Smiths Detection, a globally renowned threat detection and security technology solutions company, has announced that it has developed the capability to detect synthetic cannabinoids, commonly known as Spice or K2, with its IONSCAN 600 trace detection solution. Detecting synthetic cannabinoids This development comes following an extensive R&D process and testing trials with major correctional institutions around the world and expands the IONSCAN 600 existing detection library of explosives...
Based on a comprehensive understanding of most realistic threats faced by homeland and private security professionals, PPSS Group announces an official replacement for their highly acclaimed polycarbonate-based stab resistant body armour. The firm’s product video, featuring the CEO Robert Kaiser being beaten and stabbed wearing the body armour is widely regarded as ‘physical evidence’ of its precise performance level and quality. Forward-thinking solution Kaiser said: &ldquo...
Aiphone, the international manufacturer of intercom and security communication products, announces that 14 of its most popular IX Series IP video intercom stations and components have received certification from UL, an independent global safety science company that tests and certifies products. The IX Series IP video intercom stations and components which received UL certification were tested under UL standard, 62368-1, for audio/video, information, and communication technology equipment. A UL...
Video wall and visual display providers Ultimate Visual Solutions (UVS) has seen a 10 per cent rise in the official quotations and detailed system proposals it has been asked to supply, despite the coronavirus lockdown. UVS Managing Director Steve Murphy said the increase, compared to the same period in 2019, was as a direct result of the full suite of remote access and online demonstration services which it launched at the start of the COVID-19 outbreak. UVS remote demonstration facility He...
HGH showcases its new generation SPYNEL-U 360° panoramic thermal and visible camera surveillance system at ISC West. The optronic expert reinvented this maintenance-free, uncooled thermal imaging camera from design to performance to provide unrivalled situational awareness. The dual-channel SPYNEL-U when used in conjunction with CYCLOPE advanced image processing software provides multiple threat detection, day and night, even in adverse weather conditions. The SPYNEL range is world-renowned...
barox Kommunikation AG, the global manufacturer of professional standard switches, media converters and IP extenders specifically designed for video applications, will be exhibiting on the Milestone Systems stand, C28, at the Saed Arena, Intersec Dubai, 2020. Promoting their range of Powerhaus switches designed to cope with the specific requirements of IP video, visitors to the Milestone Systems stand will be able to see how barox IP switches support installers and end-users with many advanced...
PPSS Group's next generation of high-performance body armour is taking personal protection to a completely new-found level. Made from Auxilam, a unique carbon fibre composite material, this latest body armour will protect the wearer from even the most vicious and brutal types of edged weapon and shanks imaginable. Utilising a combination of the incredible strength of carbon fibre, the auxetic properties of Auxilam technology and some additional ‘top secret’ assets derived from the specially developed composite structure, this next generation of body armour offers a truly outstanding balance of weight, protection, performance and durability. Polycarbonate-based stab resistant vests Comparing it with PPSS Group’s highly acclaimed polycarbonate-based stab resistant vests, the company is claiming a reduction of 19% in thickness (utilising a 3.9mm carbon fibre composite) and a 6.6% lower aerial density and reduced weight for its latest development. Yet, it will be certified to KR2/SP2 according to the UK Home Office Body Armour Standard, as well as NIJ Level 2 (Stab & Spike) and VPAM K2/D2 meaning it will offer a truly significant higher level of knife, spike and needle protection. Thoroughly field tested, the body armour will be made available from 6th January 2020 Body Armour Thoroughly field tested, the body armour will be made available from 6th January 2020. Government agencies and security companies will be able to choose from an array of different styles, ranging from covert, overt to hi viz overt options. Robert Kaiser, CEO of PPSS Group states “Law Enforcement, Border Force, Immigration, Customs and Prison Officers are being attacked by criminals carrying and using knives, machetes, shanks, blunt objects and hypodermic needles every day.” VPAM certified protection He adds, “Our key objective is to protect those men and women even more effectively. Using the very latest in technology and following extensive research and development, our latest body armour is now offering previously absolutely unthinkable levels of protection. It also offers exceptional, VPAM certified protection from blunt objects, effectively reducing the risks of blunt force trauma injuries e.g. internal bleeding.” The UK headquartered firm has been supplying countless of homeland security agencies in countries around the world with their widely respected polycarbonate-based stab resistant vests over the past ten years.
Rapiscan Systems, a global supplier of security inspection technology, is exhibiting at this year’s International Security Expo (Stand D30, 3-4 December, London Olympia). The company will demonstrate its security and screening technology excellence with its products and solutions for the aviation, event security, critical infrastructure and law enforcement sectors. Highlights on the stand include the RTT 110 Explosive Detection System, Itemiser 4DN Narcotics Trace Detection, the 920CT advanced cabin baggage screening system and TRS Tray Return System, some of Rapiscan’s most innovative and effective security screening solutions. Reducing delays and increasing efficiency RTT 110 Explosive Detection System (ECAC certified for highest performance standard) - Widely used by airports and air cargo screening facilities worldwide, the RTT 110 offers its customers faster, more efficient and more effective hold baggage and air cargo screening. With the belt running at 0.5m per second and the ‘Dynamic Window’ providing minimal gaps between items, the RTT 110 seeks to provide industry-leading throughput, able to exceed 1,800 bags or 2,500 parcels per hour. The portable desktop unit enables instant deployment and is ideal for use in checkpoints across customs and border High resolution 3D imaging and low false alarm levels ensure operators work with confidence and consistency, reducing delays and increasing efficiency. The RTT 110 recently obtained the exacting ECAC 3.1 performance standard, which is the highest testing standard for EDS systems in Europe. Quick analysis and results Itemiser 4DN (Enhanced narcotics and drugs trace detection) - The Itemiser 4DN is optimised for enhanced narcotics detection, with quick analysis and results in just 8 seconds. It can detect a broad range of current market threat narcotics without the use of a radioactive source, thereby eliminating the need for annual wipe tests and licensing, while reducing shipping challenges. Designed to take in trace sample swabs from packages, mail, human skin, clothing, among other items, the Itemiser 4DN ensures highly selective and sensitive detection of familiar narcotic threats, as well as synthetic cannabinoids and opioids. Fast interpretation of results, along with the ability for custom and upgradable trace libraries, enable system optimisation in the field, keeping its customers one step ahead of ever-evolving threats. The portable, ergonomic desktop unit enables instant deployment and is ideal for use in checkpoints across customs and border, prisons, critical infrastructure and law enforcement applications. State of the art technology 920CT and TRS (Ground-breaking technology meets contemporary design) - At the forefront of checkpoint security, Rapiscan’s 920CT Explosive Detection System for Cabin Baggage (EDSCB) screening solution improves passenger experience while increasing their safety. With ever-increasing global threats and new regulations being introduced, the 920CT encompasses state of the art technology, designed to meet the strictest of current and future regulations. The 920CT detects threats quickly and makes decisions based on what it sees Approved by ECAC, the 920CT allows passengers to leave their large electronics, laptops, and liquids in the bag. It provides the highest resolution 3D image, which allows exceptional On-Screen Inspection and Resolution (OSIR) for the operator, reducing the need to open and manually search bags. The 920CT detects threats quickly and makes decisions based on what it sees. Its intuitive and simple-to-use touchscreen makes inspection easier and faster. X-ray baggage scanners In addition to Rapiscan Systems’ standard X-ray baggage scanners, 920CT can easily integrate with its own security checkpoint Tray Return System (TRS), designed to allow for increased throughput, reduction in staff tray handling and the ability to increase passenger focus. The advanced and effective TRS keeps airline passengers moving swiftly through the security checkpoint, even at the world’s busiest airports. Rapiscan Systems’ products and solutions keep customers at the forefront of industry performance and technology. For more information, join the Rapiscan Systems team on stand D30 at International Security Expo 2019, 3 – 4 December.
Dortronics, a pioneer in electric locking hardware and controls for the security industry, is showcasing several access control solutions at ISC East (Booth 447), November 20-21 at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center. Dortronics will highlight the capabilities of its 4800 series interlock door controller, waterproof pushbuttons, and electric strikes that can accommodate a wide range of applications and markets and can solve multiple security challenges. Operating door interlock and mantrap systems Unlocking or opening one door automatically secures other designated doors within the Interlock The Dortronics Interlock (4800 series) controller is a cost-effective method for operating door interlock and mantrap systems of up to five doors, specifically for applications like cleanrooms, back areas for casinos and prisons, in addition to retail, healthcare, and professional buildings to help improve overall safety and security. The 4800 Series Door is user programmable and can be field configured. It allows for designated doors to be unlocked or open at any time. Unlocking or opening one door automatically secures other designated doors within the Interlock. Additional features include a watchdog circuit to monitor operation, LED input/output status indication and voltage spike/surge protection. Providing end users with customised solutions Dortronics Waterproof Pushbuttons (models 5276 and 5277) have been specifically designed and manufactured to withstand harsh environments. The solutions feature LED illumination, large lockdown & panic buttons, key reset operation, momentary action, pneumatic time delay, adjustable time delay, waterproof & wash-down rated units, narrow, single and dual gang plate configurations with off the shelf or custom engraving and finishes. Model 5276 is guarded and waterproof, while model 5277 is touch sensitive and weather proof. “From our interlocking and mantrap solutions to our door control products, we can provide end users and integrators with customised solutions that can solve multiple needs,” said Bryan Sanderford, National Sales Manager, Dortronics Systems, Inc. “We look forward to showcasing each product’s numerous capabilities to ISC East 2019 attendees.”
UVeye, global provider of top-tier solutions for automated external inspection of vehicles, has officially launched its UV Inspect threat detection technology. Developed to instantly detect threats – such as bombs, weapons, and drugs – stowed in the undercarriage of vehicles, UV Inspect is powered by deep learning computer vision technologies. UV Inspect threat detection UV Inspect meets the challenge of automating threat detection for new and unfamiliar vehicles. The pioneering UV Inspect algorithm analyses each vehicle part separately, using the deep learning computer vision to identify every element on the undercarriage of the vehicle and detect threats within seconds. This advancement in detection capabilities is built on UVeye’s extensive work in training its deep learning algorithms to truly understand what each part of a vehicle is supposed to look like, independent of make or model or the need for previous examples on record. Examples of the depth of this research become evident in the UV Inspect technology’s ability to identify items like an exhaust pipe without having previously scanned the vehicle. UVeye is addressing the needs of border control operators and other security professionals" Secure vehicle scanning “As the first to offer a true first pass solution, UVeye is addressing the needs of border control operators and other security professionals tasked with examining non-repeat traffic to securely scan vehicles passing through their checkpoints,” says Amir Hever, UVeye’s CEO and co-founder. He adds, “Our team has developed a reliable method of identifying anomalous objects without the need for earlier reference points, using only the information captured in our high resolution images at the time of the scan.” UVcompare deep learning-driven system With this launch, UV Inspect joins UVeye’s arsenal of detection technologies, which includes UVcompare, the deep learning-driven system that monitors trends of repeat traffic to identify changes which could indicate a threat or issue for concern. This technology works by identifying trends on a specific vehicle over time, without the need to compare the image to a model from the manufacturer. In the coming months, UVeye plans to expand the implementation of the UV Inspect technology to further support its global customers across the security market. UVeye’s technology is currently deployed all over the world at high security facilities such as banks, embassies, prisons, military bases, airports, and more.
Traka, the provider of intelligent management solutions for keys and equipment, is at the International Corrections & Prisons Association (ICPA)’s annual conference, presenting a new solution for distributing medications safely, securely and accurately within prison environments. Exhibiting in partnership with the pioneer in prison and community corrections software applications provider Unilink, Traka will be demonstrating its specialist medication distribution lockers, designed to minimise the risks associated with traditional medication distribution methods. Biometric fingerprint technology Traka partnered with Unilink to create a bespoke locker solution for distributing medications safely" Visitors to the stand will be able to see how the solution can be accessed in a controlled manner, via biometric fingerprint technology at a convenient time by authorised prisoners, all backed with full audit control reporting capability. Says Tom Smith of Traka UK: “A significant proportion of prisoners rely on medication, but with increasing pressures within an already sensitive environment, many experience problems getting the medication they require. This situation is causing an unsafe environment not just for prisoners but for all involved, including prison officers and healthcare professionals.” “To tackle these challenges, Traka partnered with Unilink to create a bespoke locker solution for distributing medications safely, securely and accurately. At ICPA, we will be able to show how the solution can help healthcare professionals to load medications into specific compartments that can then be accessed at a convenient time by prisoners.” Scaleable solution with clear compartment identification The medication distribution lockers have been designed with randomised compartment allocation Traka’s medication distribution lockers have been designed as a scaleable solution with clear compartment identification to simplify distribution and reduce risks, as well as including ‘burst all doors’ functionality to allow quick loading of medication. To minimise the risks associated with issuing medication within prison facilities, the medication distribution lockers have been designed with randomised compartment allocation, capability to remove prisoner finger print to prevent stashing, and an audible alarm to alert if compartment doors are left open. Combined knowledge of custodial services Francis Toye, CEO of Unilink added: “Traka’s intelligent technology, when combined with our software and the combined knowledge of custodial services, presents a powerful solution to a difficult challenge faced by all prison facilities, in safe delivery of medication.” “We’re delighted to now be presenting our solution at ICPA and welcome visitors to experience how it can improve health and well being of a prison population.” The ICPA 2019 conference takes place in Buenos Aires between 27th October – 1 November.
Dahua Technology, a video-centric smart IoT solution provider, has announced the addition of targeted vertical market solutions in the North American market. Vehicle inspection is one area where contemporary technology is rising to address a critical need. Preventing restricted items from entering high-security environments has traditionally been limited to the use of mirrors and police dogs, where blind spots and human error put detection at risk. In order to combat this problem, Dahua Technology offers two models of its Under Vehicle Surveillance System (UVSS). The system can provide license plate capture using a compatible LPC camera. The large field of view (approximately 180°) of the UVSS can capture the entire undercarriage of a vehicle when it’s driving through, which it then generates into an image in less than one second for immediate scrutiny. A portable version (DH-MV-VDM5021E-00) is built for ease of use, and an in-ground version is also available. Both options are well-suited for airports, prisons, and border control. IR License Plate Capture cameras Both LPC cameras have 1/2.8-in STARVIS CMOS sensors, dual-stream encoding, Ultra Wide Dynamic Range (140 dB) and True Day/Night (ICR)Two high-performing partners to the UVSS are Dahua Technology’s 2MP IR License Plate Capture (LPC) cameras. These cameras capture clear images of license plates from up to two lanes of traffic at once, providing 1080p resolution at 30 fps for users to discern plate numbers. Both LPC cameras have 1/2.8-in STARVIS CMOS sensors, dual-stream encoding, Ultra Wide Dynamic Range (140 dB) and True Day/Night (ICR). Model DHI-ITC237-PW1B-IRZ has a 2.7 mm to 12 mm motorized vari-focal lens and can capture images of license plates from vehicles traveling up to 12 MPH. Another model, DHI-ITC237-PU1B-IR, boasts a 5 mm to 50 mm vari-focal lens and can capture license plate images of vehicles travelling up to 25 MPH. Coupled with a Dahua NVR or Digital Surveillance Software (DSS) Video Management System (VMS), LPC cameras become a complete traffic management or parking solution. Remotely managing NVRs Dahua Technology’s enterprise-level DSS takes VMS to the next level. The all-in-one platform is preloaded with powerful software to improve system scalability. It lets users remotely manage off-site NVRs and other Dahua devices with real-time monitoring and playback. With a unified Dahua solution, integration worries are eliminated and installation and configuration become simpler. DSS offers a broad range of advanced features, including POS integration, Video analytics (IVS) and system redundancy DSS offers a broad range of advanced features, including POS integration, Video analytics (IVS) and system redundancy. The platform doesn’t require channel licensing, which is hard to find on other VMS systems. The DSS7016DR-S2 model is perfect for medium to large systems, with a variant that supports mobile recorders for fleet vehicle management, while the DSS4004-S2 is perfect for smaller systems. EVS for IP video surveillance Rounding out the latest additions to the Dahua portfolio is Enterprise Video Storage (EVS). Increasing the scale of storage, the high performance of EVS is ideal for medium-range to high-end IP video surveillance applications that demand flexibility, reliability, and centralised storage management. It is compatible with numerous third-party devices, making it the perfect solution for surveillance systems with or without a VMS. Its open architecture supports multi-user access and is compatible with ONVIF 2.4; it also uses Internet Small Computer System Interface (iSCSI) protocol for data transmission. It is available with 24 HDD (DHI-EVS7024S-R) and 16 HDD (DHI-EVS5016S-R) options: the former supports 768 IP camera channels with 1536 Mbps of incoming, recording, or forwarding bandwidth; the latter supports 512 IP camera channels with 1024 Mbps of bandwidth. Meeting specific vertical requirements Dahua’s capabilities are becoming wide-ranging in the US, especially when it comes to a complete end-to-end solution"“This expansion of our product portfolio demonstrates that Dahua Technology not only serves the general video surveillance market but also meets specific vertical requirements,” commented Tim Shen, director of marketing at Dahua Technology USA. “Dahua Technology’s capabilities are becoming wide-ranging in the US, especially when it comes to a complete end-to-end solution or vehicle-related security products.” These solutions, along with Dahua Technology’s other innovative video surveillance products, were featured last week at Dahua’s booth at ISC West, April 10-12, in Las Vegas.
The technological resources from the physical security sector available to prisons dealing with contraband threats are effective For those outside the security industry, the idea of prison contraband rarely extends beyond the old gag of a file inside a cake. In fact, contraband at prisons and other custodial premises is a major challenge: deterring and detecting it occupies many man-hours, and manufacturers devote much R&D activity to the problem. Contrabands in prison The topic went mainstream recently when a journalist was reporting on the escape by two murderers from Clinton Correctional Facility, a maximum-security jail in New York State. During a live split-screen sequence, the correspondent updates the studio anchor with news about the escape while, in plain light of day, the camera shows a hooded pedestrian behind her attaching a package to a rope that has been thrown over the prison wall. At time of writing, one of the escapees has been shot dead after being challenged by police and the other has been taken alive. Contraband features prominently in the escape, with prison worker Joyce Mitchell and corrections officer Gene Palmer being accused of providing the escapees with hacksaw blades and other tools hidden in frozen hamburger meat. No, you couldn’t make this up. Whether simply alleged or ultimately proven, this is crude stuff in our sector where video analytics algorithms are being developed to frustrate infinitely more sophisticated activity such as detecting miniature drones (usually packed with narcotics and mobile phones) being flown over prison walls. The practice has been common in the UK and Ireland for several years but is new to the US where in April there was widespread coverage of a crashed drone being picked up by CCTV cameras after dark at the Lee Correctional Institution, a maximum-security facility in South Carolina. Morning revealed a package containing a mobile phone, tobacco and marijuana hanging forlornly from power lines on the prison perimeter while a high-tech drone lay in nearby bushes. A search of adjacent forest suggested that the drone’s operator had fled when the crash occurred. It was apparent that repeated flights had been made with modest consignments of contraband on each occasion until the navigational hiccup. Using drones The success with which drones are being used to bring mobile phones into prisons is particularly worrisome for authorities since contact with the outside world allows inmates to continue orchestrating crime. The practice will soon have had its day since the response of the drone community has been impeccable: prominent manufacturer DJI has introduced “geofencing” software that prevents the drones from flying over specific locations and, along with other producers, is co-operating with No Fly Zone, a website and planning tool that is creating a database of locations that are considered inappropriate for drone activity. The success with which drones are being used to bring mobile phones into prisons is particularly worrisome for authorities The criminals with their drone in South Carolina were at least showing restraint using a “little but often” approach. Greed proved the undoing of prisoners and their accomplices at Bucaramanga, northern Colombia, where a carrier pigeon was trained to fly over the prison perimeter and land in the yard with a backpack of marijuana and cocaine paste. When the strength of the bird was overtaxed by a 1.6-ounce consignment, it became exhausted. Gamely trying to complete the mission, it was captured and cared for by an animal charity. Supply methods The practice of throwing a tennis ball stuffed with heroin or cocaine over a perimeter fence is passé, and the Colombian pigeon is lucky not to have met the fate of pigeons at a jail in Auckland, New Zealand, whose narcotic-filled carcasses were being thrown into the yard until staff became suspicious. (The ruse at Auckland was particularly subtle since inmates were being tasked with clearing up the mess.) Many cats – for some reason always black with white paws – have been caught at prison perimeters with drugs and SIM cards; recent incidents being in Moldova and Tatarstan, western Russia, where a cat carrying a parcel of heroin on its collar was killed by a prison guard dog. The heroin would have been a light consignment compared with an incident at a medium-security jail in Brazil, where a cat was found with the incredible baggage of two saws, two concrete drill bits, a headset, a memory card, three batteries and a mobile phone charger. Showing admirable restraint, the prison governor relieved the cat of its load and drove it to an animal welfare centre himself. Perimeter protection manufacturers are also doing a good job in persuading prisons that they are not a one-way street focused solely on keeping offenders inside However hard one tries to report on the custodial contraband problem in a sober manner, bizarre incidents create a tone of levity. Researching this article, the choicest anecdote I found came from John Moriarity, the Inspector General of the Texas prison system, reporting how a warden in one of the state’s jails received a complaint from the mother of an inmate. She was calling to say that she was paying her son’s mobile phone bill, had checked with the cellular provider to ensure the prison was in a good coverage area and how could he justify her boy getting such a poor quality signal? Staying with Texas, in 2009 George Vera, who at the time tipped the scales at 500 lbs. defeated multiple body frisks when sneaking an unloaded 9mm pistol into Harris County Jail by burying it in his fat folds. You might like to note a final touch of opera in that the twin charges against him were possession of the firearm in a prison and an original allegation of selling bootleg CDs out of the back of an SUV. He finally fessed up to having the weapon during a shower break. Perimeter protection On a more serious note, the technological resources from the physical security sector available to prisons dealing with contraband threats are effective and varied. Many of the incidents described above that involve breaches of perimeters can be pre-empted or detected by microphonic cable fence disturbance sensors and buried volumetric sensors. Perimeter protection manufacturers are also doing a good job in persuading prisons that they are not a one-way street focused solely on keeping offenders inside and should also use systems that will stop contraband collaborators (both human and animal) from entering. Of course the debate over the effects of repeated exposure to ionising radiation during X-raying for contraband at prisons will continue. However, more and more organisations, including civil liberties bodies, are conceding that the doses are comparable with ambient exposure from the atmosphere during everyday life. The very essence of the burgeoning sector that is video analytics is to detect aberrant behaviour in whatever form, be it unusual movement, speed, positioning, clustering or direction. With more and more of this intelligence residing within cameras “at the edge,” there is an arsenal of technology to assist authorities in keeping contraband out of prisons.
The security of courtrooms throughout Florida has gotten the attention of the chief justice of the state’s Supreme Court, who has appointed a “state-wide courthouse security workgroup” to seek solutions to the problem. It’s interesting that there are no security professionals appointed to the group – only lawyers, most of them other judges, and an administrative staff member. Hopefully the workgroup will leverage the expertise of security professionals in their decision-making, or at least tap into the knowledge of law enforcement personnel working at jurisdictions across the state. Lack of funding To be fair, the problem seems to be more about money (or lack of money) than about strategies or expertise. Security at Florida’s local courthouses is handled by local governments, rather than at the state level, so funding depends on local boards of commissioners in each county, which must balance funding for the security of courthouses with a long and demanding list of other local needs and requirements. For example, in Broward County, which includes Fort Lauderdale, there has been a continuing standoff with the county government over security staff funding. The new state workgroup willreview security funding on thelocal level, including how countygovernments, the courts, andlocal sheriff’s offices are usingthe funds Among its goals, the new state workgroup will review security funding on the local level, including how county governments, the courts, and local sheriff’s offices are using the funds. The workgroup includes judges from Fort Myers, Jacksonville, Miami, Orlando, Pensacola, Sanford, Tallahassee and Tampa – providing a state-wide analysis free from the specifics of local areas. Florida security concerns Courthouse security is a big topic in Florida, based in part on an incident July 15. A shackled murder suspect escaped a Broward County courtroom, down a stairwell, out an emergency exit and into a waiting getaway car. He was recaptured six days later. Another factor is memory of the June 12 massacre at an Orlando nightclub where 49 people were killed. A big irony is that the perpetrator of that crime, Omar Mateen, was a security guard with G4S who formerly worked to secure courthouse facilities in downtown Fort Pierce, Florida. Increasing resources If not enough manpower is at the root of the problem, then more local funding will play a big part in any solution. Officials in Broward County point to the July 15 escape as proof that there simply isn’t enough manpower to protect courthouses. The workgroup has also pledged to bring in additional resources as needed and is committed to a dialogue with all the involved parties. If they need some extra help from security professionals, I know where some will be close by in a couple of weeks – at the ASIS International 2016 Seminar and Exhibits in Orlando, Sept. 12-15. Just saying.
If you had a super power, would you use it for good or evil? The question might typically be the subject of vigorous debate among third graders, but it’s also a question that comes up when you consider technology. Sometimes the benefits of technology are almost like super powers. As much as we seek to apply the powers of technology to security, there is also a criminal element that stands ready to use them with evil intent. Such is the case with drones. We have previously mentioned the possibilities of using drones for security applications. Now comes news that the criminal element has already been applying the technology of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to smuggle contraband into prisons. A drone crashed outside a prison in Bishopville, S.C. recently after failing to carry contraband over the 12-foot razor wire fence surrounding Lee Correctional Institution. The drone was being used to smuggle marijuana, tobacco and cell phones, all contraband inside the prison system. A cell phone sells for about $2,500 inside a prison, for example, and prison officials say cell phones are a security risk. Case in point: A cell phone was used to order a “hit” on a prison official in South Carolina in 2010. Capt. Robert Johnson, who was shot six times, survived the attack and has since retired. Drones were used in a similar smuggling scheme at a state prison in Calhoun, Ga., in my home state. Four people were arrested and charged with using remote-control helicopters to carry contraband over prison walls. As drones become more sophisticated, and if they were to become widely available as commercial products, such security risks would escalate, presenting new challenges of perimeter security at prisons. Such threats could also extend to other possible targets such as utility and chemical plants, critical infrastructure facilities, transportation hubs, etc. Historically, security devices and sensors for perimeter applications have tended to be ground-based and/or mounted on fences and walls. The need to protect the airspace around a prison or chemical plant is a fairly new consideration. Systems to deal with such threats could include technologies like radar and thermal cameras. Addressing false alarms would also be a priority. Sensors would need to be tied to a dependable alarm system to alert overworked guards and/or security personnel only in the event of an actual threat. Wonder what technologies could prevent an “air attack” by drones?
icetana, globally renowned Australia-based intelligent video surveillance solutions company, is pleased to announce its first purchase orders for the US correctional services market, after two new 5-year client orders were confirmed with hardware systems vendor, Rasilient Systems, Inc. The order includes supplying icetana’s video analytics solution to two US correctional facilities (prisons). Video analytics solution The orders are significant as they represent icetana’s first US prison customers and a geographic expansion of the correctional services vertical market sector, beyond the company’s already existing Australian based prison management clients. The US prisons market (US correctional facilities) is one of the largest in the world and the state authority is known as a pioneering operator in the US, providing an excellent reference opportunity for the companies, Rasilient Systems, Inc. and icetana. Total camera footprint of the state prisons This deployment represents a small subset of the total camera footprint of the state prisons This deployment represents a small subset of the total camera footprint of the state prisons operated by this end-customer, with the potential to extend coverage over time to additional sites with this customer and to other correctional services clients in the US. Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Managing Director at icerana, Matthew Macfarlane said, “I am very pleased with the progress of this opportunity despite the challenging market conditions being experienced globally.” Motion intelligence platform Matthew adds, “This is a significant opportunity for icetana to demonstrate its full capabilities of our motion intelligence platform to a new geographic market and potentially expand into a larger subset of the customer prisons.” The purchase orders for the US correctional facilities have a combined value of US$ 100,000 (AUD$ 137,000), inclusive of 5 years of support and maintenance.
For most people, prison ranks high on the list of places to avoid. Yet, take no pride: U.S. prisons are filled to capacity with individuals who have committed some type of crime that warrants incarceration. Prison Policy Initiative In 2018, according to data from the Prison Policy Initiative, there were 1.3 million U.S. adults in prison and 615,000 incarcerated in jails for crimes ranging from murder, manslaughter, illegal drug possession, burglary, theft, driving under the influence, property crimes, and more. In addition to traditional security concerns such as perimeter surveillance, ID card management, visitor and vendor management, crime, and theft, prisons and correctional facilities have unique security challenges that other enterprises typically do not have. Prison security Correctional facilities face regular security audits that are conducted by the National Institute of Corrections The challenges include inmate escapes, hostage situations, gangs, contraband, riots, and overcrowding, in addition to increasing privacy and regulatory mandates. Even more, correctional facilities face regular security audits that are conducted by the National Institute of Corrections. Security teams must always be on guard and watching every individual and action of the inmate population – for an inmate’s physical safety – in addition to their own. It is not uncommon for security staff and correctional officers to receive physical injuries from prisoners, especially when trying to break up an inmate fight or transporting them to other locations. Use of drones in prison smuggling An emerging concern for prison officials is the use of drones by individuals who are looking to smuggle drugs, cellphones, weapons, and other contraband into prisons for use by inmates. Many states are working on anti-drone legislation around correctional institutions. For example, Missouri is one of the most recent US States to have introduced legislation to tackle the problem. Missouri HB 324 would make it illegal for drone pilots to fly an unmanned aircraft near any correctional centre, private jail, county jail, municipal jail or mental health hospital. Anyone caught violating the law would be charged with a Class A misdemeanor and possibly other felony charges, depending on the pilot’s illegal intentions. Importance of video surveillance Video surveillance is a necessary security technology for prison and correctional facility staff, as it allows personnel to mitigate those unique security challenges. “Video surveillance is prevalent throughout facilities; even if it’s a typical two-bed jail cell or a 2,000 bed prison,” says Brad Wareham, Director of Key Accounts at Salient Systems. He adds, “In cases where facilities face a shortage of staff members to watch over the inmate population, video surveillance supports the oversight of inmates and increases accountability. Inmates know that despite the lack of staff and officer presence, they are being observed by cameras that can catch even the smallest details. Video surveillance can follow inmates anywhere. There are very few blind spots.” Upgrading to hybrid video surveillance systems They are upgrading to hybrid and/or fully digital solutions, all while maintaining the HMI model Increasingly, prisons and correctional facilities are upgrading their older analog video systems, due to age degradation and lack of adequate support resources. “They are upgrading to hybrid and/or fully digital solutions, all while maintaining the Human Machine Interfaces (HMI) model,” Wareham notes. “They continue to face security challenges typical of the corrections space, such as PLC controllers, RTSP capture, intercoms, lock controls, and more, which are atypical of larger facilities. In addition, many older analog solutions will eventually be cost prohibitive,” Wareham said, adding “and will no longer operate, due to an increasing inability to find replacement parts and to the proliferation of IP-based video surveillance solutions.” IP-based video surveillance systems For many correctional facilities, upgrading a video surveillance system to an IP-based solution, in addition to a video management system (VMS), makes sense and benefits a prison or correctional facility in multiple ways. Solutions exist that allow prison facilities to keep pre-existing hardware in place during an upgrade, while allowing for replacements and component upgrades as funding permits. Specific benefits that advanced video surveillance and VMS solutions can provide a correctional institution include: Increased Coverage – Many prisons and correctional facilities are large, and have multiple areas that need to be under surveillance, such as hallways, throughout cellblocks, healthcare facilities, dining areas, exercise yards, and more. Outdated systems may have a difficult time monitoring all areas, while an IP video system can provide continuous coverage of an entire facility Clarity of Video – Older analogue cameras struggle with the ability to provide clear images. New IP cameras, coupled with an advanced VMS, will produce crisp and clear images that are necessary to mitigate security risks. Inmate Tracking – One of the biggest benefit of a VMS solutions is video analytic software, which is capable of tracking a moving target and searching for specific objects. Video analytics can count human beings, monitor queues, and even identify a geographical location. VMS solutions allow security to search video archives quickly and find archived video that matches custom criteria within minutes, which is helpful in investigations. Alerts – Video analytics within a VMS solution can be programmed to detect specific activity and activate an alarm or alert system when the activity occurs. Facial Recognition – The ability to recognise a face is another key benefit of a VMS solution used in a crowded correctional institution, in particular when inmates may be wearing the same type and colour of clothing. Perimeters – Video surveillance placement on the exterior perimeter of a facility can document suspicious activity occurring in outside recreational yards where contraband can enter. Many VMS solutions allow for detecting movement throughout specific areas for an established duration of time. Mobility – The ability for correctional officers to view video on a mobile device is critical, given the large landscape of facilities. For example, Salient’s TouchView Mobile solution, combined with its CompleteView 20/20 VMS, allows users to instantly access, monitor and review live and recorded video from any camera connected to any CompleteView 20/20 recording server. Cameras from multiple servers can be accessed simultaneously with PTZ control. The solution’s DRS (dynamic resolution scaling) automatically sizes the video for live viewing, which significantly reduces network usage and provides higher frame rates over mobile connections. Securing prisons and correctional facilities You can’t have a correctional facility without video surveillance and an audit trail for forensic evidence" Overall, Wareham notes, video surveillance and VMS solutions are a necessary and critical solution for securing prisons and correctional facilities. “You can’t have a correctional facility without video surveillance and an audit trail for forensic evidence,” Wareham stated, adding “Facilities with challenging budget constraints are still required to have a functional Video Management System, regardless of the technology or age of their infrastructure.” Salient VMS solution For security integrators, Salient’s VMS solutions provide a steady ROI. “Salient plays a critical role in providing a viable cost per channel ROI that is superior in the VMS industry,” Wareham said. He adds, “As the requirements for third-party encoding hardware is negated, and coupled with our customer support for virtually all aspects of the detention and corrections space, Salient’s VMS solution addresses budget constraints”. For prisons and correctional facilities, an advanced video surveillance and VMS is not just a product, it is a necessity that enables correctional facilities to stay safe and secure. “In the corrections industry, surveillance goes hand in hand with the employee, inmate, and visitor safety, while coupled with procedural compliance and enforcement,” Wareham concluded.
Indiana Department of Correction (IDOC) is a state-wide organisation, comprised of 21 adult facilities housing over 28,000 inmates. Safety of both inmates and the public is a top priority for IDOC and forms part of the organisation’s mission and vision. The inefficiency and increased cost associated with managing multiple security technologies and systems led to IDOC’s Director of Construction Services Kevin Orme to seek a solution that not only increased efficiency and reliability for the prison facilities staff but ensured that both inmate and public safety remained consistent with their organisation mission and vision – the top priority. Effective pulse fence systems Gallagher security monitored pulse fence systems are safe, effective, reliable, and safely deter and detect disturbancesGallagher Certified Channel Partner Security Automation Systems (SAS) is a valuable partner to both Gallagher and IDOC. SAS has worked with IDOC and Gallagher to design and manage the installation and maintenance of the current system and to develop further solutions to meet future requirements and increase efficiency and safety. Gallagher security monitored pulse fence systems are safe, effective, reliable, and safely deter and detect disturbances without triggering false alarms. An essential requirement for upgrading a number of low security level 1 facilities to level 2 is perimeter detection. Some IDOC facilities require up to 1000 feet of interior chain link fence to be covered by effective non-lethal perimeter detection. SAS worked with the IDOC requirements and proposed the Gallagher D21 disturbance sensors to provide the perimeter detection solution. Perimeter security for correctional facility “Gallagher’s system changed the way I think about perimeter security,” says IDOC’s Director of Construction Services Kevin Orme. “Gallagher is the specified standard for any correctional facility above minimum security.” The product is great, works reliably every day, and I don’t have to worry about it" Gallagher’s perimeter security system is included in all new IDOC construction, as well as being retrofitted into existing facilities throughout the state. The efficient installation process of the Gallagher system meant IDOC could significantly reduce time in comparison to other technology in the agency. “The product is great, works reliably every day, and I don’t have to worry about it,” he adds. “We’ve been able to make more effective user of security resources too. Officers have been reallocated from the perimeter to in-prison offender contact areas.” Operator-friendly software “Hardware failure rate and recurrent costs are very low, and the software is operator-friendly reducing human error,” says Mr. Orme. “Maintenance is much easier; the prison’s maintenance staff have the ability to fix any minor issues.” The D21 Disturbance Sensor measures and analyses the impact on the fence when disturbed. The sensor raises an alarm only when specified limits are exceeded, preventing any nuisance or ‘false’ alarms caused by disturbances such as wind or rain. Integration with Command Centre software Compared to other technologies considered by the state, the D21 sensors were the most cost-effective solution"Ryan Tomlinson from SAS says the D21 sensor was suggested for two main reasons. “First, the D21 sensors integrate seamlessly with the Gallagher Command Centre software, which was a key factor in the decision process. We were already integrating non-lethal electric fencing, door control and video systems with Command Centre and the state preferred not to add another, separate system. The second reason we chose the D21 sensors was cost. Compared to other technologies considered by the state, the D21 sensors were the most cost-effective solution.” Mr Tomlinson had confidence in Gallagher and its products to carry out the job successfully. “Although this was to be our first installation of the D21 product, we were confident that between the technical ability of our staff and the support from Gallagher, we would be able to provide a successful installation,” he says. “The D21 sensors were simple to install. They easily mounted to fence posts and other structures the system was monitoring and installing the communications backbone was low-cost and straightforward.” Monitoring real-time data in Command Centre We were able to power-up each new zone of sensors and get them on-line with the Gallagher Controller 6000s"“After the initial process of setting the address of each sensor, we were able to power-up each new zone of sensors and get them on-line with the Gallagher Controller 6000s. Next, we were able to individually adjust the parameters of each sensor and monitor real-time data in Command Centre according to the particular characteristics of the structure the sensor was affixed to." “Overall, I was impressed with the ease of installation, the adjustability of the sensors and how well the sensors integrated with the Command Centre software.” Following the installation of the Gallagher system, IDOC was able to reclassify the facility as level 2, thus allowing them to house a wider group of offenders using the cost-effective, yet highly secure perimeter security solutions offered by Gallagher.
Prison drone pioneers introduce Government to perimeter savings. The integrated security team behind a British prison’s pioneering war against drones is to share its innovative and cost-saving approach with the UK Government. Les Nicolles Prison on Guernsey became the first in the world to use a new system designed to stop drones smuggling drugs, weapons and other contraband over perimeter walls. A group of four collaborating British companies styling itself as The Perimeter Security Centre of Excellence (PSCoE) installed the comprehensive perimeter protection package, including the new ‘Sky Fence’ technology. Now PSCoE (stand Z35) is exhibiting at the official UK Government global security event, Security & Policing 2018, which takes place from 6 to 8 March at Farnborough International Exhibition and Conference Centre. A group of four collaborating British companies styling itself as The Perimeter Security Centre of Excellence (PSCoE) installed the comprehensive perimeter protection Latest equipment, training and support The unique three-day event, established over 30 years ago, is the premier platform for UK suppliers to showcase the very latest equipment, training and support, to police services, Government departments, organisations and agencies from the UK and overseas. Binns Fencing, the leading fencing contractor for the Ministry of Justice, led the Guernsey project for the conglomerate, which offers the simplicity and efficiencies of a single line of communication and management from cradle to grave of high-security perimeters. Eclipse Digital Solutions is the second of the collaborators. It created Sky Fence with fellow British company Drone Defence and offers full turnkey security design through to installation. Eclipse’s Joe Vasso said: “Our proposition is all about seamless integration to offer the most cost-effective high-end security for perimeters – whether that be along a border, around a prison, airport or the Olympic Games, or even airborne above ground, on roofs and the like. The beauty of our conglomerate is that our relationships have been formed over years and we’re all friends, so the trust is absolute and we care about each other.” Our proposition is all about seamless integration to offer the most cost-effective high-end security for perimeters" Significant cost savings The other two members are Harper Chalice, an intrusion detection company providing PIDs, electric fencing and RADAR detection, and ISM, which offers integrated security systems, PSIM software and intercom security systems. Together, they believe the UK Government could make significant savings by adopting its proposed model for delivering perimeter security and PIDs procurement and delivery. Their single point of contact for the complete perimeter security package provides greater opportunity for innovation, reduced complexity and no need to manage multiple contractors. PSCoE believes this could offer significant cost savings on PIDs cable installation and contract and project management costs – as with Les Nicolles, where the State of Guernsey that runs the prison saved £1.3 million. The other two members are Harper Chalice, an intrusion detection company providing PIDs, electric fencing and RADAR detection, and ISM, which offers integrated security systems Trusted advice and design State Deputy Mary Lowe said: “The committee decided, following discussions with key staff, that it was possible to continue housing Category B prisoners at Les Nicolles without the installation, at significant expense, of a second fence. While the second fence is advised under UK guidelines for Category B prisons, the committee is comfortable that the current technological upgrade offers security that enables Guernsey to continue housing Category B prisoners. Sending such prisoners off island to serve their sentence comes at a significant cost of approximately £50,000 per year each. The committee decided that these upgrades, which will cost £1.3m less than a second fence, offered a Guernsey-appropriate solution.” Binns MD Adam Binns said: “We have devised this model in consultation with the Government, main contractors and suppliers, to deliver best value and a greater potential to innovate with a single point of contact throughout procurement, delivery and installation. The model will give them trusted advice on design, manufacturing and installation from exclusively British companies with British products from electronic systems of CCTV, detection, video management and access control to physical security fencing, gates and hostile vehicle mitigation.” We have devised this model in consultation with the Government, main contractors and suppliers, to deliver best value and a greater potential" Security & Policing Security & Policing provides a platform for professionals from the UK and across the world to engage with the very highest level of security expertise and the latest technology. It provides the level of industry engagement needed to enable UK Government to procure and deliver its national security priorities. Major specifiers and Government specified users can obtain reference to its products from the Home Office. Normal commercial users can obtain reference to its specialist electronic perimeter security systems on the police ‘Secured by Design’ website. Harper Chalice Group’s products and systems are sold, installed and maintained worldwide via a network of specialist accredited dealers. ISM (Intergrated Security Manufacturing) ISM (Intergrated Security Manufacturing) has been at the forefront of innovation, design and manufacturing excellence in integrated security systems for almost 30 years. ISM operates from an extensive manufacturing and design facility in the United Kingdom, close to Gatwick Airport. It is the UK’s leading developer of integrated security management, intercom and cell call systems.
An integrated surveillance and security management solution, developed and deployed by Synectics, is helping to improve staff and inmate safety at a major European Category A prison. The vast site, which houses over 750 inmates, comprises multiple buildings, including cell blocks, visiting zones, gym and exercise areas, and special focus zones, all of which are monitored by over 2000 cameras. A command and control solution was required that would allow operators to monitor and manage all cameras from a single location – the ECR (Emergency Control Room). The solution had to be capable of integrating with a wide range of third-party access control, security, and emergency systems operating across the prison estate that are designed to flag up staff and inmate safety risks – a key priority for the prison authority.Synergy 3 is designed to integrate with a wide range of ONVIF-conformant systems and devices Multi-site monitoring The end-to-end Synergy 3-driven solution developed by Synectics gives security personnel located in each block 24/7 access to video footage and ensures that overarching control is only allowed by operators based in the central ECR. Here, footage from any camera located in any block is monitored, controlled, and reviewed in real time, with integrated GIS mapping displaying camera points, additional location-based data and live ‘field of view’ plotting on an exact site layout. Operators can simply point and click to immediately view live feed and control PTZ cameras directly from the map. Synergy 3 is designed to integrate with a wide range of ONVIF-conformant systems and devices. Hence, video footage can be paired with data inputs from other third-party systems to provide the prison with a comprehensive alarm monitoring and alert solution. Threat detection with body-worn alerts By connecting data from the access control system and information from body-worn emergency alerts, Synergy 3 can immediately flag up the location of a staff member and display footage from the nearest camera, allowing operators to undertake a visual assessment of any potential threat. The map-centric display, teamed with alert-triggered on-screen guidance workflows, ensures that the right support is dispatched to the correct location as quickly as possible.Synergy 3 removes the need to allocate specific blocks/areas to supporting inmates in need of help GIS mapping The GIS mapping capabilities of Synergy 3 also facilitates the prison’s ‘safer cells’ initiative that changes the level of support and monitoring assigned to an individual cell based on the inmate’s risk level. For example, if an inmate is suffering from mental health issues, they may require more frequent staff contact, observation, or in severe cases be assigned to suicide watch. Using Synergy 3, operators in the ECR can monitor any designated ‘safer cells’ and therefore activate/de-activate associated systems including in-cell surveillance, pill-hatch status, and audio logging of conversations with prison staff and from audio call points implemented in partnership with the Samaritans. In addition to supporting those inmates most in need of help, using Synergy 3 to activate safer cell features removes the need to allocate specific blocks/areas of the prison to this purpose, thus reducing situations where vulnerable prisoners might feel even more isolated. Emergency response through interoperability Synergy 3’s interoperability with other systems enables operators based in the ECR to engage precise emergency protocols should a threat be detected. For example, individual doors or whole zones can be locked down for incident containment. Conversely, should the need arise to evacuate a particular area quickly, access control can be overridden to create the fastest route to safety. Synergy 3's workflow feature also enables lights and power to be controlled in response to evolving scenarios, such as disabling lifts in the event a fire or if a hazard has been detected on a specific floor.With built-in redundancy functionality, coverage at the prison is guaranteed 24/7 360-degree surveillance While enhanced safety was an essential priority for the project, the Category A status of the facility requires the highest levels of security functionality from the surveillance solution supplied. By integrating and interrogating data from a wide range of systems, the Synergy 3 solution from Synectics delivers a 360-degree view of all site movement, activity, and alarms for complete situational awareness. For example, integration with the perimeter fence solution and video analytics generates alerts based on movement, touch, and approaching shapes for immediate review and action. And with built-in redundancy functionality, including server failover and hot-swap recording to eliminate any single points of failure, coverage at the prison is guaranteed 24/7. Together with Synergy 3’s operational and safety management capabilities, these features all help ensure that inmates, personnel, and facilities across the prison estate are supported and protected. Brett Longley, Technical Sales Manager at Synectics, said: “Prison facilities are no longer just about traditional security. This project demonstrates that a fully integrated surveillance solution delivers a wide range of safety measures benefiting inmates and staff and helps improve overall operational efficacy.”
A Channel Island prison has become the first in the world to use a new system designed to stop drones smuggling drugs, weapons and other contraband over perimeter walls.A group of British companies has collaborated to install a comprehensive perimeter protection package at Les Nicolles Prison on Guernsey, including the new “Sky Fence” technology. It creates a 600m shield around the prison to detect remote-controlled drones, then uses a series of ‘disruptors’ – sensors to jam the drone’s computer – to block its frequency and control protocols and divert it back to where it came from. Drones have become a major security problem in Britain’s prisons and are increasingly used to smuggle in drugs, weapons, phones and other valuables. Perimeter fence disruptors Les Nicolles has ordered around 20 disruptors on the perimeter fence line and within the jail. Sky Fence is the creation of British companies, Drone Defence and Eclipse Digital Solutions, while steel fencing manufacturer Zaun and Coventry-based PIDs business Harper Chalice have also supplied product installed by the UK’s premier prison perimeters installer Binns Fencing. Prisoner governor, David Matthews said: “This is the first time this technology has been used in any prison anywhere in the world. I would like to see it adopted in other UK prisons because it has become a significant problem. This is about prevention.” Prison security Nottingham-based company Drone Defence has worked on the idea in the past year. Founder and CEO Richard Gill said: “It disrupts the control network between the flyer and the drone. The drone then activates return to home mode and it will then fly back to the position where it had signal with its flyer. Someone described it as the final piece in a prison’s security puzzle. I think it could have a significant worldwide impact.” Eclipse managing director Alan Drinkwater said they had modified existing technology to create Sky Fence. The new system in Guernsey is part of a £1.7 million security upgrade that also includes new cameras, new fencing and sensors, a new lighting system and new alarms. A multi-use games area for prisoners has also been set out within the walls. Les Nicolles is a mixed category prison which holds both men and women, young offenders and adults, and has a capacity of just 139. It opened in 1989 and its population has fallen to an all-time low in recent years. It is independent of the mainland prison and justice system and is run by the State of Guernsey.
Round table discussion
The new year 2019 is brimming with possibilities for the physical security industry, but will those possibilities prove to be good news or bad news for our market? Inevitably, it will be a combination of good and bad, but how much good and how bad? We wanted to check the temperature of the industry as it relates to expectations for the new year, so we asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: How optimistic is your outlook for the physical security industry in 2019? Why?
One of the things all security systems have in common is that they depend on human operators, to one extent or another. But how often is the human factor overlooked in product design? Sometimes, more focus is aimed at increasing the functionality of a system, even at the expense of usability. That’s how we get systems that have more capabilities, although accessing that functionality may be hopelessly complex. Creating effective graphical user interfaces (GUIs) is an ongoing challenge for the security market, and the consumer market, with its iPads and smart phones, has raised the expectations bar. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: What elements are required to make an effective video system user interface?