Iris ID, the globally renowned company in iris recognition technology for over 20 years, will showcase its top products for law enforcement agencies at the National Sheriffs’ Association's (NSA) annual conference and exhibition – NSA 2021 Annual Conference and Exhibition, slated to take place from June 22-24, 2021, at the Phoenix Convention Center. Iris ID will occupy booth #114 at the exhibition. NSA 2021 Annual Conference and Exhibition The annual conference is an opportunity for...
Zenitel, a provider of intelligent critical communication solutions, is pursuing its growth strategy in the EMEA region and specifically in Southern Europe through the launch of a new Center of Excellence (CoE) in Spain. Zenitel has appointed its longtime partner in Spain, COINTEL SL, to this role in the Iberian market. Partnership with Cointel COINTEL SL, based in Bilbao, will consolidate Zenitel’s presence and will continue to build a strong and sound ecosystem network. Cointel b...
Panasonic Security Solutions announced that it had become a Founder of the relaunched International Professional Security Association (IPSA). The association is dedicated to supporting those individuals and companies working in the fire and security sector, many of which are classified as key workers. Member job roles range from installation technicians of security systems and fire systems to vital security personnel. Free app and membership The Panasonic investment, as one of a number o...
Hanwha Techwin America, a global supplier of IP and analog video surveillance solutions, unveiled two new Wisenet X series NVRs that support the industry’s first video playback and recording of up to 8K super-high-resolution images. 8K recording can cover large areas with sufficient pixel density to allow operators to zoom in digitally and investigate image details in real-time or forensically and still retain a clear image. Recording capacity And storage The new NVRs in the Wisenet X se...
News of the UK’s largest cash counterfeit scam has focused fresh attention on the vital importance of stepping up investment in effective security devices to protect banknotes, says a global trade body. According to the International Hologram Manufacturers Association (IHMA), news that three men have received jail sentences for their part in printing fake banknotes worth millions of pounds, adds to concerns about sophisticated criminals looking to defraud people and cash in on advancement...
Smiths Detection, a globally renowned threat detection and security technology solutions company, has announced that it has developed the capability to detect synthetic cannabinoids, commonly known as Spice or K2, with its IONSCAN 600 trace detection solution. Detecting synthetic cannabinoids This development comes following an extensive R&D process and testing trials with major correctional institutions around the world and expands the IONSCAN 600 existing detection library of explosives...
By providing an open platform and access to documentation, software development kits (SDKs), and application programming interfaces (APIs), individual developers and partner organizations can explore the full potential of Axis products and solutions. And by doing so, creating advanced applications that bring new and compelling use cases to market. Long-time Axis Communications (Axis) partner, Citilog has been developing traffic management analytics applications alongside Axis for more than a decade. Citilog’s Vice-President Jean-Marie Guyon helped understand the benefits that the Axis Camera Application Platform (ACAP) brings to the company’s business. Axis ADP Program Axis Communications is a company that truly believes that ‘the whole is greater than the sum of the parts' Axis Communications is a company that truly believes that ‘the whole is greater than the sum of the parts’. Through the Axis Developer Community, which is open to all developers, whether already working within an Axis partner company or not, and the Axis Application Development Partner (ADP) Program, the company provides a wealth of resources that connect the ecosystem around Axis products and technologies. In doing so, and particularly in giving early access to new technology, innovation is accelerated, and connections are made that bring benefits to partners and customers alike. Within the ADP Program and through the Axis Developer Community, partners and developers gain access to the Axis Camera Application Platform (ACAP), which specifically allows for the development of applications that sit within surveillance cameras themselves (and an increasing number of other products). As the capabilities of Axis surveillance cameras increases and particularly, cameras are now available, which includes a Deep Learning Processing Unit (DLPU). ACAP represents a place where some of the most cutting-edge innovation is taking place. A fundamental change to the business The partnership between Axis and Citilog, a specialist in advanced traffic management analytics applications, began in 2009, at around the same time that ACAP itself was created (and well before Citilog was acquired by Axis in 2016). Jean-Marie Guyon, Vice President at Citilog, talks about how the first possibilities of developing in camera analytics would fundamentally change their business. He explains how the company immediately saw the opportunity in ACAP when it was first announced. He said, “Citilog had already been an Axis partner for a number of years when the capacity of the camera processors became sufficient to port our applications on the edge.” Jean-Marie adds, “But, as soon as we saw the possibilities for developing analytics applications that were integrated into surveillance cameras themselves, we knew it would fundamentally change our business, even if it took longer for customers to realize the potential!” Decreased need of bandwidth with rise of edge analytics By analyzing the video within the camera, we only need to transfer the data that matters rather than everything" Prior to the ability to develop in-camera analytics applications, often known as ‘edge analytics’, the analysis of video took place on centralized hardware and servers, either housed within the customer’s own premises or within a data center. This meant the transfer of huge amounts of video footage from the camera to the data center, with associated demand for bandwidth and the inevitable cost. Jean-Marie continues, “We immediately saw the opportunity to remove a significant proportion of the bandwidth demands through in-camera analytics. Put simply, by analyzing the video within the camera, we only need to transfer the data that matters rather than everything. For cameras that are monitoring roads 24 hours a day, seven days a week for incidents that can be relatively rare, it’s obvious to see what a difference this could make.” Market slow to respond But as Jean-Marie mentions, while Citilog’s developers immediately saw the potential, the market was, as usual, slower to respond. He stated, “Over the past decade we’ve done a lot of promotion and evangelizing of the benefits of in-camera analytics. It takes time for sectors to change and adapt new approaches, and not least when it requires a change in hardware and the first few years were tough going.” Jean-Marie adds, “However, persevering has been worth it, and today more than 70% of our business is based on ACAP. More than that, in the past few years we’ve seen the majority of tenders demanding in-camera analytics.” Change in capabilities of in-camera analytics At its heart, ACAP is a platform for innovation and Citilog is always looking towards the future. Deep learning represents the next area of innovation. Jean-Marie expands on this by stating, “With the combination of our current deep learning-based solution (CT-ADL: Citilog Applied Deep Learning) and the evolution of the in-camera processing capabilities, it feels like we’re on the cusp of a real step-change.” Jean-Marie adds, “With the AXIS Q1615-LE Mk III, we have the first Axis camera in the market that includes a deep learning processing unit (DLPU) which combined with the CT-ADL makes it the first operational DL-based solution running on the edge. It’s difficult to overstate the scale of the step forward that this represents.” Deep learning (DL) But deep learning is something that requires huge amounts of processing power Deep learning (DL) is a subset of Artificial Intelligence (AI). In very simple terms, in relation to video analytics on the edge, the primary benefits relate to much greater accuracy in the detection, identification, and classification of all types of object - a generic ‘vehicle’ becomes a car, lorry, bus, or motorcycle and critically, objects that aren’t relevant can be safely ignored. But deep learning is something that requires huge amounts of processing power and while this was previously only available through the use of remote servers, it’s now accessible in the camera itself. Reduced number of false alarms In a sector such as traffic management, the ability to differentiate between a greater number of objects is critical, as Jean-Marie explains, “One of the biggest issues for any surveillance operation is the cost of false alarms: alerts being triggered that required attention and prompt action, but which aren’t actually materially important.” He adds, “In traffic management, as an example, traditionally one of the most common causes of false alarms is shadows and rain puddles. These can often be mistaken as a vehicle, and if they’re in the fast lane of a motorway, will create an alert. The power of deep learning reduces these false alarms substantially. In fact, that’s an understatement as we’re typically finding that the number of false alarms is reduced by a factor of 10.” Reduced need for hardware These ‘lighter’ solutions are therefore easier to maintain and further reduce operational costs Such a substantial reduction in false alarms is one obvious benefit to customers, but the switch from processing power in the server and data center to the camera also means a reduced need for hardware. These ‘lighter’ solutions are therefore easier to maintain and further reduce operational costs. They also open up new use cases for in-camera analytics where lack of available bandwidth would have previously made it impossible. High potential for deep learning edge analytics While Citilog’s focus remains on traffic management and through that, using the analytics and data created to deliver on the vision for smart cities, the potential for deep learning edge analytics is there for every industry sector and use case. Harnessing the creative power of the largest number of people has always been at the heart of the Axis ethos. Through the Axis Developer Community, Axis ADP, and ACAP, the opportunities for all developers and partners to learn, experiment, and innovate are infinite.
Aiphone, the international manufacturer of intercom and security communication products, announces that 14 of its most popular IX Series IP video intercom stations and components have received certification from UL, an independent global safety science company that tests and certifies products. The IX Series IP video intercom stations and components which received UL certification were tested under UL standard, 62368-1, for audio/video, information, and communication technology equipment. A UL Standard certification is only granted through comprehensive procedures and guidelines, ensuring that Aiphone is offering quality products to its customers. IX Series “Aiphone recognizes it is critical our products are both reliable and meet the highest safety standards set forth by the industry,” said Brad Kamcheff, Aiphone Marketing Manager “By investing in the UL certification process, more than a dozen of our IX Series products now have the UL stamp of approval, ensuring we deliver on our goal of quality products that increase opportunities for our dealers and integrators.” The IX Series features the power of an enterprise platform with the simplicity of a single system—offering scalable enterprise security. The IX Series solution is ideal for commercial sites, industrial facilities, schools, campuses, parking garages, retail, emergency call, and correctional applications. Fourteen of Aiphone’s most deployed products from the IX Series have received the UL Standard certification. They include a wide variety of IP stations, such as hands-free video master stations, handset video master stations, and a variety of other audio and video components.
Axis Communications announces a new 5-year product warranty at no extra cost. This increase from the previous 3-year warranty is a result of the company’s commitment to providing high-quality products and cost-efficient, trouble-free ownership. Axis has long offered an excellent hardware warranty service covering defects in design, workmanship, and material under normal use for 3 years from the date of purchase, depending on the product. Now customers can take advantage of a 5-year Axis warranty service free of charge. Valid for purchases shipped from Axis to the original purchaser on or after 1 April 2020, this new warranty ensures additional years of added peace of mind. Key features 5-year product warranty Trouble-free ownership Better control of overall costs Enhanced RMA support First-class quality and support The 5-year Axis warranty covers most Axis products, it’s free of charge and there’s no action required.
2N’s wide range of intercoms are now available in the Axis Camera Station video management software, allowing customers to integrate a 2N intercom into their full video surveillance solution. 2N offers a large portfolio of high-quality intercoms for secure and comfortable communication. With various models - from stylish intercoms designed to blend into residential environments to tougher intercoms made for industrial use - 2N’s intercoms are designed to be easy to install and operate, providing clear camera identification and two-way communication. Features and functions Upon installation, the 2N intercom will be automatically detected as a device in Axis Camera Station and is therefore easy to add to the existing system. Operators receive instant notification of an incoming intercom call in the PC user interface or mobile app, and can then identify and talk with visitors in addition to opening the door. The intercom’s camera can also be used for traditional surveillance like any other IP camera in the system. All 2N intercoms running on firmware 2.30 can now be used in an Axis Camera Station system. An Axis Camera Station Core license to connect the device and a 2N enhanced video or Gold license are also needed.
The recently-launch Axis body worn camera solution is now available in the Axis Camera Station video management software, allowing customers to integrate body worn cameras into their full video surveillance solution. Alongside the full portfolio of Axis cameras, the integration of body worn cameras adds value to surveillance solutions by making it possible to easily collect video and audio evidence from security guards and law enforcement officers, as well as traditional surveillance cameras. Capture, storage, and analysis The system consists of a robust body worn camera with excellent image quality and dual microphones, a system controller for intermediate storage and management of recorded material, and a docking station for quick data offloading and easy charging of cameras. The system controller is connected to the Axis Camera Station video management software server making it possible to easily view and analyze video recordings from the body worn cameras. Enhancing safety for officers and citizens Dock the camera and automatically the recordings and data are offloaded and the camera is charged A typical scenario for body-worn cameras would be patrolling guards collecting video and audio evidence in case of an incident, but the use of body worn cameras has also been proven to be very effective to deter incidents before they even take place. When the guards start their working day, they collect the fully charged personal body worn camera from the docking station. At the end of the shift, they simply dock it, and automatically the recordings and data are offloaded and the camera is charged. Benefits of integration The Axis body worn solution is a great compliment in building evidence-based cases. When connected to Axis Camera Station video management software all body worn cameras will show up in the replay navigation with their specific usernames like any other IP cameras in the system. Playback can be synchronized with other cameras in the system, and all standard functions in Axis Camera Station are available to build the evidence case. The incident report includes both relevant recordings and comments, and if there is a need to pixelate objects and people this is also possible using video redaction. The case is easily exported in a compressed and password-protected file if to be shared with authorities.
Video wall and visual display providers Ultimate Visual Solutions (UVS) has seen a 10 per cent rise in the official quotations and detailed system proposals it has been asked to supply, despite the coronavirus lockdown. UVS Managing Director Steve Murphy said the increase, compared to the same period in 2019, was as a direct result of the full suite of remote access and online demonstration services which it launched at the start of the COVID-19 outbreak. UVS remote demonstration facility He said that the new way of working was already starting to translate into firm orders for a wide range of its products. These include a substantial order for a large UVS Lucidity video wall controller solution for a council CCTV project, where the final demonstration to the client was made at the start of lockdown using the UVS remote demonstration facility. Contracts also included eight new or renewed annual maintenance contracts for critical infrastructure or critical security sites Demonstrated the usefulness and effectiveness of the investment we made in the remote demonstration facility. Steve Murphy said: “During the ‘lockdown’ period from March 23 to May 31, UVS official quotations and detailed system proposals were 10% up in overall total project value against the same period last year.” “This has demonstrated the usefulness and effectiveness of the investment we made in the remote demonstration facility and the benefit it has brought to our clients, both integration partners and their end clients.” Video wall projects physical delivery During the lockdown period, UVS has continued to physically deliver major critical control room video wall projects, in strict accordance with all government and its own health and safety experts’ guidelines. These include: 24x 55-inch video wall system and Lucidity video wall controller for critical high-security project 16x 49-inch video wall system and video wall controller for critical high-security project 65-inch 4K screens for high security prison project Shipping a Lucidity controller for control room project to Vietnam and providing detailed remote, online product training to Vietnamese partner The remote access and online demonstration services, based from UVS’ new HQ in Burnley, are designed to provide peace of mind and support for key operational video wall technology. Remote Services by UVS The suite of remote services offered by UVS includes: Remote diagnostics and remote maintenance for UVS video wall technology which can offer quick analysis and resolution for most issues. UVS engineers using remote connection software, which is fully encrypted and which the client has control over, to carry out maintenance. For sites where the video wall controller does not normally have an internet connection, UVS is offering to supply a 4G data dongle as part of the contract (managed and paid for by UVS) to allow clients to give internet access as required. Assisting clients with reduced cost annual maintenance contracts. A live online demonstration facility to provide full video wall technology evaluations for partners and their clients who are in lockdown or self-isolation Technology visibility for visitors Technology which visitors can see in operation includes video wall solutions, displays, video wall controllers, control software, digital signage, integrated VMS (video management systems for security applications) AV over IP and KVM remote access options. UVS provides video wall displays and audio visual solutions to clients across the UK and the rest of the world. It is led by four senior colleagues who, between them, have more than 70 years’ combined Audio Visual, Control Room and Visual Solutions experience. It has also opened a new London demonstration venue at Woburn Place, a short walk from Euston Station.
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 center 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 ionizing radiation during X-raying for contraband at prisons will continue. However, more and more organizations, 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 behavior in whatever form, be it unusual movement, speed, positioning, clustering or direction. With more and more of this intelligence residing within cameras “at the edge,” there is an arsenal of technology to assist authorities in keeping contraband out of prisons.
The security of courtrooms throughout Florida has gotten the attention of the chief justice of the state’s Supreme Court, who has appointed a “state-wide courthouse security workgroup” to seek solutions to the problem. It’s interesting that there are no security professionals appointed to the group – only lawyers, most of them other judges, and an administrative staff member. Hopefully the workgroup will leverage the expertise of security professionals in their decision-making, or at least tap into the knowledge of law enforcement personnel working at jurisdictions across the state. Lack Of Funding To be fair, the problem seems to be more about money (or lack of money) than about strategies or expertise. Security at Florida’s local courthouses is handled by local governments, rather than at the state level, so funding depends on local boards of commissioners in each county, which must balance funding for the security of courthouses with a long and demanding list of other local needs and requirements. For example, in Broward County, which includes Fort Lauderdale, there has been a continuing standoff with the county government over security staff funding. The new state workgroup willreview security funding on thelocal level, including how countygovernments, the courts, andlocal sheriff’s offices are usingthe funds Among its goals, the new state workgroup will review security funding on the local level, including how county governments, the courts, and local sheriff’s offices are using the funds. The workgroup includes judges from Fort Myers, Jacksonville, Miami, Orlando, Pensacola, Sanford, Tallahassee and Tampa – providing a state-wide analysis free from the specifics of local areas. Florida Security Concerns Courthouse security is a big topic in Florida, based in part on an incident July 15. A shackled murder suspect escaped a Broward County courtroom, down a stairwell, out an emergency exit and into a waiting getaway car. He was recaptured six days later. Another factor is memory of the June 12 massacre at an Orlando nightclub where 49 people were killed. A big irony is that the perpetrator of that crime, Omar Mateen, was a security guard with G4S who formerly worked to secure courthouse facilities in downtown Fort Pierce, Florida. Increasing Resources If not enough manpower is at the root of the problem, then more local funding will play a big part in any solution. Officials in Broward County point to the July 15 escape as proof that there simply isn’t enough manpower to protect courthouses. The workgroup has also pledged to bring in additional resources as needed and is committed to a dialog with all the involved parties. If they need some extra help from security professionals, I know where some will be close by in a couple of weeks – at the ASIS International 2016 Seminar and Exhibits in Orlando, Sept. 12-15. Just saying.
If you had a super power, would you use it for good or evil? The question might typically be the subject of vigorous debate among third graders, but it’s also a question that comes up when you consider technology. Sometimes the benefits of technology are almost like super powers. As much as we seek to apply the powers of technology to security, there is also a criminal element that stands ready to use them with evil intent. Such is the case with drones. We have previously mentioned the possibilities of using drones for security applications. Now comes news that the criminal element has already been applying the technology of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to smuggle contraband into prisons. A drone crashed outside a prison in Bishopville, S.C. recently after failing to carry contraband over the 12-foot razor wire fence surrounding Lee Correctional Institution. The drone was being used to smuggle marijuana, tobacco and cell phones, all contraband inside the prison system. A cell phone sells for about $2,500 inside a prison, for example, and prison officials say cell phones are a security risk. Case in point: A cell phone was used to order a “hit” on a prison official in South Carolina in 2010. Capt. Robert Johnson, who was shot six times, survived the attack and has since retired. Drones were used in a similar smuggling scheme at a state prison in Calhoun, Ga., in my home state. Four people were arrested and charged with using remote-control helicopters to carry contraband over prison walls. As drones become more sophisticated, and if they were to become widely available as commercial products, such security risks would escalate, presenting new challenges of perimeter security at prisons. Such threats could also extend to other possible targets such as utility and chemical plants, critical infrastructure facilities, transportation hubs, etc. Historically, security devices and sensors for perimeter applications have tended to be ground-based and/or mounted on fences and walls. The need to protect the airspace around a prison or chemical plant is a fairly new consideration. Systems to deal with such threats could include technologies like radar and thermal cameras. Addressing false alarms would also be a priority. Sensors would need to be tied to a dependable alarm system to alert overworked guards and/or security personnel only in the event of an actual threat. Wonder what technologies could prevent an “air attack” by drones?
A Mexican correctional facility was relying on an outdated analog surveillance system that could no longer meet the growing demands of the prison. The organization responsible for managing the prison decided it was time for an upgrade and wanted to modernize the facility with a new IP security solution. The customer was interested in deploying IP cameras due to their enhanced video quality, better analytic capabilities, and overall improvement of security for staff, inmates, and the surrounding community. Addressing challenges Several barriers needed to be addressed before the customer could deploy the new IP surveillance solution. The existing analog security cameras were supported by a Coax infrastructure that ran through the entirety of the prison. The concrete walls of the facility made it extremely difficult and costly to rip-and-replace the existing, yet reliable, Coax infrastructure. The concrete walls of the facility made it extremely difficult and costly to rip-and-replace the existing Coax infrastructure Standard PoE switches Additionally, IP cameras needed to be deployed across all 23 areas of the prison. Considering the 328ft (100m) reach limitation of standard Power over Ethernet switches, the organization was concerned with the cost and space requirements of installing several IDF closets throughout the facility to ensure connectivity in all 23 areas. The customer needed to reduce the infrastructure costs of the project to justify the return on investment to the province. Digital transformation barriers Disruption was also a major issue while planning the digital transformation project. Like all correctional facilities, there are strict policies surrounding operation schedules. Any work done to the prison could not interfere with daily operations, to ensure the safety of staff and the community. The organization needed an innovative solution to overcome its digital transformation barriers and improve the project’s ROI. NVT's EoC technology Given the project’s challenges, an IT Manager for the province recommended NVT Phybridge Ethernet over Coax technology. The IT Manager had been an expert in the field for over 10 years and had used NVT Phybridge products in the past. The prison’s digital transformation team was intrigued by the technology and booked an online meeting to learn more. The NVT Phybridge CLEER products delivers Ethernet and PoE+ over any new or existing Coax infrastructure The NVT Phybridge CLEER family of products delivers Ethernet and PoE+ over any new or existing Coax infrastructure with up to 6,000ft (1,830m) reach – that’s 18 times farther than standard PoE solutions. The customer was impressed with the technology and decided to move forward with the project; having found the perfect solution. Coax infrastructure The customer used NVT Phybridge CLEER innovations to leverage the existing and reliable Coax infrastructure; avoiding the costly rip-and-replace upgrade strategy. There was no disruption to the prison during implementation, as infrastructure requirements were significantly simplified. “The NVT Phybridge equipment allowed us to reduce the initial costs of the project, allowing the project to be approved,” said the Government Agency’s Project Manager. IP cameras for centralized monitoring The institution deployed over 80 IP cameras across the facility without the need for a single new IDF closet, thanks to the solution’s long reach capabilities. The customer was able to keep the security network completely independent of the main network for ease of management. NVT Phybridge helped the customer converge the networks with a single wire in a highly secure manner to ensure centralized monitoring of the system. “NVT Phybridge helped simplify the deployment of IP technology in a difficult environment, which ultimately made the project feasible,” said Enrique Nares, Presale Engineer at Grupo HEMAC. Benefits of the solution The customer achieved incredible results, using the NVT Phybridge Ethernet over Coax solution to: Avoid the disruptive and costly rip-and-replace upgrade method, reducing infrastructure costs by more than USD 50,000 Reduce the total deployment time by five months Deploy a new IP surveillance solution throughout the prison with no operational disruption Simplify network design by leveraging the existing, point-to-point, Coax infrastructure Avoid additional maintenance costs associated with complex networks and IDF closet requirements
ClanTect and ePm have signed a partnership agreement for the sale and servicing of ClanTect’s next generation Motion Detection systems (also referred to as ‘heartbeat’ detection systems) for the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Detecting humans in vehicles ClanTect’s systems are used to detect the hidden presence of people inside vehicles and are deployed within a wide range of organizations in the Border Security, Prisons and Critical Infrastructure markets. Customers include globally renowned organizations, such as the UK Border Force and Frontex, the European Border and Coast Guard Agency and Her Majesty’s Prison Service in the United Kingdom. Tens of thousands of clandestine operatives and fugitives are detected by ClanTect each year, with hundreds of lives being saved. Ultra-sensitive sensors Its ultra-sensitive sensors can detect even the faintest of movements, from anywhere within a vehicle ClanTect’s systems are based on sound and vibration technology. Its ultra-sensitive sensors can detect even the faintest of movements, from anywhere within a vehicle. The system is extremely fast (approx. 60 seconds for a vehicle search), it is very easy to use, the search process is fully automated, and, unlike X-Ray and some other technologies, it is completely safe for both the operator and for the stowaway. ClanTect’s system is extremely accurate. It utilizes a unique ‘blocking’ capability, which eliminates any nearby surrounding noise from outside of the vehicle. Compact 2nd generation systems With the launch of their 2nd generation systems, ClanTect provides smaller and more compact devices, which are now fully wireless, thereby making them easy to deploy in ad-hoc outdoor roadside locations, even in windy weather conditions. Professor Steve Daley, Managing Director of ClanTect commented, “Our systems can enable the UAE authorities to meet some of today’s most pressing security challenges, such as human trafficking, the protection of critical infrastructure and the security of custodial facilities.” Protection of critical infrastructure Steve Daley adds, “We have also ensured that our systems have been thoroughly tested to meet the challenging environmental conditions faced in the UAE.” Hadi R Omer, Director of Sales & Marketing (Systems & Solutions) at ePm said, “Here at ePm, we have been serving the needs of government and commercial customers since the 1980’s, including the Ministry of Interior, Abu Dhabi Police, Dubai Police, UAE Armed Forces, Dubai Customs, and ADNOC. We feel that ClanTect’s technology perfectly complements our existing portfolio of security products and offers tremendous operational capabilities for public and private sector organizations across the UAE.”
The Chilean Minister of Justice and Human Rights, Hernán Larraín, recently inaugurated the new Soter RS 250A Body Scanner at the Rancagua Penitentiary Complex in Chile, which will raise the security standards of the prison facility. The Soter RS 250 is a Full-Body Scanner, that uses X-ray technology to allow the rapid detection of prohibited items that could be smuggled into the prison. To facilitate inspection the scanned image can be managed through various effects and filters, such as sharpening, embossment, multi-touch zoom functions, brightness and contrast. Accumulative radiation dosage The image that the Soter scan delivers is similar to that of a medical X-ray, although the Soter technology uses 1000 times less radiation than a medical X-ray. The ANSI N43.17 international certifications which the Soter adheres to, are even stricter than the current Chilean radiation safety standards. In addition, the system calculates the accumulative radiation dosage a scanned individual is exposed to, (administered by the Gendarmerie Health Department) which is tracked by an implemented biometric reader. The system generates quarterly report for the Instituto de Salud Publica – (ISP – The Chilean public health institute). Also present at the opening ceremony were the national director of the Gendarmerie, Christian Alveal, together with the Minister of Justice of the O'Higgins Region Bárbara Perry, among other authorities. Detecting prohibited elements The Rancagua Penitentiary Complex is the first prison under concession to have this technology The Rancagua Penitentiary Complex is the first prison under concession to have this technology, joining the state criminal units of; CPF Arica - Female Penitentiary Center, CP Arica, and CP Valparaiso - Penitentiary Complexes, CDP Santiago Sur – Preventative Detention Centers, High Security Prisons, Colina I, Colina II and CCP Temuco Penitentiary Compliance Centers. After the inauguration, the Minister of Justice and Human Rights, Hernán Larraín, pointed out that “This tool is extremely effective in detecting prohibited elements, increasing security inside prisons, since it allows a thorough body search to be carried out on all persons who enter the premises, whether they are officials, lawyers or family visits, but without giving an invasive treatment in the inspection procedure, eliminating manual inspection and thus guaranteeing the integrity of the people.” Optimizing internal processes The national director of the Gendarmerie, Christian Alveal, added that “It is very relevant to have this type of technology inside the penal units, as it improves and optimizes internal processes, where detection capacity contributes to guarantee comprehensive security of the enclosure. In addition, it allows a non-invasive treatment in the inspection process, guaranteeing the integrity and dignity of the people who visit those deprived of liberty.” Speaking from their Head Quarters in Leeuwarden, The Netherlands, Mr. van der Veen said of the installation; “We are delighted to have been awarded this contract and to be part of increasing of security across the Chilean Prison estate.”
In 2017 alone, 71 prison staff were found to be smuggling contraband into detention facilities in the UK alone. This is a known issue for security officers in prisons around the world, and that is why a major prison in Australia approached UVeye in 2019 about installing intelligent vehicle scanning devices. During 2019 In England and Wales drugs were found 13,119 times in prisons, more than 35 incidents per day, on average. The number of incidents has tripled since 2014, after years of relative stability, with some smugglers taking advantage of new technology, such as drones, to deliver contraband. Self-Made devices The value of the UK prison drug market is an estimated £100 million, according to the Prison Officers Association. Drugs aren’t the only issue; weapons are also being smuggled into prisons at increasing rates. Instruments like wrenches and other self-made devices, usually attached to the undercarriage of vehicles coming in and out of the prison, can violate the rules and cause disruptions. Drugs aren’t the only issue; weapons are also being smuggled into prisons at increasing rates This Australian prison has over 100 regular employees coming in and out. Some of their vehicles have been used to deliver messages to the outside world from gang members who are in detention. Whether the prison staff or bus drivers themselves were paid to smuggle materials and objects in or out of the prison, or a criminal from the outside attached phones or drugs to their undercarriage while their vehicle was parked, this was clearly a matter of concern. Access control systems In other prisons which don’t have an automatic system, there are usually manual inspections conducted by a guard holding a mirror to check the undercarriages of vehicles coming in or out. It is clear in the industry that an efficient technological solution is needed. UVeye facilitates the following things: Securing vehicle access control points Full integration to barriers, bollards and access control systems Tightly securing sensitive areas like the apron of the prison Automatic detection of illicit materials under the vehicle on the first pass Driver and passenger fever detection capabilities SUV delivery vehicles Since most vehicles entering and leaving the prison come in and out regularly, there needs to be a quick and easy experience to compare the vehicles and look for attachments or modifications. The system also needs to be versatile enough to detect anomalies in the undercarriages of a wide variety of vehicle types, from private vehicles to SUV delivery vehicles and armored trucks and buses. Understanding that the quality of inspection and streamlining the entry and exit process is a top priority, the security chiefs of the prison contacted UVeye. They asked for an automatic solution that can compare every vehicle entering or leaving the prison, and that is able to detect any modifications, smuggled devices or illegal weapons entering the facility. High-Resolution cameras Helios UVSS by UVeye is setting the global standard for under-vehicle inspection Helios UVSS by UVeye is setting the global standard for under-vehicle inspection. Equipped with five high-resolution cameras, the system can be installed at the access lane of the prison and automatically detect any illicit materials entering or leaving the prison walls. Offering both single- and multi-lane stationary as well as mobile units, Helios has a feature called UVcompare that enables it to recognize vehicles by their license plate or unique undercarriage fingerprint ID and compare the vehicle to a previous scan. This feature can assist in detecting tiny objects such as letters, paper bags, phones and other contraband. Advanced deep learning algorithms that were developed through training with millions of vehicles allow UVeye to offer its first pass solution, UV Inspect. Providing maximum security Built on a truly intimate understanding of what a wide range of vehicles are supposed to look like in a variety of environmental conditions, UV Inspect can be used for vehicles that have not been previously scanned by a system. UVeye is the only under-vehicle inspection system (UVIS or UVSS) vendor to offer a first verified, first pass solution that greatly increases the effectiveness of security teams. The UVeye team sent its representatives from Singapore for several site visits and worked closely with the construction integrator to provide maximum security and screening for all vehicles coming in and out of the prison. Classifications for items such as tiny paper notes, which in other cases might be considered false positives, were calibrated to be exposed by the system within several seconds, and the security guards will be alerted. Improving staff satisfaction The local staff was trained within several weeks of the installation, and objects like wrenches and boxes were picked up immediately during the early implementation of the system. The queuing time for vehicles entering or leaving the facility is reduced by over 70% As a pass-through system that scans vehicles as they drive over the device at up to 30km/h, the prison’s security team is now able to keep traffic flowing without compromising the quality of its inspections. The speed of inspection with a UVeye undercarriage system is reduced dramatically compared to manual inspection by a guard and keeps the prison staff safe. The queuing time for vehicles entering or leaving the facility is reduced by over 70% these cases improving staff satisfaction. Automated UVSS technology UVeye has simplified the documentation of inspections for the leadership, providing centralized, detailed reports of every vehicle, with the ability to compare past scans, which is often used for different purposes. If there is a case of corruption within staff, the accountability is immediate. Adopting UVeye’s automated UVSS technology has given the prison’s security team a quick and efficient method to monitor all vehicles entering or leaving the facility. In a world where a detention facility’s security is constantly tested, it is important to automate and rely on objective systems that can help prevent smuggled items from reaching the wrong people.
icetana, globally renowned Australia-based intelligent video surveillance solutions company, is pleased to announce its first purchase orders for the US correctional services market, after two new 5-year client orders were confirmed with hardware systems vendor, Rasilient Systems, Inc. The order includes supplying icetana’s video analytics solution to two US correctional facilities (prisons). video analytics solution The orders are significant as they represent icetana’s first US prison customers and a geographic expansion of the correctional services vertical market sector, beyond the company’s already existing Australian based prison management clients. The US prisons market (US correctional facilities) is one of the largest in the world and the state authority is known as a pioneering operator in the US, providing an excellent reference opportunity for the companies, Rasilient Systems, Inc. and icetana. Total camera footprint of the state prisons This deployment represents a small subset of the total camera footprint of the state prisons This deployment represents a small subset of the total camera footprint of the state prisons operated by this end-customer, with the potential to extend coverage over time to additional sites with this customer and to other correctional services clients in the US. Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Managing Director at icerana, Matthew Macfarlane said, “I am very pleased with the progress of this opportunity despite the challenging market conditions being experienced globally.” Motion intelligence platform Matthew adds, “This is a significant opportunity for icetana to demonstrate its full capabilities of our motion intelligence platform to a new geographic market and potentially expand into a larger subset of the customer prisons.” The purchase orders for the US correctional facilities have a combined value of US$ 100,000 (AUD$ 137,000), inclusive of 5 years of support and maintenance.
For most people, prison ranks high on the list of places to avoid. Yet, take no pride: U.S. prisons are filled to capacity with individuals who have committed some type of crime that warrants incarceration. Prison Policy Initiative In 2018, according to data from the Prison Policy Initiative, there were 1.3 million U.S. adults in prison and 615,000 incarcerated in jails for crimes ranging from murder, manslaughter, illegal drug possession, burglary, theft, driving under the influence, property crimes, and more. In addition to traditional security concerns such as perimeter surveillance, ID card management, visitor and vendor management, crime, and theft, prisons and correctional facilities have unique security challenges that other enterprises typically do not have. Prison security Correctional facilities face regular security audits that are conducted by the National Institute of Corrections The challenges include inmate escapes, hostage situations, gangs, contraband, riots, and overcrowding, in addition to increasing privacy and regulatory mandates. Even more, correctional facilities face regular security audits that are conducted by the National Institute of Corrections. Security teams must always be on guard and watching every individual and action of the inmate population – for an inmate’s physical safety – in addition to their own. It is not uncommon for security staff and correctional officers to receive physical injuries from prisoners, especially when trying to break up an inmate fight or transporting them to other locations. Use of drones in prison smuggling An emerging concern for prison officials is the use of drones by individuals who are looking to smuggle drugs, cellphones, weapons, and other contraband into prisons for use by inmates. Many states are working on anti-drone legislation around correctional institutions. For example, Missouri is one of the most recent US States to have introduced legislation to tackle the problem. Missouri HB 324 would make it illegal for drone pilots to fly an unmanned aircraft near any correctional center, private jail, county jail, municipal jail or mental health hospital. Anyone caught violating the law would be charged with a Class A misdemeanor and possibly other felony charges, depending on the pilot’s illegal intentions. Importance of video surveillance Video surveillance is a necessary security technology for prison and correctional facility staff, as it allows personnel to mitigate those unique security challenges. “Video surveillance is prevalent throughout facilities; even if it’s a typical two-bed jail cell or a 2,000 bed prison,” says Brad Wareham, Director of Key Accounts at Salient Systems. He adds, “In cases where facilities face a shortage of staff members to watch over the inmate population, video surveillance supports the oversight of inmates and increases accountability. Inmates know that despite the lack of staff and officer presence, they are being observed by cameras that can catch even the smallest details. Video surveillance can follow inmates anywhere. There are very few blind spots.” Upgrading to hybrid video surveillance systems They are upgrading to hybrid and/or fully digital solutions, all while maintaining the HMI model Increasingly, prisons and correctional facilities are upgrading their older analog video systems, due to age degradation and lack of adequate support resources. “They are upgrading to hybrid and/or fully digital solutions, all while maintaining the Human Machine Interfaces (HMI) model,” Wareham notes. “They continue to face security challenges typical of the corrections space, such as PLC controllers, RTSP capture, intercoms, lock controls, and more, which are atypical of larger facilities. In addition, many older analog solutions will eventually be cost prohibitive,” Wareham said, adding “and will no longer operate, due to an increasing inability to find replacement parts and to the proliferation of IP-based video surveillance solutions”. IP-based video surveillance systems For many correctional facilities, upgrading a video surveillance system to an IP-based solution, in addition to a video management system (VMS), makes sense and benefits a prison or correctional facility in multiple ways. Solutions exist that allow prison facilities to keep pre-existing hardware in place during an upgrade, while allowing for replacements and component upgrades as funding permits. Specific benefits that advanced video surveillance and VMS solutions can provide a correctional institution include: Increased Coverage – Many prisons and correctional facilities are large, and have multiple areas that need to be under surveillance, such as hallways, throughout cellblocks, healthcare facilities, dining areas, exercise yards, and more. Outdated systems may have a difficult time monitoring all areas, while an IP video system can provide continuous coverage of an entire facility Clarity of Video – Older analog cameras struggle with the ability to provide clear images. New IP cameras, coupled with an advanced VMS, will produce crisp and clear images that are necessary to mitigate security risks. Inmate Tracking – One of the biggest benefit of a VMS solutions is video analytic software, which is capable of tracking a moving target and searching for specific objects. Video analytics can count human beings, monitor queues, and even identify a geographical location. VMS solutions allow security to search video archives quickly and find archived video that matches custom criteria within minutes, which is helpful in investigations. Alerts – Video analytics within a VMS solution can be programmed to detect specific activity and activate an alarm or alert system when the activity occurs. Facial Recognition – The ability to recognize a face is another key benefit of a VMS solution used in a crowded correctional institution, in particular when inmates may be wearing the same type and color of clothing. Perimeters – Video surveillance placement on the exterior perimeter of a facility can document suspicious activity occurring in outside recreational yards where contraband can enter. Many VMS solutions allow for detecting movement throughout specific areas for an established duration of time. Mobility – The ability for correctional officers to view video on a mobile device is critical, given the large landscape of facilities. For example, Salient’s TouchView Mobile solution, combined with its CompleteView 20/20 VMS, allows users to instantly access, monitor and review live and recorded video from any camera connected to any CompleteView 20/20 recording server. Cameras from multiple servers can be accessed simultaneously with PTZ control. The solution’s DRS (dynamic resolution scaling) automatically sizes the video for live viewing, which significantly reduces network usage and provides higher frame rates over mobile connections. Securing prisons and correctional facilities You can’t have a correctional facility without video surveillance and an audit trail for forensic evidence" Overall, Wareham notes, video surveillance and VMS solutions are a necessary and critical solution for securing prisons and correctional facilities. “You can’t have a correctional facility without video surveillance and an audit trail for forensic evidence,” Wareham stated, adding “Facilities with challenging budget constraints are still required to have a functional Video Management System, regardless of the technology or age of their infrastructure.” Salient VMS solution For security integrators, Salient’s VMS solutions provide a steady ROI. “Salient plays a critical role in providing a viable cost per channel ROI that is superior in the VMS industry,” Wareham said. He adds, “As the requirements for third-party encoding hardware is negated, and coupled with our customer support for virtually all aspects of the detention and corrections space, Salient’s VMS solution addresses budget constraints.” For prisons and correctional facilities, an advanced video surveillance and VMS is not just a product, it is a necessity that enables correctional facilities to stay safe and secure. “In the corrections industry, surveillance goes hand in hand with the employee, inmate, and visitor safety, while coupled with procedural compliance and enforcement,” Wareham concluded.
Round table discussion
The new year 2019 is brimming with possibilities for the physical security industry, but will those possibilities prove to be good news or bad news for our market? Inevitably, it will be a combination of good and bad, but how much good and how bad? We wanted to check the temperature of the industry as it relates to expectations for the new year, so we asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: How optimistic is your outlook for the physical security industry in 2019? Why?
One of the things all security systems have in common is that they depend on human operators, to one extent or another. But how often is the human factor overlooked in product design? Sometimes, more focus is aimed at increasing the functionality of a system, even at the expense of usability. That’s how we get systems that have more capabilities, although accessing that functionality may be hopelessly complex. Creating effective graphical user interfaces (GUIs) is an ongoing challenge for the security market, and the consumer market, with its iPads and smart phones, has raised the expectations bar. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: What elements are required to make an effective video system user interface?