredrik Nilsson, Axis Vice President of the Americas. “We are all in this together. The industry has always exemplified resiliency, ingenuity and vision to address such challenges.” We are all in this together. The industry has always exemplified resiliency, ingenuity and vision" “There is some disruption in the Axis supply chain, but we have a broad partner-based supply chain when it comes to our sub-suppliers, our seven global CLCs (Configuration and Logistics Centers) and the distributors who keep inventory for integrators,” said Nilsson in the March 18th press call. “There is some stress on some components, but things are working relatively well under the circumstances. We are monitoring it on a day-to-day basis, but so far we have been able to hold things up very well.” Gren offered a comment on the possible use of thermal cameras (which Axis makes) to measure body temperature during the COVID-19 crisis: “When we designed our thermal cameras, that was a common question,” he said. “But in general, it is difficult to use a thermal camera to get an accurate reading. We have one model – the Q2901 – that is a temperature-accurate thermal camera, and if you look straight into the camera, it is accurate to around 1° F. However, there are more efficient ways to [measure temperature]. In general, it’s not a business application I would recommend.”
Whether it is video analytic platforms to monitor traffic patterns or cameras deployed to help law enforcement ensure public safety, many cities are looking at advancements in video technology. Upgrade costs and technology compatibility issues are often front-and-centre when it comes to blending new technology with existing infrastructure. For example, if the city law enforcement officials want to improve video camera image quality, which can improve the evidentiary value of footage in prosecutions, they may look at newer HD or IP-based video systems. Upgrading to a hybrid DVR system Applications include perimeter monitoring, public parking, city transportation, square/town safety To stretch a tight budget, a migration plan to an IP-based camera system could be phased in over time by centering the upgrade on a new hybrid DVR system. This way, both existing analogue and newer IP-based cameras can be hooked into the system. For example, Hikvision’s Smart City Solutions include systems for government services, transportation and traffic management, or any combinations of these. Applications include perimeter monitoring, public parking, city transportation, square/town safety and temporary surveillance. Data capture form to appear here! Heart of City strategy Dahua Technology, a video-centric smart IoT solution and service provider, has introduced its ‘Heart of City (HOC)’ strategy, which is in line with the top-level design experience from hundreds of city projects. The strategy is based on the maturity of five technologies – artificial intelligence (AI), big data, cloud computing, IoT and 5G. The combination will enable the evolution of smart city 3.0 and bring great changes to our life, according to Dahua. A 300-plus camera city centre video surveillance scheme in the UK city of Lincoln has been installed and commissioned using Dahua's cameras, monitors and switching equipment A 300-plus camera city centre video surveillance scheme in the UK city of Lincoln has been installed and commissioned using cameras, monitors and switching equipment from Dahua Technology. The design of the new all-wireless encrypted system was based around delivering flexible technology, reducing the total cost of ownership, ease of installation, lower maintenance requirements, smart edge analytics and remote connectivity. Future-proof radio network design Environmentally friendly aspects of the project included specifying lower-energy equipment, integrating remote support and recycling hardware wherever possible. The installation of the new IP full HD system and network is part of Lincoln’s smart city strategy – Vision 2020 – which seeks to harness new technologies to improve the lives of citizens. One of the results is the provision of free Wi-Fi in the city, working alongside the Dahua cameras using the same IP wireless network. Wearables are another new aspect of city surveillance system. For example, FLIR Systems, Inc. has announced FLIR TruWITNESS, a wearable sensor platform designed for city-level security and public safety operations. TruWITNESS combines video, audio, location data, Internet of Things (IoT) capabilities, and cloud and management software in one solution, allowing organisations to reach a new level of situational awareness. TruWITNESS is worn on an individual’s body or mounted inside vehicles and is designed for any public safety organisation that requires on-scene, real-time mobile surveillance TruWITNESS is designed for any public safety organisation that requires on-scene, real-time mobile surveillance. Worn on an individual’s body or mounted inside vehicles, TruWITNESS includes visible-video, audio, global navigation satellite system (GNSS), gyroscope, accelerometer and magnetometer sensors. These sensors combine to send alerts and stream data to a central command centre in real-time to ensure full situational awareness and global event handling. Featuring FLIR Neighbor Aware inter-device connectivity, TruWITNESS acts as an IoT device, triggering nearby TruWITNESS devices, fixed and motorised Pan-Tilt-Zoom (PTZ) security cameras, and other connected sensors to act upon an alarm event. TruWITNESS becomes a key component of FLIR Systems’ Video Management System, United VMS, which command centres use to manage video surveillance. United VMS combines video, audio, and other related data and makes it available for real-time situation management and forensic purposes. Video analytics for crowd monitoring Crowd monitoring video analytics solutions continuously monitor vast areas instantly alerting police of any overcrowding areas. Qognify’s crowd monitoring video analytics solution was successfully used during the Maratha Morcha in the city of Kolhapur, India, on October 15th, 2016. The system monitored approximately one million protestors through 165 cameras installed across city. Smart threshold alerts were streamed directly into the control room while the crowd was building up, so that action could be taken before the crowd density reached dangerous levels, alleviating crowd safety and stability. Crowd monitoring video analytics solutions monitor vast areas instantly alerting police of any overcrowding areas At the core of the solution is Situator, Qognify’s advanced PSIM/Situation Management solution, which manages a myriad of security systems and sensors, including Qognify’s video management solution, from a newly built state-of-the-art Command and Control Center. Security operators and officials have advanced situational awareness of what is happening in their city and where. Automated, pre-defined Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) were designed, in the local language Marathi, for handling routine security incidents as well as disaster management, ensuring that the most effective response is initiated, and procedures are executed in a consistent manner. Maintaining law, order and safety Qognify also implemented its Safe City solution in Navi Mumbai, a planned township that was established to handle the population overflow from the overcrowded and ever-growing city of Mumbai, India. Together with CIDCO (City and Industrial Development Corporation, the agency established for managing the new city) and system integrator WIPRO, Qognify designed an integrated and holistic solution that helps Navi police to maintain law, order and safety. Qognify’s Video Management Solution controls hundreds of surveillance cameras As a planned township, Navi Mumbai officials have the benefit of operating in a modern environment, allowing them to maximise Qognify’s Safe City solution. The Qognify Situator is an advanced Situation Management platform, and Qognify’s Video Management Solution controls the hundreds of surveillance cameras throughout the city. Role of standards in smart cities “Standards can assist in successfully deploying a comprehensive [safe cities] system with multiple technologies into a single, cohesive entity,” said Per Björkdahl, Chair of the ONVIF Steering Committee. “With the ability to integrate various sensors and data from many different devices synthesised through one interface, government officials and law enforcement are afforded a more complete picture of their city’s security.” Deployment of facial recognition technology Live video streaming within the smart and safe city’s infrastructure means video’s capabilities can go beyond simple evidence recording and evolve into a tool that allows operations teams to monitor and remediate against incidents as they are happening. Facial recognition technology can be added on to any video surveillance camera that is recording at a high quality This can be taken one step further with the deployment of facial recognition via live streaming video. Facial recognition technology can be added on to any video surveillance camera that is recording at a high enough quality to identify faces. The technology works by capturing video, streaming the live video back to a control centre and matching faces against any watch lists that the control centre owns. Importantly, the data of people who aren’t on watch lists is not stored by the technology. This technology can work to make the city safer in a number of ways. For example, facial recognition could spot a known drug dealer in a city centre where they weren’t supposed to be, or facial recognition could identify if a group of known terror suspects were visiting the same location at the same time, and this would send an alert to the police. Read parts one and three of our Smart Cities miniseries.
Digital Barriers, a globally renowned provider of edge-intelligent surveillance and security technologies, reveals its collaboration with the Future Farms Cymru project, run by North Wales Police. Real-time surveillance solutions Digital Barriers has equipped a farm in North Wales with its real-time surveillance solutions, to demonstrate the role that sophisticated technologies can play in cutting the cost of rural crime, estimated by the National Farmers Union to have reached 54 million pounds in 2019. Rural areas and farmland can be inherently difficult environments to secure. However, Digital Barriers’ scalable and flexible solutions are designed to work in demanding conditions, such as remote and vulnerable locations. AI-based edge analytics Digital Barriers’ video streaming capability and AI-based edge analytics can provide reliable and secure monitoring Proven and trusted within the military and defence domain, Digital Barriers’ state-of-the-art video streaming capability and AI-based edge analytics can provide reliable and secure monitoring, thereby protecting people, places and assets. The first technology being showcased as part of Future Farms Cymru project is a live streaming body worn camera for the enhanced protection of lone workers. If an incident occurs, the wearer can press the urgent assistance button, which transmits video and a live GPS location back to a designated monitoring centre, providing immediate response. EdgeVis Shield The second is EdgeVis Shield, a combination of easy-to-deploy ground sensors that can be used to secure vast perimeters, including farmland containing high value assets. The autonomous system automatically detects when irregular behaviour occurs around a perimeter, sending alerts and live video, if a trespasser or vehicle approaches. PC Dewi Evans of the North Wales Police Rural Crime Team commented on the announcement, “In recent years, we are increasingly seeing rural communities and businesses being targeted by criminals. Therefore, it is vital that rural businesses employ the right security methods to protect their assets. Criminals need to know that the farm they’re targeting could be equipped with this cutting-edge technology and they will be almost certainly caught.” Countering rise in rural crime Neil Hendry, Vice President EMEA at Digital Barriers, said, “I am happy that our technology is being used on the front line in the fight against rural crime. The COVID-19 pandemic has adversely affected businesses of all shapes and sizes, with farmers struggling to protect themselves against criminal activity.” Neil Hendry adds, “Future Farms Cymru is an important initiative, and we are delighted to be able help shape and support the future food and farming policy, with our robust video surveillance technology.”
Co-op, a large consumer co-operative in the UK and one of the largest retailers in the country, is rolling out an integrated body-worn video solution from Motorola Solutions to front-line colleagues, with a focus on further increasing safety in-store against a background of rising retail crime in the industry. The Co-op has seen in-store crime increase by more than 140% year-on-year, despite communities recognising the critical role played by retail workers in society - true frontline workers in the days of a global pandemic. The number of violent incidents also hit record levels with 1,350 attacks having been experienced by Co-op shop workers in the first six months of 2020. Keeping colleagues safe The retailer warns of a crime and violence epidemic and its targeted deployment of a body-worn video solution forms part of an ongoing commitment to invest a further £70M over the next three years in innovative technology to keep colleagues safe. Co-op will equip front-line staff with more than 1,000 Motorola Solutions VT100 body-worn cameras in around 250 stores initially, with the ability to stream video in real-time to the Security Operations Centre of Co-op security partner, Mitie. The footage is used to identify criminals and provide evidence to secure prosecution. The VT100 body-worn camera from Motorola Solutions can be worn in standby mode for up to six months, preserving battery for instances when Co-op store colleagues feel threatened by aggressive or violent behaviour. The cameras are operated by a simple one-push activation, instantly recording footage to the camera itself, and streaming live video to the security operations centre, allowing for a quick response from security personnel or police. Cloud-based software The cameras are supported by cloud-hosted VideoManager software The cameras are supported by cloud-hosted VideoManager software, which enables secure and efficient camera allocation, user administration and incident management. With security features such as comprehensive audit-trails, encryption, configurable retention policies and RFID camera allocation, this integrated solution ensures footage and incidents are dealt with efficiently and securely. As part of its Safer Colleagues, Safer Communities campaign, Co-op is also building awareness and support for MP Alex Norris’ “Assault on Shop Workers Bill” which has now seen its second reading in Parliament postponed until September. The Bill states that because shop workers have responsibilities to uphold the law on age-restricted products they should be afforded greater protection in carrying out those public duties. Retail crime A knife was the most commonly used weapon (43%) with axes, hammers and syringes also used to attack In its 2020 Crime Report, the Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) found that a quarter of violent incidents resulted in injury, with a weapon used in almost 20% of occurrences. A knife was the most commonly used weapon (43%) with axes, hammers and syringes also used to attack or threaten shop workers. In 2019, Co-op funded research into retail crime, with the hard-hitting findings reporting that shop workers were showing signs of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Co-op has committed a further £70M over the next three years in innovative technology to keep colleagues safer, it has introduced SmartWater Fog Cannons, the latest remote monitored iCCTV, body cameras and, communication headsets for all frontline colleagues. Protection for shop workers Cheryl Houghton, Co-op Retail Security Manager, said, “Shop workers play an essential role serving communities, yet they have to contend with unprecedented levels of violence and abuse on a daily basis. As a community retailer we see the impact of social issues in our stores. I have never seen such high levels of violence and abuse, it’s a societal issue that all retailers are concerned about and it’s having lasting effects on the lives of shop workers - both mentally and physically. It is not part of the job to be verbally abused, threatened or attacked and we’re determined to make sure it isn’t. Calling for greater protection for shop workers carrying out public duties and for the root causes of crime in communities to be addressed.” Body-worn videos in commercial organisations Richie McBride, Director of Business Operations, Video & Analytics at Motorola Solutions UK, said, “Body-worn video is becoming a critical element in commercial organisations’ strategy to keep their employees safe. As a company focused on mission-critical solutions, we provide our commercial customers with the right tools to help them enhance their operational efficiency, responsiveness and safety. We are proud to partner with one of the UK’s largest retailers in its work to further improve the shopping experience and enhance safety for both shoppers and staff.”
NICE announced that a consortium of four UK police forces (Hampshire Constabulary, Thames Valley Police, Surrey Police and Sussex Police), operating as the South East Regional Integrated Policing Programme (SERIP), has signed a contract with NICE to deploy the NICE Investigate Digital Evidence Management Solution (DEMS). SERIP will roll out NICE Investigate to more than 12,000 officers to streamline investigations and address the challenges of growing digital evidence. “Having had the opportunity to pilot NICE Investigate in the four forces, we could see the system in action and realise the benefits for our investigations and investigators. 92% of our officers said it would make their investigation more effective,” said a spokesperson from SERIP. “NICE Investigate will be transformational for us, not only in terms of time savings but also through improved policing outcomes that will ultimately reduce threats, harm and risk to our communities.” Interview recording systems NICE Investigate will also make it much easier for SERIP forces to collect CCTV video for cases Running on the secure Microsoft Azure cloud, NICE Investigate is a one-stop solution for automating manual processes around the collection, management, analysis and sharing of all types of digital evidence. NICE Investigate will seamlessly integrate with the four forces’ records management, body-worn video and interview recording systems so investigators can automatically correlate and gather evidence through a single login. NICE Investigate will also make it much easier for SERIP forces to collect CCTV video for cases. Investigators can instantly pull up a list of cameras within an incident radius and send off a request to registered businesses located within that geographic area. Any uploaded video is automatically transcoded to a useable format and securely stored in the Microsoft Azure cloud. Driving digital transformation “With SERIP now rolling out NICE Investigate, we are providing cutting-edge delivery to an increasing number of forces for their day-to-day digital evidence management and digital transformation, ensuring investigations and evidence sharing are match fit for the digital age,” said Chris Wooten, Executive Vice President, NICE. “NICE Investigate is fast becoming the defacto standard for driving digital transformation in policing across the UK and is gaining momentum around the world.”
Body Worn Cameras (BWCs) are transforming policing and security around the globe, helping to create new connected officers who can stream video, access information and collaborate in real-time enabling them to operate safely and more efficiently in the field. Richie McBride, Managing Director of BWC experts Edesix, says "BWCs are now built for a connected world and are being used by officers on the front line to help prevent both criminal and anti-social behaviour when out on patrol.” Importance of body worn cameras in policing Innovative solutions driving creation of connected officers who can stream and access information in real-time He adds, "Technology has transformed policing and security in recent years. New innovative solutions have driven the creation of new connected officers who can stream, access information and collaborate in real-time. BWC captured footage not only provides greater transparency of interactions with the public, but also significantly increases early guilty pleas and saves officers valuable time as they often do not need to attend court”. Richie further said, "Police officers have always been connected, either to the public and communities they serve, or with their colleagues on the street and in the control room. They have shared information and generated insights to help address common problems and protect those with common vulnerabilities. However, digital technology has now enhanced these connections, enabling officers to feel more empowered, supported and secure." VideoBadges enhance police personnel VideoBadges have been utilised by police forces across the UK for some time now. Police forces, such as the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI), have utilised our BWCs since 2016 to enhance the security of both officers and the general public, and to improve training and best practice. There are now 2,500 cameras being used by over 7,000 officers covering approximately 173,000 incidents each year in Northern Ireland. The BWCs are being utilised by Local Policing Teams, Neighbourhood Policing Teams, Tactical Support Groups, Roads Policing Units, Dog Section, District Support Teams and Armed Response Units. Importance of good video evidence Body Worn Video has the potential to improve the quality of evidence provided by police officers" PSNI Superintendent David Moore adds, "Video evidence puts the victims of crime first. The pilot of this technology in Foyle district demonstrated how Body Worn Video has the potential to improve the quality of evidence provided by police officers and thereby increase the number of offenders brought to justice. Video evidence provides a compelling account of events and enables the raw emotion and action from a scene to be replayed in the courts in a manner that could never be captured in a witness statement.” He adds, "It also supports accountability and transparency, both of which are key elements in increasing public confidence in policing. The introduction of this new technology is the latest example of our commitment to these principles as we continue to work together with the community to keep people safe." Head-mounted cameras Armed response and firearms teams are also being equipped with head-mounted cameras due to the fact that chest-mounted cameras could potentially obstruct an officer's view during firearms use. The Metropolitan Police recently began rolling-out 1000 head-mounted cameras, with West Yorkshire Police and North Wales Police following suit.
Round table discussion
2019 was a big year for the Expert Panel Roundtable. The range of topics expanded, and we had more participation from more contributors than ever before. In closing out the year of contemplative discussions, we came across some final observations to share. They can serve both as a postscript for 2019 and a teaser for a whole new year of industry conversations in our Expert Panel Roundtable in 2020.
Among its many uses and benefits, technology is a handy tool in the fantasy world of movie and television thrillers. We all know the scene: a vital plot point depends on having just the right super-duper gadget to locate a suspect or to get past a locked door. In movies and TV, face recognition is more a super power than a technical function. Video footage can be magically enhanced to provide a perfect image of a license plate number. We have all shaken our heads in disbelief, and yet, our industry’s technical capabilities are improving every day. Are we approaching a day when the “enhanced” view of technology in movies and TV is closer to the truth? We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: How much has the gap closed between the reality of security system capabilities and what you see on TV (or at the movies)?
Body-worn cameras are becoming more common every day, driven both by needs of the marketplace and technology developments. However, questions remain about the usefulness of the devices, and their future role in promoting safety and security. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: What are the challenges of body-worn cameras for the security industry?