Bosch Security Systems (Bosch) has introduced the AUTODOME IP starlight 5100i with enhanced image quality and built-in Artificial Intelligence (AI) to help operators react before a potential situation occurs. Designed for outdoor surveillance applications when light levels vary, the AUTODOME IP starlight 5100i has a new ½ inch camera sensor offering 4MP resolution and 20x optical zoom to detect people or objects at a maximum distance up to 1,676 meters (5,498 feet). AUTODOME IP starligh...
Urban populations are expanding rapidly around the globe, with an expected growth of 1.56 billion by 2040. As the number of people living and working in cities continues to grow, the ability to keep everyone safe is an increasing challenge. However, technology companies are developing products and solutions with these futuristic cities in mind, as the reality is closer than you may think. Solutions that can help to watch over public places and share data insights with city workers and officials...
A new range of Wisenet Public View Monitors (PVMs) equipped with a built-in SSL connected 2-megapixel camera have been introduced to help retailers deter fraudsters and shoplifters. Offering a choice of 10”, 27”, and 32” monitors, the 3 new PVMs are designed to be located at store entrances, shopping aisles, till points, or self-checkout pay points. With an SD/SDHC/SDXC slot that can facilitate up to 512GB of data storage, the PVMs provide store management with the opportunity...
The events of 2020, combined with technological advances and the adoption of cloud and artificial intelligence for video surveillance, will make 2021 a transformational year for the industry. Eagle Eye Networks, the front-runner in smart cloud video security, shared the trends that will have the biggest impact on video surveillance, security, and the use of analytics to drive business intelligence and improvement in 2021. Customers are asking for the cloud; Advanced analytics will transform vi...
The Z-Wave Alliance, announces that the Z-Wave Long Range (Z-Wave LR) specification is available for product development. Z-Wave LR connectivity enables new IoT applications beyond the home, without any need for repeaters, ensuring easy install and low cost. With a network size of up to 4000 nodes, Z-Wave LR provides the scalability needed in MDU and hospitality deployments. Z-Wave LR also reduces ongoing maintenance costs with up to 10 years of life on a coin cell battery. The Z-Wave LR specif...
As has become traditional at this time of the year, Hanwha Techwin has announced what it believes will be the top 5 key trends for the video surveillance industry during 2021. They cover AI edge-based solutions, open platform, the Cloud, cybersecurity, data protection, and privacy issues. Growth of AI edge-based solutions A key advantage of edge devices is that they have the ability to run specialist software applications onboard. This improves resource efficiency, saves processing time, and...
Permanent video observation is in place at busy traffic junctions in many towns. With the Traffic Enforcement Module on the Dallmeier HEMISPHERE® software platform, public authorities can now capture traffic incidents or offenses quickly and simply with an easy-to-use software tool. A precisely definable and adaptable process enables users to evaluate and follow up on incidents efficiently with digital tools – while adhering to the evaluation and data protection regulations. Capture traffic violations Live video surveillance is already performed or under consideration at many car parking facilities and traffic junctions. With the Dallmeier HEMISPHERE® Traffic Enforcement Module, local authorities now have the capability to capture traffic violations and file video sequences of the offenses efficiently within these existing surveillance systems. Cloud capability and compatibility The solution provides operators with a user-friendly function set that enables them to perform all of these tasks quickly and intuitively. Local authorities can thus optimize the process of investigating and punishing traffic violations, and so generate additional revenue. Users can implement the system with both Dallmeier cameras or with third-party systems. The HEMISPHERE® SeMSy® components can be operated either on-premise or in public cloud environments such as Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services (AWS), or Google Cloud Platform. Accurate logging during capture If an operator observes a traffic offense, he can start the recording of the camera live stream immediately. For this purpose, the app features a control center on a time bar for starting, stopping, and canceling recordings. Backup of the recording is made automatically in the background and can be canceled if an offense has not taken place After a recording has been stopped again, a backup of the recording is made automatically in the background, and it is saved to an archive together with a timestamp, the name of the camera, and the name of the operator. Recordings can be canceled if an offense has not taken place. For this, the operator must provide a reason either from a dropdown list or in free text. Depending on the requirements applied to a system, selection options with subsequent text input fields can be configured individually. At the same time, all user actions are logged in full. Optimized workflows Besides the actual recording and saving routines, the system also maps the process for follow-up processing of incidents: First, all recorded offenses are listed in the module in a chronological overview. Users can filter and search the list by ID, user, violation code, camera name, vehicle registration number, date and time, and processing status. In a processing mode, they can review the items and decide whether a traffic offense has been committed and should be reported. For this purpose, they are then able to access the recording or the offense, additional information or snapshots from the recording, and the exact location of the incident on a map section. Predefined justification If an item is not processed further, because it is evident that an offense has not taken place, this must be confirmed with a predefined justification. All offenses which are reported must be collected in detail in a log for subsequent investigation and review. The list can be filtered by data and exported to a PDF file. Additional benefits "Many towns implement video observation systems at busy traffic junctions. With our solution, these systems are given very valuable additional benefits, whereby besides improving safety they also help to relieve the strain on municipal budgets," according to Dieter Dallmeier, Founder and CEO, Dallmeier electronic. "The Dallmeier solution enables the operators to secure evidence for traffic offenses intuitively and with maximum efficiency with very low training costs. The subsequent evaluation and forwarding process guarantees compliance and data protection, and all processes are logged in detail."
Genetec Inc., a foremost technology provider of unified security, public safety, operations, and business intelligence solutions, shared the results of a state of the industry report based on insights from over 1,000 physical security leaders. The report looks at how the physical security industry is reacting to the threat of COVID-19, how security professionals are coping, and how day-to-day operations and plans are affected for the coming year. Physical security industry Challenges Not surprisingly, the survey reveals that COVID-19 has led to a focus on security efforts to ensure the safety of people and facilities. For the majority of security professionals, the top three challenges during the pandemic are managing employee/visitor safety; dealing with physical security threats (e.g. vandalism, theft, break-ins, etc.); and the remote management and securing of buildings. However, while the pandemic has brought on numerous new challenges, the vast majority of organizations have had to face them creatively. Priorities The survey showed that 68% of respondents reported project delays/downsizing or cancellations this year; however, looking into 2021 48% expect budgets to stay flat or increase with a focus on ongoing investment in existing systems and deployment of tools to support ongoing response to the pandemic. With pressing new requirements and more limited resources, physical security organizations are stressed but finding ways to pivot to address extraordinary circumstances. Using resourcefulness and creativity, many security professionals (48%) are looking to existing systems to help them face these new challenges. Resilience & Resourcefulness “The security industry excels at planning for the unexpected, and while the pandemic took the world by surprise, our industry has shown extraordinary resilience and resourcefulness.” “We have seen so many of our customers and partners quickly adapt to the new needs and challenges posed by the situation.” “They’ve been able to repurpose and adapt their existing security infrastructure to meet some of the new challenges created by the pandemic,” said Pervez Siddiqui, Vice President of Business Development at Genetec, Inc. Physical security behind in cloud adoption 61% of security experts had no cloud plans, 74% indicated a small part and less than 25% was or would become cloud While 37% of respondents said they were evaluating new technologies, the adoption of cloud-technology continues to be slow in the physical security industry. In stark contrast with the accelerated adoption of cloud-based solutions observed in other sectors in 2020, more than 61% of security professionals reported that they had no cloud plans, often citing concerns over cost and data security, and 74% indicated only a small portion of their environments (less than 25%) was or would become cloud or hybrid cloud. Modern cloud-based solutions “The move to a predominantly remote workforce was made a lot easier for organizations that had already invested in cloud-based technologies, yet very few companies had already started that transition,” said Christian Morin, Vice President of Cloud Services and CSO at Genetec, Inc. “As companies continue to re-evaluate how they get the work done, modern cloud-based solutions should be at the top of their list.” Cyberattack risks In spite of cybercrime continues to increase, and remote work creating more technology challenges, the physical security industry remains behind in its approach to addressing cyber threats. The survey reveals that only 35% of respondents took steps to improve their cybersecurity strategy as a result of the pandemic. “This new reality has underscored the fact that the network perimeter is truly dead with the bulk of the workforce working remotely. This forces many organizations to rapidly rethink and evolve their cybersecurity strategies,” added Morin. Survey methodology Genetec Inc. surveyed physical security professionals between September 21 and October 13, 2020. 1,074 respondents were included in the sample for analysis. Survey samples were run across all regions including North America, Central America, Caribbean, South America, Europe, Middle East, Africa, Asia, and Oceania. Further research in 2021 To remain abreast of the evolving market, Genetec will continue primary research into the new year. This will begin in the first quarter with a review of the EMEA physical security market and continue in other regions later in the year.
Qognify, the trusted advisor and technology solution provider for physical security and enterprise incident management, announced the launch of the Cayuga R16 video management system (VMS). The latest update focuses on improvements for the beating heart of large physical security environments - the Control Room. Cayuga R16 makes it easier for security staff to react, with new features and functionality including Advanced Maps, Patrol in Tiles and Dynamic Camera Layouts, delivering a more comprehensive overview in real-time - allowing for quicker response and thus reducing the impact of incidents. Cayuga R16 builds on the introduction of the “Advanced Map Center” in the R15 release. Advanced mapping capabilities This new mapping functionality has been enhanced and now allows for the automatic positioning of sensors in maps using geo-coordinates. Cameras, alarms and buttons, as well as event items can now be displayed on the ArcGIS maps provided by ESRI within Cayuga. In addition, when using the Qognify Mobile Client (also added to Cayuga earlier this year), cameras can be located on a smart device via Google Maps. It also supports extended functionalities of Dahua Thermal Cameras for body temperature scanning These advanced mapping capabilities make it easier to quickly access a relevant entity and maintain an overview of the exact location of connected devices. The new “Patrol in Tiles” (or Carousel Mode) functionality allows virtual patrols to be performed within single video tiles, freeing up space on the video wall, to ensure that the display and monitoring of live camera feeds can happen simultaneously. Body temperature scanning This is a significant improvement for the control room staff, who tend to be under pressure to perform with limited operator and/or video wall resources. Further video wall improvements are now possible with “Dynamic Camera Layouts”: By dragging additional cameras from the system tree into a grid view displayed on a monitor, the grid is rearranged, and further camera tiles are added - on the go and without changing the default settings of the particular view. Adjusting views has never been easier, saving time to respond to what’s actually happening. In addition, Cayuga R16 is now compliant with ONVIF Profile S and G. It also supports extended functionalities of Dahua Thermal Cameras for body temperature scanning, as part of organizations’ COVID-19 operational response strategies. Behind the scenes the performance of Cayuga has been optimized in R16 by reducing the amount of data exchanged on management servers. Cybersecurity release There has also been a further hardening against cyber attacks (building on the cybersecurity release of Cayuga R14 in October 2019) with important Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVE) updates. Carsten Eckstein, Head of Product Management for Cayuga at Qognify states: “This year Qognify has made significant enhancements to Cayuga and the improvements in R16 continue our innovative roadmap to always release a new VMS version that responds to the ever-changing demands of multi-site corporate and enterprise projects." Incident management solutions At Qognify, they help organizations minimize the impact of security, safety and operational incidents "Many of the new functionalities that we incorporate into our software today are a result of our ongoing cross-product initiative that enhances the customer experience across our product lines. We will continue on this path, always with our users in the focus, enabling operators to undertake their duties with optimal efficiency and make faster, more informed and impactful decisions.” At Qognify, they help organizations minimize the impact of security, safety and operational incidents. Their portfolio contains physical security and enterprise incident management solutions to mitigate risks, increase security and optimize operations. Physical security market As a trusted advisor, the company serves thousands of customers worldwide in many different areas such as manufacturing, transportation authorities, retail chains, banks and other financial institutions, ports and airports, logistics service providers, schools and universities, correctional facilities, critical infrastructures and cities. In 2018, Qognify acquired OnSSI Group with its brands OnSSI and SeeTec, forming a renowned global player in the physical security market. Headquartered in Pearl River, New York, Qognify operates major development hubs in Germany and Israel as well as sales and support offices around the globe.
Axis Communications launches AXIS Q6100-E, a high-resolution multidirectional camera specially designed for operation with any AXIS Q61 PTZ Network Camera. It allows for total situational awareness in large open spaces or narrow streets and zoomed-in details with the PTZ camera. Offering 360° overviews in 20 MP resolution, it’s designed for use with any PTZ camera in AXIS Q61 Series to provide one-click PTZ control for all the details. It includes directional audio detection which redirects the PTZ camera to the audio source whenever an audio incident is detected. Additionally, it features autopilot for automatic PTZ tracking. When motion is detected in one of the four 5 MP sensors, the PTZ camera will automatically track the object within the viewing area. AXIS Q6100-E also offers exchangeable lenses so it’s easy to change lens for specific monitoring needs. Plus, autofocus and automatic calibration for maximum flexibility. Key features 360° camera with one-click PTZ control 4 x 5 MP sensors, total 20 MP resolution Exchangeable and tiltable lenses Requires an AXIS Q61 PTZ Network Camera Directional audio detection included This cost-effective product uses the same bracket, power supply, and network cable as the connected AXIS Q61 PTZ Network Camera, so there’s no extra equipment required helping to simplify installation.
Police users in the Municipality of Padova have deployed over 300 Sepura SC20 radios for the city’s police force. These are the first Sepura radios to be deployed in the Padova region, with the radios being chosen to replace existing TETRA units after a successful user trial. Radio users will benefit from the SC20’s loud audio and robust design, while also being protected by the radios’ advanced functions; Man Down and Lone Worker applications will initially be deployed, while the options for introducing further applications when required are possible via Sepura’s AppSPACE applications environment. A key element of the technical trial was also discovering which radio delivered the best connectivity to the TETRA network. Support critical communications The SC20’s Class 3 RF receiver was a decisive factor here, providing high quality, consistent connectivity for voice and data in both rural and urban locations. Audio will be supported where necessary with Sepura’s Remote Speaker Microphones and hands-free kits, ensuring users can receive clear audio even in busy urban environments. The hand held fleet will be supplemented by over 70 SRG3900 mobile radios placed within police vehicles Flexible charging solutions, licenses for the Radio Manager 2 programming tool and connection to GEG’s dispatcher tool ensure that the radio fleet are ready to support critical communications in the region as soon as they are deployed. The hand held fleet will be supplemented by over 70 SRG3900 mobile radios placed within police vehicles and motorcycles. Powerful data applications The mobile radios will be equipped with either SCC3 color consoles or HBC3 hand-based control units, giving the users flexible control based on their requirements and operating environment. Fabrizio Pierro, Project Manager for GEG who deployed the solution on behalf of Sepura said: “Padova Police have been added to the growing list of Italian public safety organizations who have seen the current and future benefits of Sepura’s SC20 TETRA radio. As well as supporting superior voice and data communications today, the radio is future proofed by offering the chance to upgrade when the user is ready to powerful data applications and advanced tools such as wireless programming.”
Eagle Eye Networks, a pioneer in cloud video security, publishes their latest whitepaper ‘Smart Cities: Cloud Video for Connected, Secure Cities.’ A valuable resource for city leaders looking to build a smart infrastructure, the paper delves into applications, public use, key technology requirements, and smart city engineering and architecture. “Recent successes have shown that cloud-based solutions are indispensable elements of smart city infrastructure, which includes both public and private infrastructure elements,” explains Ken Francis, President of Eagle Eye Networks. Cloud-Based deployments Eagle Eye Networks is proud to partner with city officials around the globe to accelerate innovation and deployment “Cloud-based deployments are essential for cost-effectiveness, scalability, and short deployment timeframes. Eagle Eye Networks is proud to partner with city officials around the globe to accelerate innovation and deployment timeframes by building a cyber secure, open, cloud-based security foundation for their cities.” The whitepaper outlines 11 key requirements of smart city technology initiatives, including: Intelligent Connectivity – City leaders must develop a sound networking plan for any proposed project, verifying the infrastructure capabilities and documenting the planned intelligent use of existing network infrastructure and any new infrastructure to be added as part of the project. Simple Scalability – Explore the future vision of the smart city infrastructure and document how the modern solution being proposed will satisfy current needs and also be both expandable and manageable for future growth. Device and System Interoperability – Ensure the immediate interoperability requirements have all been identified. Work out and document how they will be addressed by current product capabilities or near-term vendor roadmap items. Open Systems Architecture – Don’t just conform to smart city planning, but contribute to it – especially for strategic infrastructure design and elevating citizen and visitor experiences. Actionable Data and Analytics – Security technology service providers should consider the many opportunities that are appropriate for a city seeking to improve the smart city venue. Finally, join Eagle Eye Networks at Smart City Live 2020, November 17 and 18. The worldwide native digital event for cities is hosted by Smart City Expo World Congress.
Smart cities, airports, stadiums, hospitals and other organizations are now liaising with government bodies and law enforcement to propel a new dawn of collaborative security and communication. The influx of new technology coupled with the ever-changing political and social landscapes has meant security is having to evolve. Artificial Intelligence is now allowing law enforcement, security personnel and organizations to a transformational method of fighting crime, maintaining public security and significantly finding persons of interest. AI-powered surveillance cameras Utilising surveillance cameras with implemented AI has revolutionized finding missing persons. Facial Recognition and IREX.ai’s “Searchveillance” have equipped both the public and private sector with the tools to collaboratively work together in finding persons of interest. The influx of new technology coupled with the ever-changing political and social landscapes has meant security is having to evolve Finding missing persons has been an underfunded and challenging issue across society, with many countries having no funding at all after the initial police investigation. Through artificial intelligence, surveillance cameras will never sleep on finding missing people by setting up alerts for once a missing person appears under surveillance. How it’s happening Technology like IREX.ai has delivered an AI collaborative security solution which is implemented into surveillance cameras enabling them to become “smart cameras”. Both public and private sector have not been able to collaborate through utilising their existing cameras, which are now powered by AI-backed smart video technology. With surveillance systems now veering toward becoming cloud based, this now allows an unlimited number of cameras for an organization or city to connect to. The AI platform is helping bringing about a collaborative network to help monitor crowded public areas in real time, something that would have taken a lot of manpower, time and cost to produce. Quicker response through “searchveillance” This has now become a crucial element in the fight against COVID-19. The ability to track and trace has been very effective but this particular AI module may only just be getting started in the fight to find persons of interest. When an individual goes missing or is abducted, every second is crucial along with information gathered. Unfortunately, this brings in human-error, when a person believes they may have seen the person of interest, it can lead law enforcement and authorities critically, in the wrong direction. AI-powered Facial Recognition helps eliminate human-error through 99.5% accuracy success, leading authorities to definitive sightings and factual information through the help of AI. “Searchveillance” enables authorities to liaise with the public and private sector organizations who have implemented the AI into their surveillance to run a single search with the person of interest’s photo. Instantaneously the user receives immediate results of, if and when this person last appeared under surveillance. Long-term missing persons It’s common knowledge that after 72 hours, statistically speaking the chance of finding the individual quickly diminish, but that doesn’t mean people stop searching. This week alone, September 2020, US Marshalls found and rescued 25 missing children in Ohio, many of whom had been missing for years. AI-powered facial recognition helps eliminate human-error through 99.5% accuracy success Implementing AI into surveillance cameras is becoming more frequently adopted around the world, enabling alerts in surveillance cameras and notifying appropriate law enforcement when a missing person appears under surveillance are all extraordinary tools. The alert system from the persons photo in the software. Facial recognition allows law enforcement to receive real-time footage of the missing person and their location. It is of great assistance for law enforcement to simply receive a notification and a real time feed of individual they are looking for. Security is becoming a more collaborative effort In light of recent events throughout the world, with protests surrounding police brutality, rioting, violence and deaths, security is evolving and it has to. Enabling technologies and building security collaboration and communication platforms is assisting in the fight to find missing people. It’s not just smart cities and smart airports who are providing a fishing net for find persons of interest, it’s also stadiums. The Superbowl and other major sporting events generate some of the biggest human slavery and trafficking busts of the year. Stadiums are now harnessing the responsibility to help counteract this and set up these alerts, utilize the AI in their cameras and collaborate with authorities, thus playing their part in finding persons of interest. IREX.ai has helped deliver the AI and the platform for collaborative security and communication, as technology grows and becomes more in our lives than we care for it to be, you often forget of the results it can provide, such as reuniting a family.
Today, 55% of the world’s population lives in urban areas. According to estimates from the UN, this number is expected to increase to 68% by 2050. As urban areas become more densely populated, the ability of law enforcement to uphold law and order becomes ever more critical to public security. It’s a challenge that must be constantly reviewed, and issues addressed where needed. One such area is the detection, identification and interception of physical threats, which has traditionally included guns, knives and explosives. Over the last six months, however, this has now evolved into the detection and identification of new, invisible microbiological threats, such as COVID-19. A new approach to physical security Since reports began on COVID-19 in Wuhan, China, in December 2019, the virus has spread to over 188 countries, killing over 790,000 people. When this is set against the unrelenting backdrop of rising terrorist threats, a new approach to today’s physical security is needed to create safer public and private spaces. Globally, tensions are running high. An international health crisis, political tumult and unstable economic environments are creating the potential for a perfect storm for extreme behavior. Now, more than ever, governments must coordinate with healthcare, security services, and technology providers to pool the expertise needed to deploy innovative detection platforms to address these growing threats. In smart cities, in particular, technology will play a crucial role in addressing both physical and biological/viral threats in order to keep their citizens safe. Technology will play a crucial role in addressing both physical and biological/viral threats Collaborating to advance security systems in smart cities To date, we’ve seen an increase in the number of smart city programmes around the globe; cities that are beginning to deploy innovative technologies for the management and ease of life services. Global spending on smart city initiatives has now reached a total of nearly $124 billion this year alone, an increase of 18.9% over 2019, according to the International Data Corporation’s (IDC) latest Worldwide Smart Cities Spending Guide. However, the growth of urban populations is impacting overall infrastructure and resources and many towns and cities are struggling to keep pace. According to research from Deloitte, just 16% of cities can self-fund required infrastructure projects. As a result, cities are enlisting the support of private partners and governments to advance their smart city agendas. Public-private collaboration is a lifeline for developing effective security systems in smart cities. Decision-makers must coordinate and collaborate with security experts and operators to arm themselves with a comprehensive understanding of how to best implement and integrate innovative, agile, data-driven security systems. They need to work together, with a clear strategy in place, to respond to these growing threats, while improving public safety. Using smart technology for public security and safety The challenge of identifying both physical and invisible threats to meet urban citizens’ needs will demand a security response that is proactive, adaptable and dynamic. As we look ahead to the future of public safety, it’s clear that new technologies, driven by artificial intelligence (AI), can dramatically improve the effectiveness of today’s physical security space. For smart cities, the use of innovative AI and machine learning technologies have already started to help optimize security solutions. Demand a security response that is proactive, adaptable and dynamic Computer vision technology is one such solution that incorporates AI and machine learning into existing video monitoring security (VMS) systems. This computer vision technology enables the detection of visible weapons, such as guns or knives, helping to identify potential threats before an attack occurs. After identifying the weapon, the AI-driven security system can immediately alert onsite security, in real-time, to the location and nature of the incident or potential attack. This allows security and first responders to intervene, possibly before a weapon is drawn and/or used. AI-driven software has also demonstrated great potential for identifying those displaying symptoms of viral or infectious diseases, without requiring physical human contact. By using AI-powered video analytic software with a common ‘off the shelf’ thermal video camera, this new security solution can become a remote video health safety screening tool for the identification of elevated body temperature, as well as face mask and social distancing detection for compliance. Now, with the power of real-time AI software, integrated with current VMS systems, threat objects held by an assailant, whether visible or not, can be identified for immediate security response. This can be done in an effective, unobtrusive way that does not interrupt people’s day-to-day routine, as has been the case with other larger or more overt security solutions; including queueing for physical temperature checks or walking through a metal or millimetre wave detector. While individuals and communities are willing to accept some inconvenience as a result of this new normal, privacy and civil liberties must be maintained, until a potential threat is detected. The future of smart cities in a post-COVID world Look ahead to the future of public security We look ahead to the future of public security in a world where physical and microbiological threats are continually evolving. It is only by adopting a new approach to threat detection that such a wide spectrum of the active assailant attacks can be mitigated. Today’s communities are working this into their smart, connected and safe city models. With AI-driven technology that optimizes the efficiency and safety of city operations and public services, its citizens will not only stay connected but will also stay safe. Governments must coordinate with security services, as well as technology providers, to pool the expertise needed to best implement and integrate these innovative technologies for the public good. They need to work collaboratively to ensure smart city projects include solutions to address physical security technologies that addresses theft, civic disturbance, terrorist activities and infectious disease. This, in turn, will make these cities not only smarter, but safer as well.
With the pandemic still in full swing and no certainty as to when exactly it will come to an end, the world has been battling anxiety for months now. And with each day, circumstances change quickly and almost make it impossible to predict what will happen next, how events will unfold, and what actions to take in light of a new situation. But one thing is certain: the world has been shut down and paralyzed for way too long, and the eventual reopening is unavoidable – in fact, it’s well under way. In this situation, what is possible to control is how the world will continue reopening – and specifically, how to ensure the safest possible reopening that will ensure the return of some degree of normalcy to people’s lives and business operations, while also managing the risk of COVID’s spread in the most efficient way. Our highly digitised, technologically advanced world This is when the power of technology comes to rescue the day: what truly sets the global crisis we face today apart from other calamities that humanity has encountered over year is the fact that it has developed in a highly digitised, technologically advanced world where each day brings about innovations with a sole purpose to make daily life and operations easier and more streamlined. And among these, the star of the past decade has been artificial intelligence. The world has been shut down and paralyzed for way too long, and the eventual reopening is unavoidable – in fact, it’s well under way While AI has many avenues of introducing efficiency and fast problem-solving, there is one specific application that will further fuel the reopening of the world and successfully keep the spread of the virus abate. This “collaborative security” application includes a synthesis of smart video analytics, facial recognition, object identification/detection, and thermal cameras that can support the reopening of businesses globally when installed within those facilities frequented by customers. With such a level of sophistication that can ensure uninterrupted monitoring and analysis of large public spaces, these AI technologies can ideally operate best as cloud solutions to ensure a collaborative network with maximum scalability and widespread implementation. As these technologies increase in ubiquity and find their way into daily operations of businesses globally, the cost of the smart solutions will decrease proportionally to the growth of their reach. There are some highly specific ways to create this collaborative network of interconnected safety tools in the current climate. Here are some applications that have been successful to date and will increase in usability in the foreseeable future, creating “smart cities” working together towards a safer, more secure world. Maintaining social distancing practices The most important step everyone around the world has taken to contribute to the effort of slowing the spread of the virus has been social distancing. A six-foot-distance has become a new social norm that has quickly been adopted globally and become a habit to people who are naturally used to being close to others and socialising without giving distance a second thought. The star of the past decade has been artificial intelligence So, it is natural that such distancing measures take time to get accustomed to – and it is also natural that individuals may forget about them from time to time. To help maintain the six-foot distance between people at all times and give them slight nudges to keep the rule top of their minds, AI video technology can be trained to estimate the distance between individuals in public and commercial areas and identify the cases in which people get too close to each other. By notifying local merchants or authorities about such cases, the system can help ensure the safety of everyone in the area at all times while positively reinforcing the public to gradually get more accustomed to maintaining the distance and thus helping stop the spread of the virus. Detecting the virus through facial recognition Perhaps the straightforward application of such high-level technology is using video surveillance to identify persons of interest who have tested positive for the virus. Modern AI has the ability to identify facial features and characteristics with a unique level of granularity, making it possible to identify individuals whose records show they have antibodies from those who can be potential carriers of the virus. After the initial differentiation and identification, the system can then notify the employers and employees of the facility about the results of the conducted analysis and the pursuant results, allowing them to be more vigilant and take action where necessary to ensure a safe experience for everyone. PPE reinforcement Wearing a mask or some sort of face coverage in public spaces and especially within facilities (such as stores, for instance) has been - and will continue to be - a requirement for maintaining a safe and healthy environment for people to continue with their day-to-day lives and businesses to resume regular operations. To this extent, the object detection and identification abilities of smart cameras can further reinforce this requirement and ensure that the absence of protective equipment doesn’t go unnoticed. Essentially, these cameras can easily identify if an individual has coverage at any given point of time or not, notifying the local authorities about any risks immediately and helping them maintain necessary safety measures without having to interrupt their workflow or worry about missing a visitor without a mask. Detecting high temperature One of the key (and the most widespread) symptoms of COVID-19 is a high fever - a certain indicator of whether an individual may have been infected with the virus or not. While identifying fever with a regular human eye is nearly impossible, AI can do so at a fraction of time by quickly scanning body temperatures of any incoming individuals and determine whether it’s above CDC’s recommended temperature of 100.4F in order to determine the risk factor and notify the local authorities to take action. Modern AI has the ability to identify facial features and characteristics with a unique level of granularity This technology is a good tactic to objectively assess potential risks that come with elevated temperatures - and sometimes, the people themselves might not realize they might (unconsciously) be carriers of the virus and thus endanger the safety of others in their vicinity. The technology is yet another step towards ensuring a safer reopening of the global economy and a more streamlined way of getting back on track while minimizing the risk of spreading the virus further. It’s not all about the theory We have tested the described approaches in our own R&D campus in Europe. The latest release of the IREX cloud enables remote fever detection and monitoring of social isolation and mask policies with AI. We have integrated thermal cameras to detect people with elevated temperature and CCTV cameras for identification and notifying those who potentially ill. In case of any health threat, the venue manager gets an instant message with a picture and exact location. These preventive steps helped our employees return to the office months earlier than it's happening in other countries. Moreover, personnel coming back to the office by their own wish as now they feel a virus-free environment in the campus - even safer than in their own homes. Now we are launching a pilot project for a well-known pharmacy chain in Florida, USA. With the help of a Computer Vision platform, staff will be able to divide customer traffic into those with normal body temperature and those who come in with elevated temperatures, as well as effectively monitor social distance norms. The goal of our potential client is to maximize the safety of customers in the post-pandemic period. Also, IREX is already deployed across hundreds of locations in the UK and will add health monitoring capability soon.
Facial recognition continues to be a political football and a target of privacy activists in the United States. For example, San Diego has suspended its use of facial recognition scanners by law enforcement after a campaign by civil rights groups. The San Diego Tactical Identification System (TACIDS) program included a database of facial recognition scans shared by 30 local, state and federal agencies. A California law, passed in the fall, puts a three-year moratorium on law enforcement use of face recognition technology. A proposal in Congress would prohibit use of biometric recognition technology in most public and assisted housing units funded by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), thus protecting the more than two million public housing residents nationwide from being “over-surveilled.” The “No Biometric Barriers to Housing Act” is supported by the NAACP, the National Housing Law Project, National Low-Income Housing Coalition, National Action Network, Color of Change, and the Project on Government Oversight. The problems of Facial Recognition "Studies that show that facial recognition systems may misidentify many individuals including women and people of colour" A letter from seven members of Congress to HUD Secretary Ben Carson questioned the use of facial recognition in federally assisted housing because it “could be used to enable invasive, unnecessary and harmful government surveillance of…residents.” The letter cites studies that show that facial recognition systems may misidentify many individuals including women and people of color, thus “exacerbating vulnerabilities that marginalized groups already face in life.” In June, Somerville, Mass., became the second U.S. city to ban the use of facial recognition technology in public spaces. The first was San Francisco. A coalition of organizations and trade associations has issued a letter to Congress outlining concerns with “blanket prohibitions” or moratoriums on facial recognition technology and listing beneficial uses for public safety, national security and fighting fraud. The Security Industry Association (SIA) is part of the coalition, the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation. A letter from seven members of Congress to HUD Secretary Ben Carson questioned the use of facial recognition in federally assisted housing Facial recognition technology has benefited Americans in many ways, such as helping to thwart identity thieves" The letter says: “While polls consistently show that Americans trust law enforcement to use facial recognition technology responsibly, some groups have called for lawmakers to enact bans on [the] technology. While we agree that it is important to have effective oversight and accountability of these tools to uphold and protect civil liberties, we disagree that a ban is the best option.” Development and guidance As alternatives to outright bans, the letter proposes expanded testing and performance standards, develop of best practices and guidance for law enforcement, and additional training for different uses of the technology. “Facial recognition technology has benefited Americans in many ways, such as helping to fight human trafficking, thwart identity thieves and improve passenger facilitation at airports and enhance aviation security,” says Don Erickson, CEO of SIA. “SIA believes this advanced technology should be used in a safe, accurate and effective way, and look forward to working with Congress to help the U.S. set the example on how to ethically and responsibly govern this technology.” SIA has produced a document called “Face Facts: Dispelling Common Myths Associated with Facial Recognition Technology.”
In addition to providing the Northeast’s largest security trade show, ISC East will include free conference sessions and keynote speeches right on the show floor and several paid workshops. The Nov. 20-21 event at New York’s Javits Center will also include vendor solution sessions from Axis Communications, Hikvision and NAPCO. Wide variety of paid workshops An advantage of the International Security Conference & Exposition in New York is that much of the programming is complimentary to registered attendees, and location of the sessions on the show floor means attendees don’t have to leave the exhibition to take in a session. The paid workshops include technology sessions about cyber terminology for physical security integratorsThe paid workshops include an Active Shooter Workshop and technology sessions about cyber terminology for physical security integrators; and basic installation and configuration of video surveillance solutions. An OSDP (Open Supervised Device Protocol) Boot Camp Short Course will also be offered. As a smaller show, the topics of ISC East conference sessions are broader and of more general interest, rather than organized into focused “tracks” as at ISC West. Attendance at sessions can provide continuing education (CE) credits with organizations that partner with ISC East – one credit for each hour-long session. Attendees can use their Certificate of Attendance from any session to self-report their education hours to relevant industry bodies: ALOA (AEU education credits), ASIS (CPE continuing professional education credits) and NICET (CPD Continuing Professional Development points). An advantage of the International Security Conference & Exposition in New York is that much of the programming is complimentary to registered attendees Keynote sessions at the Main Stage The Main Stage will be the venue for keynote sessions delivered by Deanne Criswell, Commissioner, New York City Emergency Management (on Day 1 – Nov. 20); and Angela Stubblefield, Chief of Staff at the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) (on Day 2 – Nov. 21). The two SIA Education@ISC East educational theaters on the show floor will be booked up both days with a variety of interesting topics. A new session covers penetration testing for physical security, presented by Michael Glasser of Glasser Security Group. A session on LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) sensors will be presented by Frank Bertini, UAV and Robotics Business Manager, Velodyne LiDAR. Another popular topic is Safe Cities, and FLIR will present a session on moving from secured to smart cities with intelligent, connected systems. New addition is Active Shooter Workshop The Active Shooter Workshop is a new addition to the ISC East program. It has been a popular session at ISC West for three years now. At ISC East, presenters of the workshop will be David LaRose, System Director Public Health, Lee Health; and Ben Scaglione, Director of Healthcare and Security Programming, Lowers and Associates. At the end of the workshop, an additional hour of programming will be the “Stop the Bleed/Save a Life” session presented by Jerry Wilkins, Co-Owner of Active Risk Survival. The Main Stage will be the venue for keynote sessions delivered by Deanne Criswell, Commissioner, New York City Emergency Management, and Angela Stubblefield, Chief of Staff at the Federal Aviation Administration Woman in Security event A Women in Security Forum breakfast event will be held on Nov. 21 (Thursday). It’s the second annual event and this year will focus on diversity and inclusiveness in the workplace of the future. Valerie Anderson, President of Boon Edam, will lead a discussion on “Diversity 2.0: Next Steps for Creating an Empowered Workforce”Moderator Valerie Anderson, President of Boon Edam, will lead a discussion on “Diversity 2.0: Next Steps for Creating an Empowered Workforce.” Panelists are Lisa Terry of Allied Universal, Andrew Lanning of Integrated Security Technologies, Elaine Palome of Axis Communications and Dawne Hanks of Milestone. The Women in Security event is likely to attract up to 100 attendees. SIA’s Women in Security is an active organization, with monthly meetings and a newsletter that recognizes prominent women in the security industry. “It’s really a group for both men and women,” says Mary Beth Shaughnessy, Event Director, ISC Events at Reed Exhibitions. “There are many programmes, recruiting efforts, and professional and networking opportunities. They are a robust group of people who are active in making a difference. It’s important to support women in the security industry, which is 95% male, and to develop a new generation of women to be a part of the industry’s future.” The keynote addresses at ISC East will also highlight two high-profile women.
For the security market, the ‘fine ranging’ capabilities of ultra-wideband (UWB) technology opens up a range of new uses based on the ability to determine the relative position and distance of two UWB-equipped devices with pinpoint accuracy – within centimeters. UWB is more accurate and secure, even in challenging environments full of interference, compared to narrow band wireless technologies. UWB technology transmits a large amount of data over short distances using a small amount of energy. It will be used in seamless access control, location-based services, and device-to-device services across industries including smart homes, cities, retail services, and healthcare. Increasing the accuracy of ranging measurements UWB technology will support any application that benefits from knowing the precise location of a connected deviceUltra-wideband is a mature radio technology that transmits information spread over a large bandwidth, as described by the IEEE 802.154 standard. A new, enhanced amendment to the standard – IEEE 802.15.4z – focuses on improvements to existing modulations to increase the integrity and accuracy of ranging measurements. Moving forward, UWB technology will support any application that benefits from knowing the precise location or presence of a connected device or object. This reflects a move from data communication to secure sensing. New capabilities of UWB are largely unfamiliar to the market, but a new Consortium – the FiRa Consortium – has a mission to educate the market, provide use cases, and promote UWB technology. Delivering interoperability across devices “With a consortium, we can better deliver interoperability across devices, software, and chipsets,” says Ramesh Songukrishnasamy, Director and Treasurer of the FiRa Consortium, and SVP & CTO of HID Global. “This creates a frictionless experience for the user, which is vitally important with a new technology. People are more likely to adopt emerging technology when it runs smoothly without interruptions or errors.” The FiRa consortium is ensuring new use cases for fine ranging capabilities can thrive" An industry consortium can create a UWB ecosystem of interoperable technologies instead of individual companies launching products that consumers struggle to make work together, says Songukrishnasamy. “Simply, the FiRa consortium is ensuring new use cases for fine ranging capabilities can thrive.” Founding members of the FiRa consortium ASSA ABLOY and HID Global, pioneers in secure access and identity solutions, are founding members of the consortium. Their technology manages access to physical and digital places, things, and identities. Another founding consortium member, NXP Semiconductors, is a pioneer in secure connectivity solutions for embedded applications. Other founding members are Samsung, which creates top-of-the-line TVs, smartphones, wearables, and other connected devices; and the Bosch Group, a global supplier of technology and services that is at the forefront of IoT innovations. Sony Imaging Products & Solutions Inc., LitePoint and the Telecommunications Technology Association (TTA) are the first companies to join the newly formed organization. Immune to radio frequency interference UWB is also immune to radio frequency interference, so it functions in high traffic settingsUWB introduces higher levels of accuracy in positioning capabilities and increased security for ranging data exchange compared to existing technologies. Fine ranging with UWB technology can localize devices and objects to 10 centimeters of accuracy with or without line of sight. UWB is also immune to radio frequency interference, so it functions in high traffic settings. These capabilities will enable a variety of use cases like secure, hands-free access control in hospitals, location-based services for ride sharing, and targeted marketing for retailers. FiRa will demonstrate UWB technology at upcoming trade shows. The FiRa Consortium aims to build on IEEE’s work with an interoperable high rate physical layer (HRP) standard, including defining an application layer that discovers UWB devices and services and configures them in an interoperable manner. The consortium also plans to develop service-specific protocols for multiple verticals and define necessary parameters for applications including physical access control, location-based services and device-to-device services. Promoting the adoption of UWB solutions As a consortium, FiRa is not just setting standards but actively championing use cases for UWB technology. Creating the consortium addresses the need to develop interoperability and implementation standards; brings key players together to create a rich UWB ecosystem; allows for the sharing of intellectual property; and promotes the adoption of UWB solutions. The FiRa Consortium is committed to educating and promoting new use cases" “Since UWB is a mature technology with new potential uses, there is a general lack of awareness of potential applications that take advantage of the technology,” says Songukrishnasamy. “The FiRa Consortium is committed to educating and promoting new use cases.” The FiRa name comes from Fine Ranging to highlight UWB technology’s use cases and distinction from older UWB technologies and solutions. Enhanced security in challenging environments Fine ranging powered by UWB can outperform other technologies in terms of accuracy, power consumption, robustness in wireless connectivity, and security, especially in challenging, high density environments. UWB previously served as a technology for high data rate communication and as such was in direct competition with Wi-Fi. Since then, UWB has undergone several transformations: UWB has evolved from an OFDM-based data communication to an impulse radio technology specified in IEEE 802.15.4a (2ns pulses with Time of Flight); and A security extension being specified in IEEE 802.15.4z (at PHY/MAC level) makes it a unique secure fine ranging technology. Moving from data communication to secure ranging allows ‘spatial context capability’ to be utilized by a variety of applications: seamless access control, location-based services, and device-to-device (peer-to-peer) services. Information is available at firaconsortium.org.
Global MSC Security announced that it has been appointed by the City of Edinburgh Council to consult on a planned upgrade of its video surveillance system from analog to IP, as Edinburgh progresses towards its vision to become one of the world smartest capital cities. Working with the Council, Global MSC Security will use its public sector expertise to oversee the preparation of a tender specification of a fully integrated public space surveillance operation. Upgrading public realm CCTV surveillance system The appointment of Global MSC Security follows the announcement that the City of Edinburgh Council is investing over £1 million in its public realm CCTV (including housing blocks, transport network and Council buildings) and has also secured £712,000 from the 'Scotland's 8th City, the Smart City' European Regional Development Fund Strategic Intervention in support of an upgrade to its CCTV infrastructure, as part of its smart city program. Global MSC Security has a wealth of expertise in public space surveillance, having consulted on dozens of local authority CCTV surveillance projects, including The Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead, Central Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Herefordshire, North Somerset, Barnet, Bristol City, Dorset, Neath and Port Talbot, Mid Devon and Maidstone and Luton Councils. Installing new IP cameras, VMS and encoders Global MSC Security will ensure the City of Edinburgh Council is able to upgrade its public space cameras, VMS and encoders Global MSC Security will ensure the City of Edinburgh Council is able to upgrade its public space cameras, video management system (VMS) and encoders, with the right technology at the best price and implemented smoothly. Global MSC Security’s Managing Director, Derek Maltby stated “We offer a wealth of experience in specifying public space surveillance systems for local authorities. Global MSC Security is proud to be involved in what is a major initiative not only for the City but Scotland and its position as a leader in smart services and society.” Resilient and secure city surveillance system He adds, “This important and essential infrastructure upgrade represents a significant investment, and the resulting system will provide the Council with a function-rich, future-proof, highly resilient and secure surveillance system.” Derek further stated, “However, for any organization making the switch from analog to IP, it is vital that the transition is managed in the correct way, to maximize resources and optimize system performance. That begins with a robust tender specification, which is where our expertise lies.” The tender specification is expected to be released by the City of Edinburgh Council in February 2021 and the contract awarded in September.
Harper Security Systems, which specialises in specifying and installing smart security solutions for residential and private properties, has selected OPTEX’s range of Intelligent Passive Infrared (PIR) sensors for their reliability in detecting external threats, especially in rural environments. Three properties in the Home Counties and Lincolnshire are using a combination of OPTEX’s proven PIR sensors to protect property, people, and other important assets including horses from the dangers of vandalism and theft. OPTEX’s range includes sensors which offer panoramic 180-degree detection coverage and 12m/40ft radius to detect any intrusion around a residential or commercial building. Commercial business environments They are ideally suited for protecting larger residential grounds and flat roofs typical with outbuilding on farms and stables. “We have worked with OPTEX for a number of years and have found their range of PIR sensors to be extremely accurate and reliable, which is critical when specifying external detection,” says Alan Harper, Director at Harper Security Systems. The flexibility and versatility of the sensors is such that they are ideal for multiple environments" “The flexibility and versatility of the sensors is such that they are ideal for multiple environments,” Alan continues. “For example, we have recently installed them at a private stables in Lincolnshire to protect horses and valuable equestrian equipment, residences in rural villages in both Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire to protect property and personal items, as well as in commercial business environments.” Innovative security solutions Ben Linklater, Sales Director at OPTEX Europe, says that while the focus is often on towns and cities, crime in the countryside is a huge issue, costing the rural community in the UK more than £9 million this year alone: “Reliable external protection is becoming increasingly important not only to secure equipment and assets, but also livestock and other animals like horses. The earlier the detection the better chance there is to prevent intruders." "External intrusion detection is essential in rural environments as most assets, many of which are expensive to replace (and some are irreplaceable), are stored outside. We are very pleased to work with Harper Security who understand the benefits of early detection to keep premises, assets, people and animals secure, delivering innovative security solutions to their customers.”
Finbarr Solutions, a renowned global security & risk management consultancy, announced that it has been commissioned by Labtech London Limited. Its specialist team of security professionals, investigators and intelligence analysts will assess and advise on measures, to ensure Labtech London Limited delivers the highest levels of safety and security for citizens, tourists, businesses and infrastructure, throughout the 20-acres of prime real estate it owns and manages across Camden Market and West London. Finbarr Solutions has been selected by Labtech London Limited for its accreditations, qualifications, and proven expertise in running exhaustive Security Threat, Risk and Vulnerability Assessments (TRVA’s) for organizations around the world and in many different industry sectors. Hostile vehicle mitigation Finbarr Solutions will also advise Labtech London Limited on its hostile vehicle mitigation measures Managing Director of Finbarr Solutions, Ciaran Barry CSyP, comments: “Our role is to protect people, assets, brands and reputations. We are proud to have been selected by Labtech London Limited for this latest project, which involves some of the busiest, vibrant and iconic areas of the city.” In addition to conducting a comprehensive TRVA, focusing on 16-acres of real estate in the Camden Market area, Finbarr Solutions will also advise Labtech London Limited on its hostile vehicle mitigation measures. Review and improvement Head of Security at Labtech London Limited, Erhan Yildiran, ASyl at states: “More than 28-million people visit the Camden Market area each year, to shop, eat, drink, work and socialise in one of the most bustling, creative and exciting areas of London. It is our duty to provide and secure an environment for all who visit, live, and operate here. Finbarr Solutions are experts in their field, and we look forward to working with the team, as part of our continuous review and improvement of our measures.”
City Security Services has adopted workforce management software SmartTask to support its ambitious growth plans within the UK. The bespoke security solutions specialist will use SmartTask to better manage and safeguard its team of 650 officers that handle a wide range of static, mobile, reception and firewatch services at over 100 sites across London and the home counties. “Our aim is to create a successful guarding business through acquisitions and organic growth, so it is essential that we have the tools in place to support this process,” explains Roberto Baldacci, Director at City Security Services. Workforce management capabilities “SmartTask will become an important part of our IT infrastructure, providing a highly-scalable workforce management solution that ensures we continue to deliver consistent and quality security services across our expanding nationwide footprint.” The company undertook a detailed review of the marketplace and opted for SmartTask The lead company in the group recognized the need to upgrade its workforce management capabilities to reflect its aspirations moving forward. Its previous systems had lacked the flexibility and functionality to continue providing client-focused security services as the business grows. As a result, the company undertook a detailed review of the marketplace and opted for SmartTask based on the software’s ease-of-use, proven success in the security sector, and development roadmap. Improving incident reporting SmartTask will be used throughout City Security Services’ operation, helping to streamline and automate employee scheduling, proof of attendance and live monitoring processes. Most of security team will have a SmartTask-enabled smartphone – allowing them to receive rosters, book on and off shifts, and make check calls – with the remainder using a dedicated IVR number to confirm status. Electronic forms will also improve incident reporting, enabling security officers to capture critical information and photo evidence through the app, which can then be quickly shared internally and with the customer. City Security Services’ central control room will have a real-time overview of the status and welfare of all security officers, so it can have full visibility of performance and respond quickly to any issues. Reviewing financial performance City Security Services will be using SmartTask to differentiate its offering and win more business In addition, operations and HR managers will all have controlled access to relevant reports and operational data, while payroll will be able to take advantage of accurate timesheets and holiday accrual information to save time and avoid errors. The company has already enhanced its profitability reporting using SmartTask, making it possible to effectively review financial performance by client or individual site. With growing demand for operational data from customers, City Security Services will be using SmartTask to differentiate its offering and win more business. A number of customer sites are already using checkpoint tags, which can be scanned with a smartphone by security officers on patrol to capture time and attendance details. Advanced security technologies Meanwhile, the company is working towards launching an online portal for clients to access real-time and historical information for their individual security service. “We are always seeking to use advanced security technologies that benefit both our customers and the business. This helps us to provide a personal, proactive and adaptable service in the most efficient manner possible.” “SmartTask has everything we are looking for in a workforce management solution – backed by a great team, committed to ongoing development – so we are confident the software will enable us to improve transparency and continue to drive standards within the industry,” concludes Roberto.
Birmingham’s hospitality businesses have benefited from significantly increased outdoor dining space, following the deployment of ATG Access’ Surface Guard system at a number of locations around Hurst Street. With many businesses struggling as a result of the restrictions placed on public venues by the government, Birmingham City Council was keen to make it possible for people to return to the city’s usually bustling bars and restaurants in a safe, socially distanced way. It recognized that pedestrianizing key areas would significantly increase capacity and enable venues to take advantage of the government’s sidewalk license scheme. However, the council also wanted to keep the roads open to normal traffic between Monday and Friday to minimize disruption, while allowing bars and restaurants to use the carriageway for outside dining space at the weekend. Vehicle access extension plates Requiring an innovative, flexible solution in order to achieve this temporary pedestrianisation, Birmingham City Council contacted renowned event-protection business, Crowdguard. With less than 24 hours’ notice, Crowdguard deployed 65 metres of ATG Access’s hugely sought-after Surface Guard barrier system in five different locations across the city center, with four locations having Vehicle Access Units. Surface Guard is a completely surface-mounted system, meaning that there is no damage to the underlying road Thanks to the specialist vehicle access extension plates, the barriers provide access to normal traffic from Monday to Friday, while also creating safe, pedestrianized areas with no unauthorized vehicle access on Saturdays and Sundays. Surface Guard is a completely surface-mounted system, meaning that there is no damage to the underlying road, with a lightweight and modular design that makes it quick and easy to deploy with no machinery required. Crash test standard Without appropriate security measures in place, pedestrianizing busy city center can render the public more vulnerable to hostile vehicle attacks, thanks to greater numbers of people gathered in outside areas. A Surface Guard barrier can withstand the impact of a 7,200kg vehicle traveling at 32kph and has been tested twice in accordance to the IWA 14 crash test standard, providing world renowned protection against such attacks. The barriers are also designed to allow people to flow in and out of an area with minimal disruption, preventing the unnecessary build-up of crowds. This makes them ideal for facilitating social distancing, while also providing further protection from vehicle as a weapon attacks. The temporary pedestrianization of Hurst Street was hailed a success after its first weekend of operation, which saw an estimated increase in trading of up to 50% for participating venues. Offering flexible solution Iain Moran, Director at ATG Access, commented: “Birmingham City Council has done a brilliant job supporting its hospitality businesses, recognizing very quickly the value that pedestrianization could bring to the sector. Increasing capacity in this way has only become more important in light of the new 10pm curfew, so we hope to see more councils and local authorities following suit to give venues the best chance of survival." In this situation, Surface Guard offered the perfect flexible solution, ensuring all needs can be met" "However, it’s also vital to keep public safety and security front and centers when making any changes to our urban landscapes, as well as bearing in mind the impact that pedestrianization can have on other businesses in the area. In this situation, Surface Guard offered the perfect flexible solution, ensuring all needs can be met.” Support hospitality businesses Deborah Ainscough, Operations Director at Crowdguard, said: “We are proud that, through innovations such as Surface Guard, we have been able to make a real difference to Birmingham’s hospitality sector, helping as many people as possible to show their support for local businesses in a safe and secure way.” James Betjemann, Head of Enterprise Zone and Curzon Delivery at Birmingham City Council, commented: “Crowdguard provided the council with a number of temporary barriers to facilitate a series of weekend road closures to help support hospitality businesses deal with the impact of COVID-19. Deborah and the team were able to mobilize and install the barriers at very short notice and provided excellent customer service throughout the scheme.”
Leonardo in the UK has delivered the first of four complete baseline counter-drone systems to the Royal Air Force in support of the next stage of its Counter-Unmanned Aerial System (C-UAS) research and development program. The ORCUS system is now playing a key role in a wide-ranging testing and evaluation campaign which will improve the Air Force’s understanding of how it can employ technology in response to the threat posed by hostile drones. The RAF will also maintain the ORCUS system as an upgraded national standby capability, to be rapidly deployed anywhere in the country in support of emergency services in the event of a drone-based crisis. Rogue drones threat Counter-Unmanned Aerial System (C-UAS) study program is considered highly important to the security of the nation The threat posed by rogue drones is being taken extremely seriously by the Ministry of Defense and therefore the C-UAS study program, managed by Defense Equipment & Support Future Capability Group, is considered highly important to the security of the nation. Leonardo is working hard to ensure that the program continues to be delivered, despite the disruption caused by the global coronavirus pandemic. Evaluating capabilities The modular systems provided by Leonardo for the study will allow the RAF to evaluate a range of capabilities including advanced radar, electro-optic and radio frequency sensors, and an electronic attack countermeasure. In due course, further systems will be integrated for testing and evaluation. Throughout, RAF Force Protection operators will be examining the most effective ways to detect, track, identify, and defeat rogue drones. In the long-run, the research and development program will inform the requirements for a core RAF counter-drone capability, intended to protect air bases around the UK. C-UAS systems Elements of Leonardo’s C-UAS equipment were previously operated by the RAF Force Protection Force in 2018 and 2019, following drone sightings at Gatwick and Heathrow airports, allowing airport operations to resume. Leonardo offers its scalable and modular C-UAS systems to military and civil customers internationally. The Company has been contracted for C-UAS equipment for the Italian Army and Air Force and is in discussions with other potential customers worldwide.
Round table discussion
The new year is several weeks old, so it is safe to say that many of our New Year resolutions have fallen by the wayside. Despite the limited success of our personal resolutions, the new year is a great time to take stock, look ahead, and plan to make 2020 the best year yet. Thinking about our industry as a whole, we asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: What should be the security industry’s “New Year’s resolution?”
2019 was a big year for the Expert Panel Roundtable. The range of topics expanded, and we had more participation from more contributors than ever before. In closing out the year of contemplative discussions, we came across some final observations to share. They can serve both as a postscript for 2019 and a teaser for a whole new year of industry conversations in our Expert Panel Roundtable in 2020.
Public spaces provide soft targets and are often the sites of terrorist or active shooter attacks. Public spaces, by definition, require easy accessibility and unrestricted movement. Given that openness, what security technologies can provide real results? We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: How is technology innovation impacting the security of public spaces?
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