Terrorism by unmanned aircraft is a growing threat. Using drones to smuggle contraband into prisons is a current trend. While many countries are deploying UAVs in combat, the UAS technology is getting easier and easier to acquire by the general public and ill-intentioned groups. Most of current security systems set up in critical infrastructures are not sufficient to guarantee an appropriate level of protection. Over the past several months, more and more drones have been flying over Florida's p...
An ever-increasing number of sectors are starting to take notice of the huge array of security, training and performance benefits body worn cameras can bring to the table. As a result, new targeted solutions are now needed to meet the growing demands of customers that require cameras specifically designed to meet their security needs. This is the message being relayed by Edesix, market leaders and innovators in the provision of body worn camera solutions, as it continues its expansion drive into...
Edesix, the provider of body worn cameras, is showcasing how its fleet of body worn cameras are becoming increasingly important to the safety and development of first responders around the globe at the 2017 Emergency Services Show. At the show, Edesix is demonstrating its newly launched VideoTag (VT-50), its smallest incident recorder to date, as well as the VideoBadges utilised by Police Services Northern Ireland, South Australian Police, Her Majesty’s Prison Services and West Midlands F...
Honeywell, a global provider of connected buildings, announced an enhanced version of Honeywell Digital Video Manager (DVM) that offers smarter security and surveillance capabilities for today’s increasingly complex building environments. The new release, DVM R620, enables organisations to more easily secure large-scale security operations with features that improve operator efficiency and situational awareness for faster incident identification and resolution, and power more accurate and...
Edesix, a provider of Body Worn Camera solutions, announces further expansion of its sales team through the appointment of Calum Miller. Edesix enjoyed a record year of success in 2016 where it won a host of large contracts in the UK and abroad, including the contract to supply the UK Prison Services. It was also nominated for a Scottish Export Award. VideoTag VT-50 The firm is now looking to build on this success with the appointment of Calum Miller, who joins Edesix as Business Development M...
Traka UK has joined forces with Edesix, the principal manufacturer of Body Worn Cameras, to ensure equipment used across the UK Prison Service is safely stored and efficiency managed. The provider of intelligent key cabinets and locker systems has partnered with Edesix following the company’s contract win as preferred supplier to all UK prisons. Traka bespoke locker system Traka designed a bespoke locker system specifically for Edesix, which not only ensures body cameras are safely secur...
eyevis LED video walls offer ultra-high resolution and bright displays across a wide variety of applications Video wall and visual display solutions provider eyevis UK has surpassed one million hours a year of 24/7 operation at their installations across the UK. LED video walls The Burnley-based company provides high quality display solutions and video wall controllers to a wide range of sectors where quality and reliability are vital, including corporate, broadcasters, advertising displays, TV studios, CCTV control rooms, banks, and government buildings.eyevis UK’s high quality LED video walls offer ultra-high resolution and extremely bright displays across a wide variety of applications. The latest eyevis technology means that, for the first time, there is now an indoor LED solution which provides the highest quality and resolution.eyevis UK Managing Director Steve Murphy said: “The need for 24/7 operation in everything from control rooms to retail displays has created a huge demand for reliable and easy to service solutions which can fit into small, compact spaces.”LED illuminated rear projection “We are delighted to have hit one million hours across the UK in terms of 24/7 operation each year” “eyevis solutions are designed to meet these requirements and has led to a steady growth in demand, with installations ranging from high-profile government buildings to major Oxford Street retailers and high security prisons. We are delighted to have hit one million hours across the UK in terms of 24/7 operation each year.”eyevis, founded in 1995, is a manufacturer of intelligent control room video wall solutions. These include industrial modular displays, LED illuminated rear projection, and the narrowest bezel industrial LCDs; revolutionary Netpix video wall controllers and video wall control software. eyevis UK was formed almost ten years ago, by Burnley man Steve Murphy, a former St Theodore’s High School pupil and an avid Clarets fan, who previously served a five-year technical apprenticeship with Michelin. The company, based in Halifax Road, Briercliffe, employs 12 people.
The CMD3-AHD camera is built to blend into corners to ensure maximum area coverage UK-based CCTV manufacturer ITS Products Limited announced an addition to their range of anti-ligature high-security cameras. CMD3-AHD analogue high definition camera The new model, the CMD3-AHD, is the company’s first camera to feature analogue high definition and joins the existing IP and analogue models to complete a comprehensive offering. The three cameras are aimed at end-users in establishments that have the challenging task of balancing security with duty of care to detainees or patients. The CMD3-AHD delivers exceptional images at up to 1920x1080p resolution. The unit includes covert infrared illumination to ensure that it can capture pictures regardless of room lighting conditions. “We always listen to what our customers and end-users are telling us” said Director Martin McCarthy. “AHD was beginning to feature more and more in the high-security market with our UK and overseas clients. We felt the time was right to introduce an analogue high-definition camera to complete our product range. These cameras are installed at sites where there can be many stakeholders including regulatory bodies, independent inspectors, and staff representatives as well as the more traditional user. It’s critical that the products should address everyone’s needs and concerns.” AHD avoids risks associated with cabling disruption and allows high-definition images to be recorded Facility security The CMD3-AHD will benefit customers wishing to move to high-definition video but for whom re-cabling is not an option whatever the reason. High-security facilities such as police custody suites or secure mental health hospitals simply cannot have new cabling infrastructure fitted in many instances either because of the risk inherent with possible behaviour of occupants or due to the fabric of the building and estate. This can frustrate installers as there is always a demand to increase video quality in any market. AHD avoids risks associated with cabling disruption and allows high-definition images to be recorded. As with the rest of the CMD3 range, the camera is built to blend into corners so ensuring it can capture the maximum area in the room. This is something a traditional CCTV dome cannot achieve. The design minimises ligature points and is highly resistant to malicious attack. The unique CMD3 solutions can be found in some of the most challenging environments around the world. Custodial and healthcare professionals fully understand the seriousness of the daily challenges they face and know that the ITS Products range can solve many of these demands while at the same time not introducing new hazards.
With anti-ligature edges, the cameras can prevent against self-harm and even suicide VIVOTEK, an IP surveillance solution provider, introduces its two latest anti-ligature corner dome network cameras with the fixed lens CD8371-HNVF2 and varifocal lens CD8371-HNTV. Both 3–megapixel corner dome network cameras feature an anti-grip design, robust IK10+ housing, and built-in invisible 940nm IR illuminators, undetectable by the human eye. VIVOTEK corner dome cameras are specially designed for high security environments, such as prisons, holding cells, psychiatric wards, mental hospitals, and correctional institutions, and can both reduce the possibility of self-harm and simultaneously protect the safety of institutional staff. Shock detection and advanced tampering detection Fully aware of the growing need for indoor surveillance of critical environments, VIVOTEK has developed the CD8371-HNVF2 and CD8371-HNTV to meet the challenges of this demanding field. With anti-ligature edges, the camera can prevent against self-harm and even suicide. Designed to be installed in the upper corner of a cell, the corner dome cameras also allow security officers to see any event in cells, with wide angle horizontal FOV (up to 108°) and vertical FOV (up to 79°). Furthermore, they also deploy Supreme Night Visibility (SNV) technology to ensure high quality images even under low-light conditions Moreover, each device is armed with a robust vandal-proof IK10+ rated and weather-proof IP66 rated housing, enabling the camera’s body to withstand water and protect against vandalism or tampering. Also, equipped with shock detection and advanced tampering detection in case cameras suffer attack. Thanks to two-way audio and a built-in microphone, sound can also be clearly monitored and recorded up to 5 meters. Built-in IR illuminators As professional day and night cameras, the CD8371-HNVF2 and CD8371-HNTV feature built-in 940nm IR illuminators effective up to 10 meters which operate completely invisible and guarantee security in total darkness. These cameras also adopt WDR Pro, which captures both dark and bright areas of an image and combines the differences to create a highly realistic representation of the original scene. Furthermore, they also deploy Supreme Night Visibility (SNV) technology to ensure high quality images even under low-light conditions. This superior visibility further enables the cameras to eliminate unexpected incidents and to deliver high-level security around the clock to areas of critical importance.
Avigilon’s year over year sales growth outpaced that of the security industry Avigilon Corporation, provider of trusted security solutions, reported financial results for the three months ended March 31, 2016. All figures are in United States ("US") dollars unless otherwise stated. First quarter 2016 financial highlights Revenue was $69.9 million, an increase of 15% over Q1 2015 revenue of $60.6 million Gross margin was 57%, down from 59% a year earlier Adjusted EBITDA* was $8.9 million, in line with Q1 2015 Adjusted EBITDA of $8.9 million Adjusted Earnings* were $3.8 million, a 38% decrease over Q1 2015 Adjusted Earnings of $6.2 million Diluted Adjusted Earnings Per Share* of $0.09, compared with $0.13 in Q1 2015 Comparing the trailing 12 months ending Q1 2016 to the trailing 12 months ending Q1 2015: revenue increased by 16%; gross margin percentage remained unchanged at 57%; and Adjusted EBITDA grew by 8% "The first quarter of 2016 marked our 33rd consecutive quarter of year over year profitable growth," said Alexander Fernandes, Avigilon's Founder, President, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board. "As part of the successful execution of our growth strategy, we increased our investments across the Company, notably in research and development. These investments strengthen our market-leading security solutions, and pave the way for continued profitable revenue growth." First quarter 2016 business highlights Opened Avigilon's new Analytics and Data Science Center of Excellence in Boston Year over year sales growth outpaced that of the security industry Launched the H4 and H4 Edge Solution Camera lines Major installation of Avigilon 7K Cameras at Colombia's Medellin Atanasio Girardot Stadium Announced the Early Adopter Plan for the Avigilon Patent License Program, successfully increasing the total number of licensees to 25 on April 30, 2016 Financial Outlook Avigilon plans to continue profitably delivering strong year over year revenue growth. In line with these plans, the Company expects to achieve its annual run-rate revenue goal of CAD$500 million by the end of 2016. Avigilon reiterates its guidance for fiscal year 2016: Revenue between $335 million and $365 million Adjusted EBITDA margin between 15% and 20% Adjusted Earnings Per Share between $0.66 and $0.88 Effective tax rate between 28% and 30% Capital expenditures between $30 million and $35 million
MOBOTIX presents for first time ever the new MxPanel with its large, convenient screen, new user interface & connectivity options At light+building in Frankfurt, Germany, MOBOTIX presents innovations and groundbreaking solutions of professional video security, smart home automation and access control. The latest version of MOBOTIX’s professional MxMC video management software with high-speed playback and easy-to-use time-lapse function allows to analyse 24 hours of high-resolution video recordings in less than a minute. The newly developed App for Android and the optimized camera access via browser MxWeb offer a redesigned, intuitive user interface including audio features, bandwidth optimisation and grid view of multiple cameras. Another highlight is presented with the v25 vandalism camera, available in several versions, complementing the successful MOBOTIX 6MP indoor camera line that opens up new potential applications, for example, at military installations, prisons, schools and public buildings. Beside the new flush, wall-mounted MxDisplay+ as video intercom station with gesture control, MOBOTIX presents for the first time ever the new MxPanel with its large, convenient screen, a new user interface and connectivity options. A MOBOTIX IP Video Door Station can be easily upgraded with the newly developed MxBaseboard and MxDoorSecure. Thanks to intelligent encryption, they offer maximum protection against manipulation as well as a range of different connection options (bell, light, doorbell, etc.), with minimum cabling, for each entrance.
SightLogix SightSensor smart video security cameras provide a highly accurate means of automated detection SightLogix Inc., the leading manufacturer of smart thermal cameras for video security applications, is solving mission-critical outdoor security challenges for correctional facilities across North America. Accurate security and lowered costs make the SightLogix system an ideal solution for the unique challenges facing correctional organizations. “A primary objective for correctional facilities is to keep people from leaving the property while simultaneously preventing contraband from entering,” said John Romanowich, President and CEO, SightLogix. “SightSensor smart video security cameras are a time-proven solution for the key problems faced by correctional facilities.” One recent success story involves a detention centre bordering a public area. Perpetrators were able to approach the perimeter undetected and launch contraband over the fence to insiders. Thermal SightSensors were installed to provide an automated, early warning buffer zone of security beyond the fence. Shortly after the system was running, it accurately detected perpetrators in the act of delivering contraband, alerting prison security personnel to the precise location of the intrusion as it was unfolding, leading to a successful interception. Other correctional facility applications where the SightSensor is installed include rooftop security, roadside applications that detect vehicles loitering along the perimeter beyond a specific period of time, and securing sterile zones between perimeter fences as an added layer of protection. Unlike conventional cameras, sensors and physical perimeter security solutions, SightLogix SightSensor smart video security cameras provide a highly accurate means of automated detection. On-board image processing is used to virtually eliminate false detection alarms caused by wind, rain, small animals and other anomalies. The same image processing provides the clearest thermal images 24 hours a day, even in difficult weather, humidity, or bright sun. The combination of accurate, automated detection and clear video images has earned SightLogix its reputation for being the most accurate outdoor security solution available. “SightSensors are delivering documented security results for correctional facilities around the country,” continued Mr. Romanowich, “while allowing management to realize a good balance between technology, manpower and cost-efficiency.” SightLogix SightSensor intelligent video security cameras will be on display at the American Correctional Association Conference which runs August 9th through the 14th at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in National Harbor, MD.
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.
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?
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.”
Covering a 2,400 square kilometre area with 110,000 residents, the Chatham-Kent Police Service (CKPS) is dedicated to making its community the safest in Ontario, Canada. With a force of 171 officers and 70 civilian employees, the CKPS has been adopting new technologies to better protect the public and ultimately, prevent crime in its community. Consequently, the CKPS has deployed the Avigilon High Definition (HD) Surveillance System at its headquarters to boost security onsite and deliver detailed, solid evidence to the court to meet disclosure requirements and achieve an overall higher rate of conviction. After facing several insurmountable challenges with its previous video surveillance system, including inflexible and unreliable hardware and a lack of local support, the CKPS decided to deploy a new, more advanced HD surveillance system to enhance staff safety, secure assets including firearms and other resources, protect the mission-critical IT infrastructure at the 911 control centre, and monitor prisoners in the holding areas. “We wanted to augment our existing security plan with added video surveillance of both the interior and exterior of our 6,000 square metre building for greater overall protection,” explained Inspector Tim Mifflin of the CKPS. “It is also our responsibility to monitor prisoners for court purposes and provide reliable—and useable—video evidence. With the new Avigilon HD Surveillance System, we are far better equipped to successfully meet our disclosure requirements.”The CKPS has installed two Avigilon HD network video recorders (NVRs) with automatic failover Facilitating video evidence collection Working closely with the team at SECURaGLOBE Solutions, a provider of surveillance system design, installation, and service, the CKPS assessed three video surveillance systems. “After careful review and unanimous support from our board, Avigilon was quickly identified as the best surveillance solution to help us improve security onsite and provide the courts with the best evidence possible to successfully meet our disclosure requirements,” said Inspector Mifflin. “Avigilon won based on performance, cost, and ease-of-operation.” Officers and administrators at the CKPS seamlessly manage the Avigilon HD Surveillance System using Avigilon Control Center network video management software (NVMS) with HD stream management (HDSM) and installed 12 Avigilon analogue video encoders to dramatically improve the performance of its existing 48 analogue cameras. The CKPS has also installed two Avigilon HD network video recorders (NVRs) with automatic failover to store 30 days of continuous surveillance video with greater reliability and redundancy. According to Inspector Mifflin, installation was simple and straightforward. “SecuraGlobe and Avigilon worked together to provide excellent support and training on the new system.”The Avigilon HD Surveillance System is able to deliver more precise synchronisation Accurate audio-video synchronisation To help meet stringent court disclosure requirements and provide the most reliable evidence possible, the CKPS needed to improve its audio recording capabilities to ensure precise audio/video synchronisation of surveillance footage. “Along with video, well-synched audio is essential to our ability to provide useable evidence to the court,” explained Shannon Postma, information systems technician at the CKPS, who has installed microphones in common areas to record suspects throughout the legal process. With its previous system, audio and video was not well-synched, often leading to the inadmissibility of evidence in court. The Avigilon HD Surveillance System is able to deliver more precise synchronisation because it is a complete, end-to-end solution engineered to ensure that all data is accurately time-stamped. “With Avigilon’s superior synchronisation capabilities, we can now provide the best evidence possible.” Avigilon Control Center software’s advanced functionality and simple management tools have also been a key selling feature for the CKPS Postma can also create a standardised format to facilitate audio transcription that is compatible with the Police Service’s dictation system, something they were not previously able to do without a lot of time and effort. “Before installing the Avigilon HD Surveillance System, we would have to physically play the tape, hit pause, and transcribe the audio by hand—an extremely time-consuming task,” said Postma.It takes one tenth the time to search, playback, identify, and copy video to create a file to be used in court Enhanced functionality with reduced response time Avigilon Control Center software’s advanced functionality and simple management tools have also been a key selling feature for the CKPS, especially when it comes to improving their evidence collection abilities. “When I create a video using Avigilon Control Center software, I can easily pinpoint an incident, overlay comments, include incident numbers, and even create a PDF of the exact detail required, dramatically improving our ability to provide full and accurate disclosure,” said Postma. Using their former surveillance system, a CKPS employee would have to pull video from the system and review footage by hand to identify an event, which was very labour intensive. “With our previous system, it would take the better part of a full time employee’s day to review and prepare footage for court,” explained Inspector Mifflin. “Now, that employee can be redeployed to other functions that will boost security throughout the community.” According to Postma, Avigilon Control Center’s powerful functionality and search capabilities are tenfold better than her previous system, as is overall image clarity. “It literally takes one tenth the time to search, playback, identify, and copy video to create a file to be used in court—a huge selling point for me,” noted Postma. And while the previous system claimed to deliver precise image detail, the hardware was unable to keep up, making evidence collection difficult. “Avigilon Control Center software is very, very capable of doing what I need it to do to help me be as successful in my job as possible.” Using Avigilon Control Center software, Postma is also able to assign limited functionality to specific users to reduce the number of individuals involved in the manipulation of evidence, further ensuring its integrity for court purposes.Avigilon’s use of JPEG2000 compression technology dramatically increases image capture quality Reliability in high-risk environments Avigilon’s rich feature set and easy management tools have resulted in greater operational efficiencies and improved overall productivity for the CKPS. “With the Avigilon HD Surveillance system installed, we immediately save personnel time,” stated Inspector Mifflin. “In the long term, the Avigilon HD Surveillance System will become a routine function of the lock-up officer, freeing up time for the IT services team and forensic identification unit, who have until now been the system’s main users.” According to Postma, the Avigilon HD Surveillance System has already saved her valuable time. “I am confident that the system is up and running all the time, so I no longer spend unnecessary time checking on the system,” she said. In addition, Avigilon’s use of JPEG2000 compression technology dramatically increases image capture quality and intelligently manages the progressive transmission of images at variable resolution to reduce bandwidth requirements and associated storage costs. Working in a high-risk environment in which police officers are interacting with suspects and prisoners around the clock, the CKPS identified reliability as a top requirement for its new surveillance system. Configured with two network video recorders installed in a secure server room, the Avigilon HD Surveillance System promises automatic failover and complete redundancy. “With up to 2,000 prisoners annually in our holding cells, it is critical that our surveillance system stay up and running all the time – it simply cannot go down,” explained Postma. “The fact that Avigilon delivers a solution with automatic failover and full redundancy was a huge selling point for me.” Community safety By deploying the Avigilon HD Surveillance System, the CKPS can deliver irrefutable, conclusive evidence on which to confirm and convict, leaving little room for doubt. “The Avigilon HD Surveillance System is a building block for us as we expand our security initiatives to add surveillance at remote service centres and implement criminal and general surveillance across our jurisdiction for greater overall protection,” concluded Inspector Mifflin. “With Avigilon in place, we can confidently deliver on our promise to provide a safer community for all our residents.”
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.
Roumieh is the largest prison in Lebanon, holding thousands of prisoners within its walls. The size of the prison population of Roumieh and the challenges authorities face around internal crime, corruption, contraband, and inmate unrest have led to the continued notoriety of the facility. The prison consists of five buildings and hosts a variety of convicts and detainees. Its population ranges from individuals held on remand to terrorists and high-risk prisoners who pose great challenges to security. A riot broke out in the cellblock of building A in 2015. The violent disturbance required the dispatch of elite Internal Security Forces who were able to end the incident after several hours. After such an event, officials concluded there was a need to improve both the conditions and the overall security of the institution. Prison security project Guardia Systems was chosen as the systems integrator for the installation of a new surveillance system within the prison. This project is part of an ongoing effort to increase security within the facility while reducing criminal behaviour.Guardia Systems deployed one hundred and thirty-nine Arecont Vision megapixel cameras inside the prison walls. The surveillance system provides comprehensive monitoring of all the buildings, courtyards, and main entrance of the facility. The Arecont Vision cameras installed for Roumieh Prison include twenty-four MegaDome 5MP (megapixel) and one hundred and fifteen MegaDome 3MP cameras. All the cameras are integrated with the video management system (VMS) and monitored from the prison control room twenty-four hours a day. Arecont Vision cameras with low-light imaging and true WDR The benefits of Arecont Vision’s cameras were clear from the beginning. Their simplified installation requirements reduced the manpower needed for the deployment phase of the project. The cameras are also extremely adept at operating under a variety of lighting conditions, and Guardia Systems specifically identified the availability of both advanced low-light imaging along with true WDR (Wide Dynamic Range) technology as important factors leading to the selection of Arecont Vision for the project: "The ease of installation that Arecont Vision cameras offer was also a very important factor leading to the selection of the brand" “With widely varying lighting conditions inside the prison, combined with both indoor and outdoor views to be covered by the same cameras, the low light and WDR capabilities of Arecont Vision products were very important to their selection,” said Engineer Chadi Rahi, Business Development & Sales Manager at Guardia Systems. “The ease of installation that Arecont Vision cameras offer was also a very important factor leading to the selection of the brand.” Arecont Vision’s competitive pricing and Guardia’s positive experience with the company’s Technical Assistance Center (TAC) further informed their decision: “We have used Arecont Vision cameras in other projects with equal success, so we already knew the outstanding product quality and advanced features for the prison would be delivered at a very competitive price,” Mr. Rahi added. Integration with Milestone Systems' VMS Milestone Systems was chosen as the VMS for the project which provides a fully integrated and seamless surveillance system. Arecont Vision and Milestone have years of experience working together and have integrated a multitude of surveillance projects worldwide for a wide range of requirements. Arecont Vision was awarded two Global Partner of the Year Awards in the last five years. Through the Arecont Vision Technology Partner Program, new cameras, features, and updated capabilities are pre-tested in the Arecont Vision MegaLab™ with Milestone and other vendor software and hardware. Customer support is also simplified through the use of the MegaLab for the resolution of any post-installation problems. Whenever an incident occurs in the prison, the Arecont Vision cameras are able to accurately capture it on video for response and action by the authorities Arecont Vision camera results Whenever an incident occurs in the prison, the Arecont Vision cameras are able to accurately capture it on video for response and action by the authorities: “Our surveillance security system was used several times to investigate specific activities, behaviours, and incidents that occurred during the past period of instability in the prison,” said Sandy Issa, Head of Communication & PR at Guardia Systems. The video surveillance system is monitored from a Command and Control Centre that accommodates 15 operators. Centre personnel are always on duty watching the feed from the cameras. Acceptance of the surveillance system has not come without challenges. Prisoners have tried to destroy or damage the infrastructure installed in several of the buildings: “The prisoners have tried to burn the cables and even the cameras themselves. Despite that, the Arecont Vision cameras were still able to record useful footage of the incidents,” said Mr. Rahi. “The images were very clear, even with the resulting smoke and fire.” Arecont Vision introduced new vandal-resistant, hardened corner-mount enclosures that can be added for additional camera protection. Their use will better protect newly installed cameras from destruction and vandalism. “The video surveillance system has performed very well for Roumieh Prison in improving the security environment,” concluded Mr. Rahi.
An extensive survey revealed that 72% of paramedics were in favour of wearing BWCs at work Body worn cameras (BWCs) are fast becoming a staple piece of equipment for police officers across the United States. Police forces, such as NYPD, have trialled and adopted BWCs to take advantage of the many benefits associated with greater accountability and transparency, as well as potential cost savings. Yet, unlike the European market where other industries have also bought in to body worn video, the US still views BWCs as predominantly law enforcement specific equipment.Edesix, a UK based manufacturer of complete BWC solutions, has successfully marketed their VideoBadge BWCs, and accompanying VideoManager software, to a range of industries with different requirements and objectives across the globe. Deployments which have proven to be particularly effective include those to emergency services, prisons, and parking enforcement agencies.Emergency servicesThere is significant potential for BWCs within emergency services in the US, not only to protect staff but also improve the quality of these services. In the UK, ambulance crews often use the cameras to record instances of abusive behaviour, whilst paramedics and fire crews use them as valuable training tools to improve techniques out in the field.An extensive survey revealed that 72% of paramedics were in favour of wearing BWCs at work, citing reasons such as feeling safer, being able to record violent patients, and providing accurate information to medical teams further down the patient’s treatment.Fire and rescue services also value body worn video in their line of work. Edesix recently supplied fire crews of the West Midlands Fire Service with VideoBadge VB-300s, which they will use to identify training requirements and maintain public safety, resulting in improved services in the near future.PrisonsPrisons are a notorious environment for instances of abusive behaviour and assaults. In the US alone, 33.5% of prison assaults are committed against staff members. The presence of BWCs has been proven to improve both staff and prisoner safety, by acting as a deterrent to abusive behaviour whilst recording court-ready evidence of incidents. "For the moment being, law enforcement agencies and police forces will remain the biggest endorsers and advocates of body worn video systems in the US" The UK, too, has a problem with prison safety. In July, the Ministry of Justice reported that assaults on prison staff were at a record high. Edesix has since supplied HM Prison services across England with VB-300 body worn cameras, which were extremely well received by prison guards and inmates alike. By wearing BWCs, prison staff can quell violent behaviour before it even begins. Prisoners are made aware that both their actions and the staff’s actions are being carefully monitored, which helps create a more harmonious environment, even in particularly rough prisons.Parking enforcementParking enforcement officers routinely have to deal with disgruntled drivers who, on occasion, may become violent or abusive. BWCs have been used extensively in the parking industry in Europe for a few years to great effect. The American parking market is growing, with a leading market research agency predicting that 14,655 BWCs will be deployed to parking and civil enforcement organisations in 2017.This year Edesix provided Gravesham Traffic Wardens, who had been the targets of a recent spate of abuse, with VideoBadge VB-200 BWCs. Members of the public can now see that they may be recorded and, as a result, many do not escalate their behaviour. If the parking enforcement officer does experience any abuse, they are able to record HD court-ready evidence, which can then be referred to the police.Future of BWCs in United States For the moment being, law enforcement agencies and police forces will remain the biggest endorsers and advocates of body worn video systems in the US. However, as other industries begin to see the possible, and perhaps already evident, advantages of BWCs they will invest in the technology. As many industries in Europe have shown, the applications for BWCs are far more ranging than could have been previously thought only a few years ago.