The sensor solutions provider, HENSOLDT supports the association Lachen helfen e.V., a private initiative of German soldiers to help children in war and crisis areas. HENSOLDT’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Thomas Muller handed over a symbolic cheque for a donation of 8,000 Euros to the Chairman of Lachen helfen e.V., Lieutenant Colonel (ret.) Roderich Thien. Since 2018, HENSOLDT has been a supporting member of Lachen helfen e.V. with an annual donation of 10,000 Euros. Under the patron...
Global MSC Security has announced that the new Commissioner for the Retention and Use of Biometric Material and Surveillance Camera, Professor Fraser Sampson, will address delegates at the Global MSC Security Conference and Exhibition 2021. He will be joined by speakers, including Philip Ingram MBE and Professor Martin Innes, to discuss the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the surveillance industry. The conference takes place on Tuesday 19th October 2021, at The Bristol Hotel, in Bristol,...
International Security Expo will return to London from 28-29 September 2021, physically uniting security professionals and offering them the long-awaited opportunity to network face-to-face with peers and learn from a globally renowned educational programme, delivered by the industry’s most prominent experts in security, police, and cyber fields. The free-to-attend and CPD certified programme promises to deliver the latest insights, analysis and invaluable perspectives on everything from...
Many of us take critical infrastructure for granted in our everyday lives. We turn on a tap, flip a switch, push a button, and water, light, and heat are all readily available. But it is important to remember that computerised systems manage critical infrastructure facilities, making them vulnerable to cyber-attacks. The recent ransomware attack on the Colonial Pipeline is an example of the new types of threats. In addition, any number of physical attacks is also possibilities. We asked this we...
With 13 participating companies and organisations, Israel will make an impressive presence in DEFEA Exhibition, in Athens, Greece. It should be noted that the close strategic relationship developed between Greece and Israel, now also expands in the field of defence industry. DEFEA Exhibition SIBAT, the International Defense Cooperation Directorate of the Israel MOD, will co-ordinate the country’s participation in a National Pavilion. SIBAT is positioned within the IMOD, while having a cl...
A webinar looking at how evolving technology can be leveraged to create smarter, safer workforce and passenger experiences has been announced by Synectics. ‘Make Your Connection’ webinar Taking place on Tuesday, 6th July, 2021, the ‘Make Your Connection’ webinar session will explore the role integrated command, control and communication solutions are playing in enabling urban transport providers to mitigate risk, manage operational efficiencies and improve passenger jou...
Airspace security technology solutions provider, Dedrone has been awarded certification from the U.K. Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure (CPNI) for its counter-drone technology platform, DedroneTracker for the second time, following Dedrone’s successful certification in 2019. DedroneTracker DedroneTracker detects, identifies, and locates drones by using multi-sensor capability combining radio frequency, radar, and optical sensors. The CPNI counter-drone standard enables organisations deemed to be of critical national importance, including refineries, data centres, airports, and ports, to adopt drone detection technology with the assurance that it has been tested rigorously. Dedrone’s continued participation and certification with CPNI reflects Dedrone’s efficacy and performance in detecting, tracking, and identifying different drone types for its customers. Dedrone technology Dedrone technology was evaluated to detect drones within a specific launch time Dedrone technology was evaluated to detect drones within a specific launch time, consistent and reliable tracking, timely alerts, and notifications, with DedroneTracker software showing reliable information on drone heights, speeds, and ranges. “Dedrone is pleased to report that DedroneTracker platform has successfully met CPNI’s rigorous testing standards for the second time in row,” shares Amit Samani, Vice President of Enterprise Sales, Americas & UK at Dedrone. Standard for global counter-drone technology testing He adds, “The challenge of unwanted drones at critical infrastructure sites is complex and unique, and will continually evolve as more drones come to market and as drone regulations and laws advance.” Amit Samani further stated, “CPNI has set the standard for global counter-drone technology testing, and any organisation protecting against drone threats can take comfort in knowing that Dedrone’s technology has successfully been evaluated, tested, and proven to deliver smart airspace security.” Software and radio frequency sensors DedroneTracker 4.5 automatically synthesizes sensor data and provides immediate alerts of unauthorised drone activity, enabling security providers to safeguard their premises. Dedrone’s software and radio frequency sensors provide detection, identification, and drone flight paths. Additionally, third-party sensors may be added to the Dedrone system, including Pan-Tilt-Zoom (PTZ) cameras and radar systems, providing additional layers of drone information, enabling the user to visually verify the drone and its payload.
Councils in England dealt with nearly one million instances of fly-tipping, in the year running up to the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the impact of the numerous lockdowns since then has worsened the problem still. Closed waste facilities and many houses deciding to have a ‘clear out’ has led to mountains of house-hold rubbish, electrical goods, construction waste and vehicle parts piling up on pavements, roads, highways and countryside. WasteWatch Cam But three leading businesses have combined their skill set and collaborated to create a bespoke solution - WasteWatch Cam, created by Business Insight 3 (Bi3), Kingdom Systems and Kingdom LA Support (Kingdom Services Group Ltd). WasteWatch Cam is a camera system that harnesses advanced technology, combined with real-time number plate recognition, in order to not only detect the fly-tipping offence, but also see to it that the individual is held accountable. Enterprise grade video analytics with ANPR The technologies are linked via a software application that has been created specifically for this purpose Experts in human, vehicle and object detection, Business Insight 3 (Bi3) created the state-of-the-art technology behind the camera solution, through seamlessly combining state-of-the-art, enterprise grade video analytics, which learns scenes and objects through patented algorithms, with automatic number plate recognition (ANPR). The technologies are linked via a software application that has been created specifically for this purpose. Kingdom Systems, which is part of the larger Kingdom Services Group, then set about physically building and designing the camera hardware that this technology could sit within. Real-time identification Once in place, the camera not only detects the car or person on-site, as well as the item they are discarding but also identifies the offender in real-time. This data is then raised as an instant alert, with all the supporting details, passed to the experienced team at Kingdom LA Support who take immediate action in the form of fines, warnings and where that is not followed through, prosecution. Due to this, WasteWatch Cam is a completely end-to-end solution, where every part of the process is managed with little to no input needed, from the local authority and its stretched resources. This makes it very beneficial financially too. Enhancing fly-tipper accountability Previously, authorities would need to spend time hunting through the rubbish to find any proof of addresses that could hold the fly-tipper accountable and then, spend money clearing the rubbish. WasteWatch Cam, on the other hand, is often completely free to councils, as long as a certain, reasonably low number of offences are detected. And, it seems councils are already buying into the idea, with two already on board and currently using the system - these being Barnet and Dartford. In fact, within just the first week of being installed, Dartford’s WasteWatch captured and reported seven fly-tipping offences, one of which is due to go to court in the next few months. Due to this success, the council has chosen to implement another system in the area. Countering rise in fly-tipping offences You need only read a newspaper to see the sheer number of fly-tipping incidents going on in your area" John Roberts, Head of Service at Kingdom LA Support (Kingdom Services Group Ltd.), said “You need only read a newspaper to see the sheer number of fly-tipping incidents going on in your area. The problem is getting worse and – not only is it an eye-sore, but it’s also damaging our environments, local habitats as well as taking valuable time and resources away from our local councils.” He adds, “I believe a huge part of it is down to what is often referred to as the ‘broken window theory’. This is when the action of one person makes another think - It’s okay to do the same. For example, if one person leaves a bag of waste near to a collection bin but not in it, then another person will just add to that pile.” 24/7 monitoring and end-to-end management solution John further said, “Not only does this make for a warm place for rodents to breed but if the bags get wet – which happens a lot in England – then companies are also not legally allowed to take them leading to an ever-increasing build-up of rubbish.” Richard Eaves, Head of Business Intelligence at Bi3, said “We created Waste Watch to be the best possible solution to the problem. With its 24/7 monitoring, real-time detection and completely end-to-end management – it moves beyond just acting as a deterrent, it tackles the vast problem of throwing waste from vehicles and fly-tipping at its core.” “It’s great to see local authorities already reaping the rewards of WasteWatch”, said Craig Walton, Head of Kingdom Systems, adding “We hope that it will provide a real step forward, for the benefit of our local councils, our communities and our much-loved green spaces.”
LenelS2 has announced its OnGuard physical access control system and Milestone Systems XProtect video management solution (VMS) have been added to the U.S. Air Force Intrusion Detection System Equipment List (IDSEL). LenelS2, the globally renowned company in advanced security systems and services, is a part of Carrier Global Corporation, the global provider of healthy, safe and sustainable building and cold chain solutions. Following a rigorous qualification process, including extensive testing and evaluation of both the OnGuard system and the XProtect solution, the U.S. Air Force added the combined system to the IDSEL. Joint OnGuard system and XProtect video solution The joint OnGuard system and XProtect video solution was tested and approved to protect Air Force Protection Level 1 (PL-1) non-nuclear through PL-4 sites around the globe. This provides the option for any U.S. Air Force command or local bases to acquire, design, install and sustain these flexible solutions. It is an honour to be approved as an accepted choice for the physical security mission of the U.S. Air Force" “It is an honour to be approved as an accepted choice for the physical security mission of the U.S. Air Force,” said Ryan Kaltenbaugh, Senior Vice President, North American Sales for LenelS2. Ryan adds, “LenelS2 and Milestone Systems have a long history of protecting critical and high-value facilities with a proven, cost-effective and commercial-off-the-shelf physical security solution.” FICAM, HSPD-12, NIST FPS 201-2 and GSA approvals The OnGuard platform is the only physical access control system to meet control and security objectives of Federal Identity, Credential and Access Management (FICAM), Homeland Security Presidential Directive-12 (HSPD-12), NIST FIPS 201-2 and GSA approvals on the U.S. Air Force IDSEL. “At Milestone, we’re the open platform company, and part of being open is being flexible,” said Tim Palmquist, Vice President of the Americas at Milestone Systems. Rapid video verification and seamless integration Tim adds, “The U.S. Air Force is utilising Milestone and LenelS2 systems to meet the requirements set forth by IDSEL. Rapid video verification and seamless integration across multiple platforms are the hallmarks of Milestone’s open platform technology and flexibility within the solution’s design.” LenelS2 and Milestone now join a small list of companies with systems that meet the U.S. Air Force's Integrated Base Defense Security System (IBDSS) requirements, spanning a range of protection levels and extending to core mission protection, including flight lines and readiness missions.
PerpetuityARC Training, part of the Linx International Group, is pleased to announce the addition of another internationally recognised and accredited online training course: Principles of Security. Specifically designed for security and SIA operatives, this SFJ Awards Level 2 Principles of Security course will benefit organisations and individuals who are looking for a clear career development plan, starting with formal accreditation. Comprehensive portfolio of training Sarah Hayward-Turton, Director of Sales and Marketing for PerpetuityARC Training said, “As a leading security training provider, we want to offer professionals a comprehensive portfolio of training, with which they can optimise their development process from home.” Sarah adds, “We have developed an accredited training course aimed specifically for those looking at the ‘what next’ after SIA training. Accredited with a formal SFJ Awards Level 2, the Principles of Security online course covers the areas that security operatives will need to know to secure a foundation of knowledge in security.” Principles of Security SFJ Award Level 2 training course Principles of Security SFJ Award Level 2 training course is hosted on the company’s bespoke e-learning platform Adaptability is the key in modern business development, as the COVID-19 pandemic has seen a surge in professionals turning to online training. The need to be able to meet the increased demand, while maintaining the quality of the material is a challenge faced by many classroom-based training providers. Principles of Security SFJ Award Level 2 training course is available now, delivered online and hosted on the company’s bespoke e-learning platform. Designed for security officers, CCTV operatives, close protection officers, door supervisors and security patrollers, learners cover the same content as the classroom course including, practices of security officers, risk and threat identification, diversity and equality, and communication methods. Learning the importance of information and cyber security Learners also get a good understanding of legal enforcement acts, along with learning about the importance of information and cyber security, customer service, and the significance of strong situational awareness. Sarah Hayward-Turton said, “After we successfully introduced a number of new virtual training courses late last year and early this year, we can now push to expand our portfolio of virtual and online training further so we can continue to meet the global demand our learners are seeking. Virtual online training courses She adds, “The addition of this course is something we’re excited about and gives us the confidence to develop and adapt our other traditional classroom-based courses further.” This course will fit perfectly into any organisations’ career development plan for their security officers of all levels, even those new to the industry, and those who have been in situ for some time. Moreover, this course equips the learner with the right tools and knowledge to be able to take the step up into a supervisory or management role.
Maxxess Systems, a globally recognised company in event response management and collaboration systems, is pleased to announce their partnership with Digital Watchdog, an industry renowned company in digital recorders and surveillance management systems, to deliver a complete video surveillance solution to help manage security threats. Unlike stand-alone systems for video management, this new complete solution helps organisations not only detect security threats in real time, but also to trigger immediate automated security system protocols and then follow through by taking appropriate actions, in unity with their policies and tracking results to completion. Maxxess Systems – Digital Watchdog partnership “We pride ourselves in being able to utilise existing products the customer already has whenever possible.” said Nancy Islas, President of Maxxess Systems, adding “This new complete solution integrates the latest video surveillance technology with our security management system that provides a single user interface for all video to guide managers as they follow through to ensure the safety and security of their staff and visitors.” “We are excited to welcome Maxxess Systems as a Technology Partner into the DW Spectrum ecosystem,” said Patrick Kelly, Director of IP Solutions, Digital Watchdog, adding “This integration combines the best of two leading platforms, in the physical security space, to create a powerful solution for users by increasing situational awareness and coordinating their security.” Cutting-edge video surveillance system This unique new solution brings together two key elements to create the complete solution This unique new solution brings together two key elements to create a complete solution. The first is the easy, cutting-edge video surveillance system from Digital Watchdog that is designed to monitor operations more efficiently. This powerful video technology is perfect for lobbies, hallways, and other key access points. When an unusual event is detected, an alert is set to the second key element of the system – the eFusion unified security management platform from Maxxess Systems. eFusion unified security management platform The eFusion system is integrated with the video management system and can take immediate action programmed to be in alignment with company policies. For example, the system can associate an alarm event to specific cameras. If a door is forced open, the system can be set up to call cameras from the Digital Watchdog so that the security team can validate whether or not there was a break in. Technology integration This integration allows customers to connect to different video systems simultaneously providing a single user interface. It is clear that the need for video surveillance will continue into the future. This complete solution offers many advantages over stand-alone video surveillance systems, including: The ability to send the alarm event and video feed to the desktop, and/or the web app of the eFusion system, making it accessible to anyone with authorised access instantly. Allows for centralisation of multiple operations, which results in more effective and efficient security. Designed to enhance the way the team interacts with systems, improve response times and helps make video actionable. Provides an easy-to-use user interface, which reduces the amount of time spent training on various systems and how they work together. Security alerts can be routed to the responsible departments or people automatically and without delay. And, the eFusion solution logs all actions for audit, review, or similar purposes.
In the past, security managers were primarily concerned with global terrorism. That has changed with the COVID-19 pandemic threatening the health of passengers at airports. Even if the number of passengers remains at a low level in many airports, surveillance won’t become any less complex. In fact, the opposite is true. Hygiene regulations raise new requirements for passenger processing and control. Reason enough for security managers to rethink airport security methods and evaluate how smart surveillance technologies can help meet new (and old) challenges better and more efficiently. Smart Airport Surveillance Smart Airport Surveillance combining IoT security cameras and AI video analytics help airport security managers to systematically monitor and understand passenger behaviour, gain valuable insights from video data and improve security and operations, automatically and in real time. CCTV camera systems are already in use at all airports worldwide. Why not use existing infrastructure to get more out of video data? For example, smart cameras can ensure social distance according to hygiene regulations or improve the visitor experience, by reducing waiting times at security checkpoints. IoT cameras with AI video analytics IoT cameras equipped with AI video analytics can do much more than just video IoT cameras equipped with AI video analytics can do much more than just video. Ajay Kattige, Solutions Consultant at Security & Safety Things, said “We at Security & Safety Things aim to bring the latest AI technology to IoT cameras, enabling them to perform more and sophisticated tasks in airport security measures.” He adds, “We make adding powerful features to surveillance cameras as easy as installing apps on smartphone.” Airport security management Despite the threat of COVID-19, the fight against terrorism remains a key objective in airport security management. Where thousands of people gather, signals indicating terrorist activity are easily overlooked. When it comes to reliably detecting unattended luggage or people with weapons in crowds, video surveillance involving human operators reaches its limits. Smart video cameras can support humans in recognising threats early and even perform tasks autonomously. AI-Lost camera app AI-Lost is an AI camera app designed to detect lost objects abandoned in specific areas, such as airports, stations and public spaces. AI video analytics integrated in the app enables airport security cameras to detect objects, such as suitcases and bags, not moved for a period of time (therefore, suspected of containing explosives) and notify security personnel. The video below shows how human behaviour that deviates from ‘normal’ patterns can be detected by security cameras in real time, ranging from minor disputes between people to vandalism. Similarly, aggressive or violent behaviour in airports can be detected early. AI-Loitering app to detect suspicious behaviour AI video analytics help detect even inconspicuous individuals based on specific behaviour patterns Terrorist attacks often have a prelude, people stay in one place for a period of time to scout the situation without being noticed by security staff. AI video analytics help detect even inconspicuous individuals based on specific behaviour patterns. AI-Loitering is a camera app that detects odd behaviour of people lingering around certain areas for a long period of time. Gun Detection Real App for weapons detection Gun Detection Real App for security cameras recognise in real time, if someone holds a gun and automatically triggers alarm. AI video analytics integrated in the camera app is able to distinguish weapons from harmless objects, such as smartphones, keys, pens or umbrellas. In very complex buildings, such as airports, it’s an ongoing challenge to keep restricted areas free from unauthorised people. Each security gate that is opened unintentionally triggers alarms leading to security routines shutting down airport operations for a period of time. Smart video surveillance combined with passenger information systems can help prevent these types of incidents. AM Line Crossing For instance, AM Line Crossing solution allows airport security managers to set up security zones in public areas where, for example, passengers are automatically notified, when approaching restricted areas. Connected to digital information systems, smart cameras not only recognise people entering defined areas, but also automatically guide them to their destination. In tall airport buildings, conventional smoke and fire sensors mounted under the ceiling are limited because they detect and report threats too late. Optical sensors, such as security cameras equipped with AI video analysis, can detect smoke and fire from long distances and automatically take timely action. AI-Fire and AI Smoke apps for flame and heat detection AI-Fire detects flames at significant distances in areas unsuitable for traditional fire alarms For example, AI-Fire detects flames at significant distances in areas unsuitable for traditional fire alarms, such as huge indoor areas in airports or stations. Combined with AI Smoke, another AI app for security cameras, airport security managers get a powerful early warning system that reliably detects and analyses all stages of fire progression. Waiting in long queues at boarding and security checkpoints challenges passengers' patience and can seriously damage travel experience. Airport staff has to take the rap, when negative passenger emotions are released. AI video technology to avoid long queues AI video technology can help avoid waiting lines and hassle. If queues get too long, smart surveillance systems automatically give instructions to staff or inform visitors via digital displays in the waiting area. At Budapest Airport, for example, visitor management works with an existing camera system equipped with smart software applications. Video data is analysed in real time, so that waiting times can be predicted with 96 percent accuracy. These numbers are communicated via displays, for example, to direct visitors to other checkpoints. Protect passengers & airport staff against COVID-19 Social distancing is the key to preventing or at least slowing down the transmission of COVID-19 from person to person. Where many people come together, surveillance is needed to ensure appropriate behaviour. The same applies to make sure that people wear masks wherever mandatory. IoT cameras, equipped with the latest technology and AI, can help detect behaviour and characteristics that do not comply with regulations. Security & Safety Things and partners offer easy-to-install AI solutions to help flatten the curve of COVID-19 virus transmission.
The UK government recently announced a doubling of the Safer Streets Fund to £45 million, as it seeks to reassure the public that safety is a top priority, as the night-time economy makes a return. More than just surveillance While this funding increase is much needed, it’s vital that the government and local councils use the money strategically, or risk missing out on a great opportunity to deliver real change and enhance safety across the United Kingdom. One of the main strategies cited by the government is to increase the current vast number of CCTV cameras installed across the country, despite the fact that the UK is already one of the most surveilled nations in the world. Investing in video analytics London alone has around 700,000 cameras, but to effectively monitor them all would be an incredibly inefficient use of manpower and require a huge number of staff. Therefore, I believe the clearest and most cost-effective way for this project to succeed in its overall mission, is by investing in smarter technology, such as video analytics. Incorporating video analytics into existing infrastructure is the clear solution This technology offers a more efficient use of resources, faster response times and enables more informed, time-critical decision making, when reacting to unfolding events in real time. Incorporating video analytics into existing infrastructure is the clear solution, as the technology enables legacy assets, such as analogue CCTV cameras, to become more than just after the fact evidence gathering tools and instead be used to help enhance real-time responses to unfolding incidents. Artificial intelligence-enabled solutions Artificial intelligence-enabled solutions are trained using vast datasets of images and video footage, in order to better understand people, objects and vehicles that are captured on film, and they continue ‘learning’ and improving, while in use. The system’s algorithms analyse and prioritise input from video data to decide which inputs are of value, automatically classifying the footage and notifying security personnel accordingly. This reduces response times by notifying CCTV operators of an incident, as it happens, meaning law enforcement and security personnel can react faster and intervene in an ongoing situation. Edge technology and real-time video streaming A key consideration should be choosing a technology that can operate at the edge and deliver real-time video streaming, even at the lowest bandwidths, so it isn’t limited to use in areas with good connectivity, which would exclude most remote areas. Quality really does matter and technology that can operate over low bandwidths is crucial for allowing operators to zoom in on areas of interest, such as a car number plate or face, and retrieve full-resolution images that can make a real difference in ongoing investigations. Analytics-based security approach Introducing an analytics-based security approach would also help curtail the rising cost of tackling crime Introducing an analytics-based security approach would also help curtail the rising cost of tackling crime. Research conducted by the UK’s Labour Party recently found that the annual cost of crime reached a staggering £100 billion. While statistics show that crime rates in general have been fairly stable over recent years, experts point to the increase in specific types of violent crime, such as knife crime which rose by over 20% during 2020. Implementing smart analytics-based technology Implementing smart analytics-based technology would help maintain staffing costs, as the system can identify incidents without an operator’s input, as well as reducing the cost of managing crime, as more incidents will be intervened in before they escalate too far. This dramatically reduces the burden on staff and allows a single surveillance operator to monitor many more cameras. On the other hand, this level of automation also reduces false alarm fatigue and operator overload, which can quickly sap efficiencies and reduce operator alertness, if left unchecked. Data driven problem-solving approach to crime prevention Procurement officials should avoid the common mistake of simply doubling down and throwing more staff and security assets at the problem to bring results. Instead, they should take a more data driven problem-solving approach to crime prevention by leveraging technologies that can enhance response and preserve their existing investments in cameras. The smart use of real-time video analytics could make the difference by preventing dangerous situations from escalating into serious incidents.
While the application of facial recognition within both public and private spheres continues to draw criticism from those who see it as a threat to civil rights, this technology has become extremely commonplace in the lives of iPhone users. It is so prevalent, in fact, that by 2024 it is predicted that 90% of smartphones will use biometric facial recognition hardware. CCTV surveillance cameras Similarly, CCTV is a well-established security measure that many of us are familiar with, whether through spotting images displayed on screens in shops, hotels and offices, or noticing cameras on the side of buildings. It is therefore necessary we ask the question of why, when facial recognition is integrated with security surveillance technology, does it become such a source of contention? It is not uncommon for concerns to be voiced against innovation. History has taught us that it is human nature to fear the unknown, especially if it seems that it may change life as we know it. Yet technology is an ever-changing, progressive part of the 21st century and it is important we start to shift the narrative away from privacy threats, to the force for good that LFR (Live Facial Recognition) represents. Live Facial Recognition (LFR) We understand the arguments from those that fear the ethics of AI and the data collection within facial recognition Across recent weeks, we have seen pleas from UK organisations to allow better police access to facial recognition technology in order to fight crime. In the US, there are reports that LAPD is the latest police force to be properly regulating its use of facial recognition to aid criminal investigations, which is certainly a step in the right direction. While it is understandable that society fears technology that they do not yet understand, this lack of knowledge is exactly why the narrative needs to shift. We understand the arguments from those that fear the ethics of AI and the data collection within facial recognition, we respect these anxieties. However, it is time to level the playing field of the facial recognition debate and communicate the plethora of benefits it offers society. Facial recognition technology - A force for good Facial recognition technology has already reached such a level of maturity and sophistication that there are huge opportunities for it to be leveraged as a force for good in real-world scenarios. As well as making society safer and more secure, I would go as far to say that LFR is able to save lives. One usage that could have a dramatic effect on reducing stress in people with mental conditions is the ability for facial recognition to identify those with Alzheimer’s. If an older individual is seemingly confused, lost or distressed, cameras could alert local medical centres or police stations of their identity, condition and where they need to go (a home address or a next of kin contact). Granted, this usage would be one that does incorporate a fair bit of personal data, although this information would only be gathered with consent from each individual. Vulnerable people could volunteer their personal data to local watchlists in order to ensure their safety when out in society, as well as to allow quicker resolutions of typically stressful situations. Tracking and finding missing persons Another possibility for real world positives to be drawn from facial recognition is to leverage the technology to help track or find missing persons, a lost child for instance. The most advanced forms of LFR in the market are now able to recognise individuals even if up to 50% of their face is covered and from challenging or oblique angles. Therefore, there is a significant opportunity not only to return people home safely, more quickly, but also reduce police hours spent on analysing CCTV footage. Rapid scanning of images Facial recognition technology can rapidly scan images for a potential match Facial recognition technology can rapidly scan images for a potential match, as a more reliable and less time-consuming option than the human alternative. Freed-up officers could also then work more proactively on the ground, patrolling their local areas and increasing community safety and security twofold. It is important to understand that these facial recognition solutions should not be applied to every criminal case, and the technology must be used responsibly. However, these opportunities to use LFR as force for good are undeniable. Debunking the myths One of the central concerns around LFR is the breach of privacy that is associated with ‘watchlists’. There is a common misconception, however, that the data of every individual that passes a camera is processed and then stored. The reality is that watch lists are compiled with focus on known criminals, while the general public can continue life as normal. The very best facial recognition will effectively view a stream of blurred faces, until it detects one that it has been programmed to recognise. For example, an individual that has previously shoplifted from a local supermarket may have their biometric data stored, so when they return to that location the employees are alerted to a risk of further crimes being committed. Considering that the cost of crime prevention to retailers in recent years has been around £1 billion, which therefore impacts consumer prices and employee wages, security measures to tackle this issue are very much in the public interest. Most importantly, the average citizen has no need to fear being ‘followed’ by LFR cameras. If data is stored, it is for a maximum of 0.6 seconds before being deleted. Privacy Privacy is ingrained in facial recognition solutions, yet it seems the debate often ignores this side of the story Privacy is ingrained in facial recognition solutions, yet it seems the debate often ignores this side of the story. It is essential we spend more time and effort communicating exactly why watchlists are made, who they are made for and how they are being used, if we want to de-bunk myths and change the narrative. As science and technology professionals, heading up this exciting innovation, we must put transparency and accountability at the centre of what we do. Tony Porter, former Surveillance Camera Commissioner and current CPO at Corsight AI, has previously worked on developing processes that audit and review watch lists. Such restrictions are imperative in order for AI and LFR to be used legally, as well as ethically and responsibly. Biometrics, mask detection and contactless payments Nevertheless, the risks do not outweigh the benefits. Facial recognition should and can be used for good in so many more ways than listed above, including biometric, contactless payments, detecting whether an individual is wearing a facemask and is therefore, safe to enter a building, identifying a domestic abuse perpetrator returning to the scene of a crime and alerting police. There are even opportunities for good that we have not thought of yet. It is therefore not only a waste not to use this technology where we can, prioritising making society a safer place, it is immoral to stand by and let crimes continue while we have effective, reliable mitigation solutions.
Urban populations are expanding rapidly around the globe, with an expected growth of 1.56 billion by 2040. As the number of people living and working in cities continues to grow, the ability to keep everyone safe is an increasing challenge. However, technology companies are developing products and solutions with these futuristic cities in mind, as the reality is closer than you may think. Solutions that can help to watch over public places and share data insights with city workers and officials are increasingly enabling smart cities to improve the experience and safety of the people who reside there. Rising scope of 5G, AI, IoT and the Cloud The main foundations that underpin smart cities are 5G, Artificial Intelligence (AI), and the Internet of Things (IoT) and the Cloud. Each is equally important, and together, these technologies enable city officials to gather and analyse more detailed insights than ever before. For public safety in particular, having IoT and cloud systems in place will be one of the biggest factors to improving the quality of life for citizens. Smart cities have come a long way in the last few decades, but to truly make a smart city safe, real-time situational awareness and cross-agency collaboration are key areas which must be developed as a priority. Innovative surveillance cameras with integrated IoT Public places need to be safe, whether that is an open park, shopping centre, or the main roads through towns Public places need to be safe, whether that is an open park, shopping centre, or the main roads through towns. From dangerous drivers to terrorist attacks, petty crime on the streets to high profile bank robberies, innovative surveillance cameras with integrated IoT and cloud technologies can go some way to helping respond quickly to, and in some cases even prevent, the most serious incidents. Many existing safety systems in cities rely on aging and in some places legacy technology, such as video surveillance cameras. Many of these also use on-premises systems rather than utilising the benefits of the cloud. Smart programming to deliver greater insights These issues, though not creating a major problem today, do make it more challenging for governments and councils to update their security. Changing every camera in a city is a huge undertaking, but in turn, doing so would enable all cameras to be connected to the cloud, and provide more detailed information which can be analysed by smart programming to deliver greater insights. The physical technologies that are currently present in most urban areas lack the intelligent connectivity, interoperability and integration interfaces that smart cities need. Adopting digital technologies isn’t a luxury, but a necessity. Smart surveillance systems It enables teams to gather data from multiple sources throughout the city in real-time, and be alerted to incidents as soon as they occur. Increased connectivity and collaboration ensures that all teams that need to be aware of a situation are informed instantly. For example, a smart surveillance system can identify when a road accident has occurred. It can not only alert the nearest ambulance to attend the scene, but also the local police force to dispatch officers. An advanced system that can implement road diversions could also close roads around the incident immediately and divert traffic to other routes, keeping everyone moving and avoiding a build-up of vehicles. This is just one example: without digital systems, analysing patterns of vehicle movements to address congestion issues could be compromised, as would the ability to build real-time crime maps and deploy data analytics which make predictive policing and more effective crowd management possible. Cloud-based technologies Cloud-based technologies provide the interoperability, scalability and automation Cloud-based technologies provide the interoperability, scalability and automation that is needed to overcome the limitations of traditional security systems. Using these, smart cities can develop a fully open systems architecture that delivers interoperation with both local and other remote open systems. The intelligence of cloud systems can not only continue to allow for greater insights as technology develops over time, but it can do so with minimal additional infrastructure investment. Smart surveillance in the real world Mexico City has a population of almost 9 million people, but if you include the whole metropolitan area, this number rises sharply to over 21 million in total, making it one of the largest cities on the planet. Seven years ago, the city first introduced its Safe City initiative, and ever since has been developing newer and smarter ways to keep its citizens safe. In particular, its cloud-based security initiative is making a huge impact. Over the past three years, Mexico City has installed 58,000 new video surveillance cameras throughout the city, in public spaces and on transport, all of which are connected to the City’s C5 (Command, Control, Computers, Communications and Citizen Contact) facility. Smart Cities operations The solution enables officers as well as the general public to upload videos via a mobile app to share information quickly, fixed, body-worn and vehicle cameras can also be integrated to provide exceptional insight into the city’s operations. The cloud-based platform can easily be upgraded to include the latest technology innovations such as licence plate reading, behavioural analysis software, video analytics and facial recognition software, which will all continue to bring down crime rates and boost response times to incidents. The right cloud approach Making the shift to cloud-based systems enables smart cities to eliminate dependence on fibre-optic connectivity and take advantage of a variety of Internet and wireless connectivity options that can significantly reduce application and communication infrastructure costs. Smart cities need to be effective in years to come, not just in the present day, or else officials have missed one of the key aspects of a truly smart city. System designers must build technology foundations now that can be easily adapted in the future to support new infrastructure as it becomes available. Open system architecture An open system architecture will also be vital for smart cities to enhance their operations For example, this could include opting for a true cloud application that can support cloud-managed local devices and automate their management. An open system architecture will also be vital for smart cities to enhance their operations and deliver additional value-add services to citizens as greater capabilities become possible in the years to come. The advances today in cloud and IoT technologies are rapid, and city officials and authorities have more options now to develop their smart cities than ever before and crucially, to use these innovations to improve public safety. New safety features Though implementing these cloud-based systems now requires investment, as new safety features are designed, there will be lower costs and challenges associated with introducing these because the basic infrastructure will already exist. Whether that’s gunshot detection or enabling the sharing of video infrastructure and data across multiple agencies in real time, smart video surveillance on cloud-based systems can bring a wealth of the new opportunities.
The UK Government has been working to reduce the risks associated with illegal drone use since a high-profile incident at UK’s Gatwick Airport in December 2018, when a drone sighting triggered a three-day shutdown of the UK’s second busiest airport, disrupting the travel plans of 140,000 people and affecting 1,000 flights. To address growing security threats by drones, the UK Government has released its ‘Counter-Unmanned Aircraft Strategy’. ‘Counter-Unmanned Aircraft Strategy’ This strategy sets out our approach to countering the threat the malicious or negligent use of drones can bring" “This strategy sets out our approach to countering the threat the malicious or negligent use of drones can bring,” says Brandon Lewis, the U.K. Minister of State for Security. “It will provide the security the public and drone users require to continue to enjoy the benefits of leisure and commercial drone use and facilitate the growth of the drone industry.” “Given the challenge posed by rapid advances in drone technology and the potential threat, the strategy will provide overarching direction to our efforts,” says Lewis. The strategy focuses on ‘small drones’, those weighing less than 20 kg (44 pounds). Countering malicious use of aerial drones The UK Counter-Unmanned Aircraft Strategy centres on mitigating the highest-harm domestic risks resulting from malicious use of aerial drones. They are: Facilitating terrorist attacks, such as modifying commercially-available drones to conduct reconnaissance or attacks. Facilitating crime, especially in prisons, where drones are currently used to deliver contraband. Disrupting critical national infrastructure, such as airports, where a malicious incursion using a drone can have serious safety, security and economic consequences. Potential use by hostile state actors. Maximising benefits of drone technology The initiative will also look to build strong relationships with industry to ensure high security standards Over the next three years, the strategy will seek to reduce the risks posed by the highest-harm use of drones while maximising the benefits of drone technology. It will develop a comprehensive understanding of evolving risks and take a “full spectrum” approach to deter, detect and disrupt the misuse of drones. The initiative will also look to build strong relationships with industry to ensure high security standards. Further, promoting access to counter-drone capabilities and effective legislation, training and guidance will empower the police and other operational responders. Tactical response to drone-based threats Because technology is rapidly evolving, the response needs to keep pace, according to the strategy document. Lewis adds, “We will therefore work to understand how drone-based threats might evolve in the future, both at the tactical and strategic levels.” The strategy will be to build an end-to-end approach to tackling the highest-harm criminal use of drones. It will also work to make it easier to identify malicious drone use against a backdrop of increased legitimate use. Legal drone operators will be required to register with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) and to pass an online competency test before flying a drone. Retailers who follow a specific set of safety guidelines when selling drones will be designated ‘DroneSafe’. Unmanned traffic management system The government is working toward future implementation of an unmanned traffic management (UTM) system, which provides a means of preventing collisions between unmanned aircraft and other manned or unmanned aircraft. The current strategy includes early planning for the system. An Industry Action Group will ensure a continuing relationship with the drone industry and help to improve existing counter-drone measures and identify new opportunities, such as use of ‘Geo-Fencing’ to restrict drones from flying in certain areas. Regulating commercial and domestic drones The UK Department of Transport is responsible for safe and lawful use of drones within the UK airspace The strategy will seek to communicate the UK’s security requirements to the counter-drone industry and to encourage a thriving sector that is aware of, and responsive to, the needs of government. Regulating drones is the responsibility of two UK government departments. The UK Department of Transport is responsible for safe and lawful use of drones within the UK airspace, while the Home Office has overall responsibility for domestic counter-drone activity. Fast-evolving drone and counter-drone technology Also, the Center for the Protection of National Infrastructure (CPNI) has been involved in reducing the vulnerability of sensitive sites, including airports. New performance measures will track the strategy’s success. Due to the fast-evolving nature of drone and counter-drone technology, the intent is to review and, if necessary, refresh the strategy in three years.
A week of mass shootings this summer has again spotlighted the horror of gun violence in public spaces. A 19-year-old gunman opened fire at the Gilroy Garlic Festival in California on July 28, injuring 13 and killing four (including the gunman). In El Paso, Texas, less than a week later, a lone gunman killed 22 people and injured 24 others. In Dayton, Ohio, a day later, a gunman shot 26 people during a 30-second attack, killing 9 and injuring 17. Rising active shooting incidents Beyond the grim statistics are three distinct incidents, linked only by the compressed timeline of their occurrence. Still, there is a tendency to want to find a pattern: Why do these incidents happen? How can we prevent them? In total, 91 people were killed and 107 more were injured in locations such as workplaces, schools, and public areas One attempt to analyse trends and commonalities among mass shooting incidents is a research report published by the U.S. Secret Service National Threat Assessment Center (NTAC) titled “Mass Attacks in Public Spaces – 2018”. Looking at the totality of major mass attacks last year, the report seeks to find patterns that can shed light on the attacks and suggest strategies to prevent and mitigate future incidents. Mass shootouts Between January and December 2018, 27 incidents of mass attacks – in which three or more persons were harmed – were carried out in public spaces within the United States. In total, 91 people were killed and 107 more were injured in locations such as workplaces, schools, and other public areas. The National Threat Assessment Center report considered all the mass attack incidents in 2018 and analysed some trends and statistics: Over half (59%) took place between the hours of 7 a.m. and 3 p.m., and 63% of the attacks ended within 5 minutes of when they were initiated. Most of the attackers were male (93%); the youngest was a 15-year-old student and the oldest was 64. Nearly a fourth of the attackers (22%) had substance abuse problems, and half (48%) had a criminal history, whether violent or non-violent. About two-thirds (67%) experienced mental health symptoms, commonly depressant and psychotic symptoms such as paranoia, hallucinations or delusions. Almost half (44%) had been diagnosed with a mental illness prior to the attack. The main motives were domestic, personal or workplace grievances (52%); followed by mental health/psychosis (19%); 22% had unknown motives. Most (85%) of attackers had at least one significant stressor in their lives in the last five years; 75% had experienced stressors that occurred in the previous year before the attack. Personal stressors included the death of a loved one, a broken engagement of physical abuse. Work- or school-related stressors included losing a job, being denied a promotion, or being forced to withdraw from classes. More than half of attackers (56%) experienced stressors related to financial instability. Personal issues such as homelessness or losing a competition were also stressors. Nearly all the attackers (93%) engaged in prior threatening or concerning communications. Most of the attackers (78%) also exhibited behaviors that caused concerned in others. For the majority of the attackers (70%), that concern was so severe that others feared specifically for the safety of the individual, themselves, or others. The Secret Service report also analysed the overall impact of several factors: Mental health and mental wellness - Mental illness, alone, is not a risk factor for violence, and most violence is committed by individuals who are not mentally ill. Two-thirds of the attackers in this study, however, had previously displayed symptoms indicative of mental health issues, including depression, paranoia, and delusions. Other attackers displayed behaviors that do not indicate the presence of a mental illness but do show that the person was experiencing some sort of distress or an emotional struggle. The importance of reporting - Since three-quarters of the attackers had concerned the people around them, with most of them specifically eliciting concerns for safety, the public should be encouraged to share concerns they may have regarding coworkers, classmates, family members, or neighbors. Need for a multidisciplinary threat assessment approach - There is a need to standardise the process for identifying, assessing, and managing individuals who may pose a risk of violence. Law enforcement and others are taking steps to ensure that those individuals who have elicited concern do not “fall through the cracks.” Law enforcement personnel should continue developing close partnerships with the mental health community, local schools and school districts, houses of worship, social services, and other private and public community organisations. Threat assessment Threat assessment refers to a proactive approach to violence prevention, an investigative modelMany of the resources to support the threat assessment process are already in place at the community level, but require leadership, collaboration, and information sharing to facilitate their effectiveness at preventing violence, according to the report. ‘Threat assessment' refers to a proactive approach to violence prevention, an investigative model originally developed by the U.S. Secret Service to prevent assassinations. It has since been adapted to prevent all forms of targeted violence, regardless of motivation, including K-12 school shootings and acts of workplace violence. When implemented effectively, a threat assessment generally involves three key components: Identify, Assess and Manage. Identify, assess and manage Public safety entities rely on people who observe concerns to identify the individual to law enforcement or to someone else with a public safety responsibility. In educational settings or workplaces, concerns may be reported to a multidisciplinary threat assessment team that works in conjunction with law enforcement when needed. The responsible public safety entity is then tasked to assess the situation to determine how they can manage any risk of violence posed by the individual.
The mindset behind a new law to prohibit the use of facial recognition and other security-related technologies by San Francisco police and other city agencies is obvious in the name of the new ordinance: “Stop Secret Surveillance.” Ordinance to stop secret surveillance The San Francisco Board of Supervisors passed the ordinance 8-1 with two abstentions on May 14, and there will be another vote next week before it becomes law. We have an outsize responsibility to regulate the excesses of technology precisely because they are headquartered here" The irony of such a law emanating from northern California, where tech giants promote the use of numerous technologies that arguably infringe on privacy, is not lost on Aaron Peskin, the city supervisor who sponsored the bill. “We have an outsize responsibility to regulate the excesses of technology precisely because they are headquartered here,” he told the New York Times. Regulating facial recognition technology Although the facial recognition aspects of the ordinance have been the most publicised, it also targets a long list of other products and systems. According to the ordinance, "Surveillance Technology" means “any software, electronic device, system utilising an electronic device, or similar device used, designed, or primarily intended to collect, retain, process, or share audio, electronic, visual, location, thermal, biometric, olfactory or similar information specifically associated with, or capable of being associated with, any individual or group.” Broadly interpreted, that’s a lot of devices. Includes biometrics, RFID scanners The ordinance lists some examples such as automatic license plate readers, gunshot detection hardware and services, video and audio monitoring and/or recording equipment, mobile DNA capture technology, radio-frequency ID (RFID) scanners, and biometric software or technology including facial, voice, iris, and gait-recognition software and databases. Among the exceptions listed in the ordinance are physical access control systems, employee identification management systems, and other physical control systems; and police interview rooms, holding cells, and internal security audio/video recording systems. The ordinance ban applies to city departments and agencies, not to the general public and exceptions include physical access control systems, employee identification management systems, and internal security audio/video recording systems Airport security not part of ordinance The ban only applies to city departments and agencies, not to private businesses or the general public. Therefore, San Franciscans can continue to use facial recognition technology every day when they unlock their smart phones. And technologies such as facial recognition currently used at the San Francisco airport and ports are not impacted because they are under federal jurisdiction. Furthermore, the San Francisco police department does not currently use facial recognition anyway, although it has been deployed in places such as Las Vegas, Orlando, Boston and New York City. Safeguarding privacy of citizens The ordinance appears to have a goal of avoiding government uses of technologies that can invade individual privacy, seeking to avoid worst-case scenarios such as an existing system in China that uses millions of surveillance cameras to keep close tabs on the Uyghurs, a Muslim minority population. Any new plans to use surveillance technology must be approved by the city government, and any existing uses must be reported and justified by submitting a Surveillance Technology Policy ordinance for approval by the Board of Supervisors within 180 days. Surveillance technology policy Banning use of facial recognition just when its capability is being realised is counterproductive But might such a ban on technology uses undermine their potential value as crime-fighting tools just when they are poised to become more valuable than ever? Ed Davis, a former Boston police commissioner, told the New York Times it is “premature to be banning things.” He notes: “This technology is still developing, and as it improves, this could be the answer to a lot of problems we have about securing our communities.” Technology development doesn’t happen in a vacuum and banning uses of facial recognition and other technologies just when their capabilities are being realised is counterproductive. We should be thoughtful, deliberate and transparent in how we embrace new technologies. However, discarding them out-of-hand using emotionally charged words such as “secret surveillance” does not promote the best use of technology to the benefit of everyone.
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.”
82% of schools and colleges in both the US and Northern Europe see a potential role for CCTV/video monitoring systems in supporting a safe return to face-to-face teaching in school buildings and across further education college campuses, following the pandemic. Many schools and colleges have already adapted their video monitoring systems. For example, half (50%) of all those in charge of these systems had already adapted their existing video systems to help manage social distancing. A further 34% planned to use their systems for this purpose within the next 12 months. Video monitoring systems The AVA Security Education Sector Security Survey provides a wealth of data and insight linked to how Operations, Security, and IT directors and managers within educational establishments in the US, Norway, Sweden, and the UK, are adapting their video monitoring or CCTV systems in the wake of the pandemic. Nearly four of every 10 (38%) educational institutions were already using their video monitoring systems to trace all student, staff, and visitor movements in, out, and around their premises and grounds to protect everyone from infection. A further 46% planned to configure these systems for this same purpose within the next 12 months. Safe-specific video analytics Nearly a third (29%) was already using their existing video systems to help provide temperature level health checks at some building entrances. A further 43% planned to enable temperature checking via their CCTV systems within the next year. Interestingly, 41% had already deployed their video systems for reporting on class or lecture hall occupancy levels and people density levels in retail areas, dining facilities, and other leisure areas where students congregate. A further 41% said they were planning to add this capability via their video systems over the next 12 months. Contactless access control The education sector is a deployer of facial recognition analytics in existing cameras Mask detection analytics is also being widely deployed in US and Northern Europe’s schools and colleges: 35% had already deployed video analytics software now available for alerting security staff when teachers or students are inside a building but not wearing a mask. A further 31% planned to deploy mask detection analytics within the next 12 months. However, the education sector is a more cautious deployer of facial recognition analytics in existing cameras to enable visual identification and contactless access control in the interests of reducing COVID infection via card touch-in gates. Only 22 percent of schools and colleges have deployed facial recognition to date, although this is set to more than double as 29% over the next 12 months. Reduced VMS costs The biggest challenge of supporting all these changes appears to be paying for them: 31% of those in charge of video monitoring systems had already seen a significant reduction in budgets available for upgrading and improving video monitoring capabilities in the last year. A further 29% had seen a small reduction in budgets over the same timeframe. A further 8% thought fresh budget cuts were likely in 2021. Cybersecurity has become a key IT priority As IT, Operations, and Security staff have had to run systems as well as teaching remotely during the pandemic, there has been an increased focus on cybersecurity to protect access to vital data and online learning resources. Just in the last few weeks, the University of Hertfordshire experienced a major cyberattack which led to the shutting down of key online learning apps including Zoom for students enrolled there. Over a third (35%) of educational institutions’ decision-makers questioned thought it ‘very likely’ that they would need to place a ‘larger focus on cybersecurity for all devices and applications that are networked’ as one impact of the pandemic. A further 48% thought an increased cybersecurity focus was ‘likely’. Linked to this, 27% of directors and managers running video security systems in schools and colleges saw an improvement to the video ‘system’s resilience and back-up systems/procedures’ as a ‘High Priority’ improvement that they needed to implement to protect video data this year, while a further 44% saw it as ‘Somewhat a Priority’. Smarter, easier to use video systems There was some disquiet about the quality of existing video systems’ core capabilities, the Ava Security research found. For example, 29% thought it was a ‘High Priority’ to improve the speed of finding and retrieving video evidence after a security or safety incident. A further 40% saw it as ‘Somewhat a Priority’ to improve the systems’ retrieval capabilities to find ‘required footage of incidents easier and quicker. It currently takes too long.’ Further, 22% saw the need for ‘better integration between video monitoring camera systems and other security-related systems, such as access control or alarm systems’ as a ‘High Priority’, while over half (57%) saw wider security systems integration as ‘Somewhat a Priority’ now. Nearly two-thirds (66%) of video monitoring system decision-makers in the education sector were keen to make their video monitoring systems ‘more intelligent, using video analytics to support better post-event decision-making’ – placing this improvement as either a ‘High Priority’ or ‘Somewhat a Priority’. Cloud on the horizon 73% of the education sector is experiencing accelerated cloud migration Others were more focused on Cloud Migration of more IT Systems. Over half (51%) confirmed that their cloud migration plans had been accelerated in 2020/21 and a further 32% confirmed that a new budget had already been allocated for moving more services into the cloud in the financial year 2020/21. That means that altogether (net) 73% of the education sector is experiencing accelerated cloud migration. Linked to this, the same study uncovered that 58% found ‘adoption of Video Surveillance as a Service (VSaaS) i.e., moving their video monitoring system into the cloud’, as a ‘net priority’ for improving and optimising their video monitoring systems looking forward. VSaaS selection criteria For the 82% of all education respondents actively considering VSaaS options right now, there were many criteria determining provider selection. Nearly nine out of 10 net (87%) considering VSaaS right now, agreed with the statement ‘It must have very strong cybersecurity, including end-to-end encryption from the camera to the cloud.’ The VSaaS selected must also offer a reduction in the ‘Total Cost of Ownership of our video monitoring system’, according to 48% of educational institutions considering migration to VSaaS. Further, 45% of decision-makers questioned insisted on greater ease of use, supporting the statement ‘It must be configurable and operable by non-IT people’. Third-party cameras While 24% of education sector decision-makers considering VSaaS, said it was critical that the provider was not headquartered in mainland China. A net 80% of video monitoring system decision-makers in the education sector also considered it important that the VSaaS 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.' A net 80% considering VSaaS also confirmed ‘It must allow us to view their directly attached cloud cameras alongside our third-party cameras on the same interface’. Further, the same number of respondents (net 80%) considered it net important (either ‘very’ or ‘quite important’) that the VSaaS ‘must allow us to use our existing Video Management Software (VMS) or provide the same functionality as we get from our VMS’. Latest analytic capabilities An even higher number, net 84%, regarded it as important that the VSaaS 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 colour searching’. Balance of power The Ava study also explored whether the events of the last year had prompted changes in terms of who looks after the management of video monitoring systems. There was some evidence in the education sector that as CCTV has increasingly been migrated onto the network, IT departmental control is increasing. According to the study, nearly a third (31%) of schools and colleges’ video systems passed more control of their video monitoring systems to their IT department – taking the total percentage of video systems run by IT in the education sector to 39%. However, security and/or facilities management still holds the balance of power in the running of these systems with 50%, with 24% gaining responsibility for video monitoring during the pandemic. Only 4% of systems confirmed they had fully outsourced video system management and 7% confirmed that more of the management, upgrading, and running of their systems had been outsourced over the last year. Workspace management technologies Ava Security also found evidence that the education sector is an early adopter of other workspace technologies designed to make it easier for students to manage the use of school and college facilities while minimising the risk of COVID infection. For example, 52% of educational institutions captured in the Ava study expressed interest in offering staff and students the capability of remote pre-booking of working areas in libraries, classrooms, and lecture halls and pre-registering students via mobile-ready apps. Nearly four out of every 10 people responsible for managing video monitoring in their school or college (38%) felt remote booking of extra cleaning of surfaces before or after classes would be a useful innovation. Cybersecurity is critical to VSaaS selection There is a strong determination to adapt existing school surveillance systems to new COVID-safe requirements" Vegard Aas, Head of Online Business at Ava Security, commented, “The fact that four out of five education sector video monitoring system decision-makers are already actively considering VSaaS and weighing up criteria for selection is very encouraging." “There is also clearly a strong determination to adapt existing school video surveillance systems to new COVID-safe requirements. And the fact that a third (32%) confirmed that a new budget had already been allocated for moving more services into the cloud this year provides significant scope for optimism as we enhance our VSaaS offering with Ava Cloud Connector for example, which enables those running systems to plug existing third party cameras into Ava’s open Aware Cloud platform.” Cloud Connector Ava Security recently launched its Cloud Connector offering to enable video security system owners easy and cost-effective transition of video security solutions to the cloud. This brings Ava’s advanced real-time video analytics and proactive security to existing surveillance cameras by integrating them with Ava’s open Aware Cloud platform. Ava’s Cloud Connector eliminates the need to rip and replace existing video security devices to directly reap the cost and operational efficiencies of a true cloud service.
ClanTect and ePm have signed a partnership agreement for the sale and servicing of ClanTect’s next generation Motion Detection systems (also referred to as ‘heartbeat’ detection systems) for the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Detecting humans in vehicles ClanTect’s systems are used to detect the hidden presence of people inside vehicles and are deployed within a wide range of organisations in the Border Security, Prisons and Critical Infrastructure markets. Customers include globally renowned organisations, such as the UK Border Force and Frontex, the European Border and Coast Guard Agency and Her Majesty’s Prison Service in the United Kingdom. Tens of thousands of clandestine operatives and fugitives are detected by ClanTect each year, with hundreds of lives being saved. Ultra-sensitive sensors Its ultra-sensitive sensors can detect even the faintest of movements, from anywhere within a vehicle ClanTect’s systems are based on sound and vibration technology. Its ultra-sensitive sensors can detect even the faintest of movements, from anywhere within a vehicle. The system is extremely fast (approx. 60 seconds for a vehicle search), it is very easy to use, the search process is fully automated, and, unlike X-Ray and some other technologies, it is completely safe for both the operator and for the stowaway. ClanTect’s system is extremely accurate. It utilises a unique ‘blocking’ capability, which eliminates any nearby surrounding noise from outside of the vehicle. Compact 2nd generation systems With the launch of their 2nd generation systems, ClanTect provides smaller and more compact devices, which are now fully wireless, thereby making them easy to deploy in ad-hoc outdoor roadside locations, even in windy weather conditions. Professor Steve Daley, Managing Director of ClanTect commented, “Our systems can enable the UAE authorities to meet some of today’s most pressing security challenges, such as human trafficking, the protection of critical infrastructure and the security of custodial facilities.” Protection of critical infrastructure Steve Daley adds, “We have also ensured that our systems have been thoroughly tested to meet the challenging environmental conditions faced in the UAE.” Hadi R Omer, Director of Sales & Marketing (Systems & Solutions) at ePm said, “Here at ePm, we have been serving the needs of government and commercial customers since the 1980’s, including the Ministry of Interior, Abu Dhabi Police, Dubai Police, UAE Armed Forces, Dubai Customs, and ADNOC. We feel that ClanTect’s technology perfectly complements our existing portfolio of security products and offers tremendous operational capabilities for public and private sector organisations across the UAE.”
BIRD Aerosystems, the globally renowned developer of Airborne Missile Protection Systems (AMPS) and Airborne Surveillance, Information, and Observation (ASIO) solutions, has been awarded a new contract by the Czech Republic Air Force. Under the contract, BIRD Aerosystems will provide additional AMPS-MV systems with the patented MACS (Missile Approach Confirmation Sensor) for the Czech Air Force’s Mi-17 fleet. This project is a part of the overall modernisation plan of the Czech Mi-17 transport helicopter fleet. AMPS-MV systems with patented MACS BIRD’s AMPS are already operational on the Czech Air Force Mi-17 helicopters and have been successfully deployed in different conflict zones, including Afghanistan. This contract comes after BIRD Aerosystems having conducted an overall upgrade to the Czech’s existing AMPS systems earlier this year, which provided enhanced functionality to the MILDS UV detection sensors and the MCDU Mission computers. As part of the current contract BIRD Aerosystems will provide the Czech Air Force its AMPS systems with the MACS sensor, which ensures that no false alarms will be detected and the system will react only to validated real threats. Ronen Factor, the Co-Chief Executive Officer and Founder of BIRD Aerosystems, said “We appreciate the confidence placed in our AMPS solution by the Czech Air Force, who decided to purchase additional systems for its Mi-17 fleet. Equipped with BIRD’s AMPS-MV solution with the MACS sensor, they can rest assured knowing that their aircraft and crew are safe, even when flying in automatic mode in the most complicated conflict zones.” Airborne Missile Protection System The AMPS system is known to automatically detect, verify, and foil missile attacks BIRD Aerosystems’ Airborne Missile Protection System (AMPS) provides the most enhanced protection for military and civilian aircraft against all known Surface to Air Missiles (SAM), including MANPADS, laser beam rider threats, and radar-guided missiles. The AMPS system is known to automatically detect, verify, and foil missile attacks through the effective use of counter-measure decoys (flares and chaff) that jam the missile’s IR (Infrared) seeker and protect the aircraft. MACS (Missile Approach Confirmation Sensor) MACS (Missile Approach Confirmation Sensor) is an advanced semi-active confirmation radar, which significantly reduces the false alarm rate of the overall missile warning system. Queued by a suspected threat, MACS points towards it and performs a doppler-based interrogation to confirm the existence of a valid threat. By doing so, MACS provides the most effective filtering of all known natural and human-made types of false alarms that are typically detected by electro-optical sensors, and ensures that only real missiles will be declared by the system and reacted upon. Fully operational, BIRD’s AMPS-MV with the MACS sensor is provided as a turn-key solution that includes design, installation, integration, certification and support, and is certified by major aircraft manufacturers.
The Brazilian state of Mato Grosso has deployed a multi-agency communications solution using Sepura’s SC20 TETRA radios to support security operations on the border with neighbouring Bolivia. The solution enables coordination between the Border Task Force, Military and Civilian Police forces, the Military Fire Department, and other supporting agencies. Robust communication solution The solution is an extension of the TETRA network currently in operation in the Brazilian state, built on infrastructure provided by Teltronic. The Sepura SC20 radios interact with Teltronic’s control centre solution, CeCoCo NG, ensuring that operations can be seamlessly coordinated and information shared between the various operational teams. The radio’s large screen ensures that images and text-based messages can be clearly read in varying light conditions The SC20 provides users with a powerful TETRA communication device – with loud, clear audio and a robust design to withstand repeated rough treatment in tough environments. The SC20 also benefits from advanced connectivity options, allowing links to data sources and improving the situational awareness of both control room staff and field officers. The radio’s large screen ensures that images and text-based messages can be clearly read in varying light conditions, adding another element to the team’s ability to communicate. Environment-friendly solution The border between Brazil and Bolivia is characterised by changing landscape, from dense rainforest to urban developments. The SC20 is equally at home in either, as it benefits from water porting technology, meaning that even in torrential downpours or areas with significant moisture, the radio will maintain outstanding service. Meanwhile, its loud audio and flexible set of audio accessories mean that voice communications will be heard even in noisy environments. In addition, its extended range ensures that communications are maintained, whether based in remote areas with undulating terrain or in high-rise urban areas. Terence Ledger, Worldwide Sales Director at Sepura said, “The SC20 is a trusted device for public safety officers around the world. We have seen many organisations adopt the radio to maintain the advantage of TETRA networks and benefit from a market-leading tough, powerful radio. We are delighted to support the police in Mato Grosso state and throughout Brazil with their operations and look forward to working with them to extend their communication solutions in the future.”
The city of Arnhem has chosen Nedap to regulate vehicle flows and to provide a seamless vehicle access experience in its city centre. Due to the increase in the number of vehicles in the city centre, it was a challenge for Arnhem to ensure that the traffic flow runs smoothly and safely, to keep the historic and tourist centre accessible and livable. Vehicle identification solutions With the implementation of Nedap’s vehicle identification solutions, authorised vehicles and drivers can access the city in a safe and seamless way. The combination with Nedap’s MOOV City Access software ensures that vehicle access in the city centre easily can be regulated. The city of Arnhem wants to regulate vehicle access to the centre and ensure only authorised vehicles can enter The city of Arnhem is located in the east of the Netherlands. Because of the historical centre, cultural sights and a wide range of entertainment facilities, it is also an attractive city for tourists. To ensure that the city centre remains traffic and pedestrian friendly, the city of Arnhem wants to regulate vehicle access to the centre and ensure only authorised vehicles can enter. MOOV City Access platform By limiting traffic flows, the narrow streets in the historic centre of Arnhem turned into an attractive and safe public place for pedestrians and cyclists, creating a livable city. The city of Arnhem has chosen Nedap for its MOOV City Access platform combined with its advanced solutions for automatic vehicle identification, based on long-range RFID (Radiofrequency Identification) and ANPR (Automatic Number Plate Recognition) technology. Authorised vehicle access in specific zones The solution is supplied and installed by Nedap’s partner - ST&D. Nedap’s MOOV City Access platform is implemented to control vehicle access in specific zones. With this, Arnhem ensures that only authorised vehicles can enter these zones and only if they have permission to do so. With the implementation of RFID readers and ANPR cameras, vehicles can be identified from a long distance, ensuring automated and safe vehicle throughput. Nedap’s long-range RFID solution, TRANSIT will be used to ensure that local residents, emergency vehicles, licenced taxis and municipal services have easy access to the city centre, without compromising on safety. TRANSIT long-range RFID solution Authorised vehicles equipped with a RFID tag will have fast access at vehicle entrances TRANSIT is a proven technology that enables highly secure identification and tracking of vehicles and drivers, up to a distance of 10 metres. Authorised vehicles equipped with a RFID tag will have fast access at vehicle entrances, without the need to stop. The all-in-one licence plate camera, ANPR Lumo will grant access to vehicles based on their license plate number. Licence plate recognition is a perfect solution for specific user groups or situations, in which vehicles require access temporarily or incidentally to the city centre. For example, retail delivery trucks can be given access at pre-defined locations, assigned days and time zones, regulating vehicle access to the city by reason. Digitisation of city access “By choosing and implementing Nedap’s MOOV City Access platform in combination with Nedap’s licence plate recognition solution, we have taken a major step in the further digitisation of our city access in Arnhem,” said Hans ten Barge, Chain Director Parking at the Municipality of Arnhem. Nedap Identification Systems is a specialist in Automatic Vehicle Identification and Vehicle Access Control solutions, for over the past decades. Nedap has developed a unique portfolio of proven long-range RFID and ANPR solutions that enable seamless third-party system integration. Vehicles and drivers are identified automatically, securing a free-flow yet highly secure vehicle access experience. MOOV City Access is Nedap’s vehicle access control solution, specifically designed for regulating vehicle flows in inner cities. MOOV’s hardware and software are compatible with Nedap’s RFID readers and ANPR cameras. This complete solution ensures a livable and safe city.