Crime comes in many forms, from shoplifting and petty fraud right up to armed robbery and terrorism. Fighting crime is a key part of the security industry’s mission, although traditionally many security measures played a more passive part in crime fighting and prevention. Modern integrated systems however offer so much more, not only for the businesses and organisations that use them, but also as useful and sometimes vital additions to the police and government security services fighting crime and terrorism.
Keeping an Eye on the Criminals
CCTV is not a new technology, but the way it is integrated and used has evolved dramatically in recent years. Undoubtedly fuelled by the possibilities of online integration, CCTV has become a much more powerful tool that can be shared with any approved viewer at any secure location. Surveillance that was once the stuff of spy thrillers, is now highly realistic, even on a more modest budget.
Traditional CCTV systems relied upon a security operator continuously watching the feed and alerting the security team to deal with any issues. With delays in action and the human inability to process footage on a truly continuous basis, this had some serious limitations.
Modern security systems have superseded these issues by introducing highly developed automated intelligence. Systems which actually analyse real CCTV feeds and can detect potential problems, automatically alerting the security team, have revolutionised the effectiveness of these surveillance systems. CCTV is no longer a passive part of the security mix, it is now a key tool in the fight against crime.
As the age old cliché goes, prevention is better than cure, and it’s much the same when it comes to crime. A security system which is not only effective, but also has the reputation for being so, is always preferable.
Take the surveillance of quieter areas of a railway for example. Personal attacks, theft, vandalism and graffiti are all risks to a railway network and are made worse by the deserted nature of many of the facilities. A well-integrated and effective security system will help to protect these areas and publicising their presence will help to deter criminals, especially opportunistic individuals or groups.
Undoubtedly visible and effective CCTV camera act as a deterrent and help to reduce crime. With affordable prices for effective systems that offer a healthy ROI, it makes perfect sense to show the world the security measures in place.
One of the biggest benefits of modern integrated security systems is the ability to give a broad picture of any situation within a secured area. This can use CCTV, but equally intruder alarms and access control systems – crossed-referenced with employee or business records for further insights. A powerful security system (such as TDSi’s EXgarde for example) will collate all this data, providing live information but also recording all the elements for later examination. EXgarde can also be integrated with TDSi’s powerful VUgarde VMS, which allows the security team to integrate many different camera and detection systems to build a powerful web of surveillance data.
This is highly useful for the organisation but equally it can be shared with the police or government security services. This element is particularly useful in dealing with terrorist threats – as evidenced in the Paris attacks last year for example. If integrated security is used by a number of organisations or at a number of sites, the situational picture can be pieced together in great detail, showing how an incident started and progressed.
CCTV images and videos are also frequently used in widespread witness appeals and in news reports, social media and reconstructions in an attempt to identify and find criminals. People with home-based CCTV systems can appeal to their local communities using social media channels. Larger investigations, such as the Hatton Garden robbery, release images and videos of the suspects to the general public to appeal for help.
Modern integrated systems also make it much easier to collate evidence for criminal proceedings. This makes it much simpler for various security services to work together to predict further problems from a very early stage, ensuring a suitable response is launched.
Letting technology take the strain
Integrated security systems are perfectly matched to the needs of modern crime fighting – offering a superior way of detecting problems and launching a suitable response. With keen pricing and greater flexibility than ever before, it’s no wonder business organisations are aligning their approach with national security teams to ensure greater safety for everyone.
Our local police force Dorset Police regularly update their CCTV appeals section, an example of how CCTV can be used locally to assist criminal investigations.