Monthly Archives: July 2013

New regulation of private investigators to be introduced for the UK

The Home Office is to introduce a new system of regulation for private investigators to protect the public from unscrupulous activity.

Operating as an unlicensed private investigator will become a criminal offence, Home Secretary Theresa May announced on Wednesday 31 July.

The current arrangements, under which the system is not regulated, allows anyone to work as a private investigator regardless of their skills, experience or criminal convictions. This presents a high risk of rogue investigators unlawfully infringing on the privacy of individuals.

Home Secretary Theresa May: introducing new regulation for private investigators

Home Secretary Theresa May: introducing new regulation for private investigators

As a result, the Home Office is introducing new regulation of private investigators to put a stop to this situation and help to ensure members of the public are protected against unscrupulous activity.

All investigative activities that are carried out for the purposes of publishing legitimate journalistic material will be excluded from regulation.

Comment from the Home Office

Home Secretary Theresa May said: “It’s vital we have proper regulation of private investigators to ensure rigorous standards in this sector and the respect of individuals’ rights to privacy.

“That is why I am announcing today the Government’s intention to regulate this industry, making it a criminal offence to operate as a private investigator without a licence.

“Anyone with a criminal conviction for data protection offences can expect to have their application for a licence refused. Journalists will be excluded from regulation to allow them to carry out legitimate investigations in the public interest.”

Security Industry Authority to grant licences

Licences will only be granted by the Security Industry Authority when an applicant has successfully:

•completed training and achieved a Government-recognised qualification, which includes understanding of relevant laws and standards and the skills required to conduct activities ethically
•confirmed their identity
•undergone a thorough criminality check

As with other sectors of the private security industry, all applicants will need to meet these standards in order to receive a licence. This includes any contractors working on private investigations for companies.

Bill Butler, the SIA’s CEO, commented: “I welcome the announcement from the Home Secretary on the Government’s intention to regulate private investigators. SIA licensing protects the public by ensuring that only fit and proper people, who are trained and qualified to do their job, work in the private security industry. I now look forward to working with Home Office colleagues to introduce effective regulation for private investigations.”

The regulation of private investigators will be introduced as quickly as possible, and the new regime will begin next year.

The maximum penalty for working as an unlicensed private investigator or supplying unlicensed investigators will be a fine of up to £5,000 and up to six months in prison.

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Can demand match supply for wireless in mobile video surveillance?

According to a new report entitled ‘The World Market for Mobile Video Surveillance’ which has been published by IMS Research (now part of IHS), a surplus supply of wireless download technology was fitted to 16% of all video recorders sold in mobile video surveillance markets during 2012.

This is technology that the customer either never intends to use, or doesn’t have the back-end software to support. So does this mean, then, that manufacturers are wasting their money on ‘oversupply’?

As part of new research into the market presented in the report, IHS tracked the current adoption rates of wireless download technology across each vertical market as one of the fastest-moving trends in mobile video surveillance in the past two years.

Adoption rates on the increase

“Adoption rates have increased quickly, with the technology really suiting the usage cases for these larger fleets of trains, buses or police cars,” said David Green, senior analyst for video surveillance at IHS.

“Using Wi-Fi for downloading saves time and cost for the operator, can improve reliability and also offer added value features such as remote vehicle health checks.”

Can demand match supply for wireless when it comes to mobile video surveillance?

Can demand match supply for wireless when it comes to mobile video surveillance?

However, in 2012 it would appear that demand lagged behind supply. While 45% of recorders sold were fitted with Wi-Fi that the customer will use, 16% were fitted with technology the customer won’t use – meaning that manufacturers are adding to costs by paying for components that don’t actually need to be fitted.

“In reality, manufacturers won’t be losing out,” asserted Green. “The 16% statistic might sound a lot in terms of unit shipments, but it’s only a small portion of the revenue. Economies of scale mean the component costs will be low to start with, plus most of the oversupply is coming from recorders made by low-cost Asian manufacturers. These companies can’t move on price since they’re already at the bottom, so they compete with each other by loading up on features even though they know the customers won’t use them.”

Green also noted: “You take a look at the high-end manufacturers and the level of oversupply is certainly less than 16%.”

Are the supply levels as they should be?

So does that mean the high-end manufacturers have their supply levels right, and do they expect adoption rates to continue increasing at current rates?

“Definitely they see adoption increasing into the future,” suggested Green.

“Mobile video systems are evolving and wireless is a key part of the more intelligent system, linking with back-end software to provide an end-to-end solution. Manufacturers aren’t wasting their money here, and they’ll see the rewards when the market witnesses a boost in sales over the next couple of years.”

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SecuriGroup Forum focuses on the future for regulation

On Wednesday 24 July, SecuriGroup – the Glasgow-based security solutions provider – held a Forum at which Baroness Ruth Henig CBE gave a timely speech on the future landscape for regulation.

As a company, SecuriGroup has always been at the forefront of the regulatory agenda and, in 2009, won the ACS Champion of the Year category at the Security Excellence Awards.

Only recently, chairman John Malcolm QPM and managing director Russel Kerr asked Baroness Ruth Henig CBE – former chairman of the Security Industry Authority (SIA) – to join the Board, and it was in her capacity as a Board director that the Baroness addressed a gathering of company representatives and key customers at SecuriGroup’s Bath Street headquarters in Glasgow.

Baroness Ruth Henig CBE: now working with SecuriGroup

Baroness Ruth Henig CBE: now working with SecuriGroup

The Baroness began her address on the future roadmap for private sector security regulation by stating that SecuriGroup “embraces all of the values” the Regulator wants to see in security companies. The Baroness also expressed delight that SecuriGroup is progressing extremely well with its business not just north of the border but also in the South East of England.

Of course, licensing via the SIA was first introduced in Scotland back in 2007, and the remit then was really all about licensing the individual. “To be really effective, though,” stated the Baroness, “licensing needs to be focused on businesses.” This, of course, is why the next phase of regulation – the ‘new regulatory regime’ that has still to emerge – will do just that.

SecuriGroup's chairman John Malcolm QPM

SecuriGroup’s chairman John Malcolm QPM

With over 800 responses received to the recent consultation on the future for regulation, the Government has promised further legislation with a slated appearance of this coming October. When that legislation does appear, Baroness Henig is adamant that we’ll need to “see sanctions and penalties for those companies who don’t co-operate” [with the new rules].

Reflecting on proposed regulatory change in the security sector, the Baroness continued: “Companies like SecuriGroup will have everything to gain and nothing to lose as a result of the forthcoming changes. It will now be much easier to crackdown on non-conformant companies.”

In terms of how top end security companies like SecuriGroup might be able to differentiate themselves under the new regime, there has of course been talk of a Hallmark-style scheme being introduced. “This is going to be an important area for development over the next few months,” commented the Baroness.

Russel Kerr: managing director at SecuriGroup

Russel Kerr: managing director at SecuriGroup

Experience of policing and security

Baroness Henig CBE is particularly well qualified to advise SecuriGroup and its customer base on the future regulation roadmap. Chairman of the Lancashire Police Authority from 1995-2005, the Baroness also served as chairman of the Association of Police Authorities between 1997-2005, eventually becoming president.

The Baroness was a member of the National Criminal Justice Board from 2003-2005, receiving her CBE from Her Majesty The Queen in 2000 for services to policing.

Made a Life Peer in 2004 by (then) Prime Minister Tony Blair, the Baroness was appointed chairman of the Security Industry Authority in 2006, and served in that role for six years.

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Access control: ‘Bridging the gap between legacy and new technologies’

Despite the exciting trends and industry buzz surrounding mobile technologies, wireless locks and hosted access control, more long-standing and less sensational trends such as encryption and multi-technology readers are taking centre stage in the access control market.

According to the latest access control research from IMS Research, now part of IHS Inc (NYSE: IHS), the global multi-technology reader market was worth an estimated $33 million in 2012, up from $30 million in 2011.

“Although multi-technology readers have been around for many years, these devices are now being installed in more applications than ever before,” said Blake Kozak, senior analyst for access control, fire and security at IHS.

“Historically, multi-technology readers would be offered specifically for end users that requested the technology. Today, more readers come preconfigured to offer both proximity and smart card technology. This allows customers to future-proof themselves. Many end users will opt for this technology regardless of their current needs in order to save on costs in the coming years.”

Access control: in the spotlight

Access control: in the spotlight

Furthermore, there has been a surge in the number of partnerships between reader vendors.

For example, most suppliers now offer readers that are compatible with all ISO standards, regardless of the brand, with some of these partnerships existing since 2010. This trend is likely to continue as more progress is made toward open standards.

Beyond the availability of multi-technology readers that are compatible with proximity or smart cards, more multi-technology readers are also being offered with a mix of keypads, proximity, smart cards, biometrics and, in some cases, magnetic stripes.

Electromechanical locks are likewise following suit, with products offering biometrics as well as RFID and a keypad available in the market today.

Multi-technology not only allows for greater flexibility for the end user but also provides additional security options. In some end user applications, security threats can be applied to each lock or reader. In instances where a security threat is elevated, the locks or readers may require additional verification, such as personal identification numbers (PIN) and biometrics versus only the PIN during a low-threat scenario. Although this option is used predominantly at high security locations like airports, other end user applications are also feasible.

With legacy technologies slowly being replaced by more modern technologies, the need for multi-technology readers will continue to increase during the coming years.

Offering a multi-technology reader, electromechanical locks or even a multi-technology credential will not only help expand a product line but also will increase the probability of success for integrators and end users seeking both flexibility and functionality.

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Security officers: why respect for their role really matters

Brian Sims reviews Channel 4’s ‘Undercover Boss’, in which Securitas’ UK and Ireland leader Geoff Zeidler found out exactly what life on the front line is like for the company’s security officers.

Monday 8 July 2013 was something of a Red Letter Day for security guarding in the UK, but you’ll not be overly cognisant of the fact unless you happened to be watching Channel 4 at 9.00 pm.

Series 5 Episode 2 of the broadcaster’s ‘Undercover Boss’ strand featured Geoff Zeidler – country president and UK/Ireland managing director at Securitas – going ‘back to the shop floor’ following the 2011 acquisitions of Reliance and Chubb, and learning what life is really like for his frontline staff during one of the worst spells of economic recession ever to hit the UK.

What followed was not only a seriously engaging hour-long documentary but also a thought-provoking exercise bringing key topics to the fore.

Securitas' UK and Ireland md Geoff Zeidler: The Undercover Boss

Securitas’ UK and Ireland md Geoff Zeidler: The Undercover Boss

An engineering graduate of the University of Cambridge, Geoff took it upon himself to vacate the Boardroom for five days and – under the persona of Dale James, an unemployed engineer looking for a career change – interface with Securitas’ frontline officers. Those officers wouldn’t recognise him, he hoped, once he’d grown a beard and shaved his head.

First port of call was a waterside development of bars in Manchester. Geoff met with Mo and Mario (former employees of Reliance). Over two decades they’ve been threatened by people brandishing firearms, slashed with knives and ‘glassed’ by thugs toting broken bottles.

Geoff swapped his suit for a metal-plated vest and, alongside the duo, attempted to control aggressive drunks and impromptu street brawls. Not his usual habitat and one that, by his own admission, was “very frightening”.

Attempted theft and Anti-Social Behaviour

Next stop was The Priory Shopping Centre in Dartford. Here, instances of attempted theft and Anti-Social Behaviour crop up. Geoff was put to the test by security manager Julie who asked him to confront a six-foot giant banned from the site – the chap concerned was acting out the role – before informing Securitas’ UK leader that she regularly works 14-hour days (many beginning before 5.00 am), finds it difficult to cover all shifts due to lack of bodies and that her own life outside of work is suffering as a result. Not a great picture.

Then it was off to Cirencester, where Geoff pitched up in front of Charles and Carl looking for mobile patrol work. Alas, the eagle-eyed duo rumbled Geoff’s disguise thanks to a photo of ‘The Real Mr Zeidler’ immediately behind him on their office wall, but agreed to keep quiet.

Geoff ventured out on night patrol with James, one of four officers who check up on 500-plus properties. James had to buy his own torch because the one with which he’d been supplied didn’t cut it. He’d also negotiated a new £25,000 contract for Securitas to monitor three warehouses but there was no commission in place for him.

To round off the whole experience, Geoff dropped in on Dewsbury Bus Station (a long-term contract for Securitas). The station resides in a racially diverse town where one third of residents come from an ethnic background.

Dave – one of the officers on duty – is quizzed by Zeidler, who learns of security staff having to cope with (among other things) drunks who threaten them, attempted headbuttings and instances of racial abuse.

Geoff Zeidler on patrol in Manchester with Securitas officers Mo and Mario

Geoff Zeidler on patrol in Manchester with Securitas officers Mo and Mario

At the end of the programme, Geoff – by now “angry” with what he has seen – admits who he is and acts fast. Mo and Mario are granted extra CCTV, Julie additional officers. James is paid his commission (and issued with a new torch). Dave receives £500 to donate to local charities while consideration is afforded to alterations for Basic Job Training on the site that will improve aspects of communication.

How frontline security officers are viewed and treated – by their employers, their employers’ customers and society at large – matters, and massively so. As this programme amply demonstrates, those officers do a fantastic job day in, day out, often under immensely trying circumstances. They absolutely deserve to be wholly respected by the society they protect.

Channel 4, Securitas and Geoff Zeidler merit much praise for producing this programme. We desperately need more prime time documentaries centred on security’s frontline. Maybe then we can banish forever the tired, clichéd and erroneous views of security guarding that have no place in today’s world.

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The Security Institute set to launch The Knowledge Centre

The Knowledge Centre is intended to be a key research and professional development resource for Institute members wishing to increase their knowledge base on specific security subject subjects, while also serving as an essential tool to support the studies of student members.

Headed up by director Angus Darroch-Warren CSyP, The Knowledge Centre will provide members with information sources including research papers, articles, dissertations and links to websites.

It’s recognised by The Security Institute that ‘Security’ covers a broad and diverse set of specialisms relating to: “The protection of people, information and other assets through the prevention, elimination and mitigation of risks and threats”. This includes intelligence gathering, research and information technology.

The Security Institute: pioneering education for security professionals

The Security Institute: pioneering education for security professionals

On that basis, The Knowledge Centre will be structured around the following 16 categories, reflecting the parameters and scope of contemporary security practice:

• Business Management
• Business Resilience
• Counter Terrorism
• Counter Fraud
• Crime and Criminology
• Critical National Infrastructure
• Defence and International Security
• Governance and Compliance
• Information Security
• Investigations
• IT and Cyber Security
• Law and Legislation
• Personnel Security
• Physical Security
• Security Professionalism
• Security Risk Management

These categories will provide a framework for the development of the new Research Directorate and its services, as well as providing new learning resources for the Institute’s vocational courses.

Gus Darroch-Warren CSyP

Gus Darroch-Warren CSyP

The Knowledge Centre will be launched in phases and, much like any learning platform, it will be continuously developed as additional information is added or existing material (or web links) are updated.

Launch timetable for The Knowledge Centre

Launch of the 16 front pages of the new website takes place on 31 July. This will allow the Institute’s membership to see how the website is structured, including documents under the following headings: ‘Useful websites’, ‘Published Academic and Research Sources’, ‘Theses and Dissertations’, ‘Government and Organisational Reports’, ‘Legislation, Standards and Guidelines’, ‘Editorials and Commentaries’ and ‘Additional Resources’.

Dr Alison Wakefield

Dr Alison Wakefield

The Knowledge Centre is a key project of The Security Institute’s new Research Directorate which is being run by Dr Alison Wakefield (Head, Internal and External Research), Jerry Woods CSyP (Good Practice Guides), Mike Gillespie (Cyber Research/Strategy) and Angus Darroch-Warren (The Knowledge Centre).

Jerry Woods

Jerry Woods CSyP

It fits both with the objectives of the Institute and the Register of Chartered Security Professionals with regard to education of the membership and the sector as a whole. In particular those studying for the The Security Institute’s Certificate and Diploma (as well as undergraduate and post-graduate students at the various universities and colleges) will benefit from a centralised information resource.

The Knowledge Centre provides exciting additional benefit to the membership, particularly student members, and will demonstrate the expertise that The Security Institute holds within its membership. It also represents one of the first efforts by the security profession on the international stage to define what constitutes security in the new millennium, in turn conveying this to the members and the wider security community.

Want to be involved as a volunteer in The Knowledge Centre Project?

A number of ‘Champions’ from among The Security Institute’s membership have been identified and appointed to lead each of the categories, but the Institute is still looking for members to become involved in this exciting project.

Many of those ‘Champions’ have completed, or are undertaking, doctoral level research in their area of expertise, and will be in a position to communicate their knowledge of key information resources to the membership.

Future development will see each category, headed by its appointed ‘Champion’, broken down into sub-categories and further web pages, matching the above structure. These may be specific to an industry (eg oil and gas, pharmaceuticals, financial services) or form a subset within an existing section (eg physical security may require separate sections on detection systems, CCTV or access control).

Management of a category is not considered to be onerous and represents an ideal opportunity for members to contribute to an Institute project, particularly those who are unable to participate in other events and activities or who are based internationally.

It offers the opportunity to gain valuable CPD points under the ‘Other Contributions’ banner without the cost of travel.

If you’re interested in becoming involved with this project, please contact Helen Corbett (The Security Institute’s senior administrator) on (tel) 08453 707717 or via e-mail at: to register your interest

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Forensic Science in the UK: response by University of Leicester forensic scientist to Science and Technology Committee inquiry into closure of the FSS

The Science and Technology Committee has published the results of a follow-up inquiry into the closure of the Forensic Science Service (FSS). Read more about this here:

Expert comment on the matter has now been offered by Dr John Bond OBE, senior lecturer in forensic science at the University of Leicester Department of Chemistry and co-lead of the Alec Jeffreys Forensic Science Institute at the University.

The Government's decision to close the Forensic Science Service has caused much debate in the security world

The Government’s decision to close the Forensic Science Service has caused much debate in the security world

This is what Dr John Bond OBE has to say…

“It comes as no surprise to me that, two years on from the closure of the Forensic Science Service (FSS), the Science and Technology Committee continues to be concerned over forensic science provision in the UK.

“The closure of the FSS in 2012 showed a remarkable lack of appreciation by the Government over what was happening across the public sector as a result of budget cuts and austerity. Like any other public body, the police service looked to save money and escalated a trend that had been simmering away for some years. That is, why not undertake ‘low level’ forensic work themselves rather than pay for it? This has led to an expansion of evidence recovery and screening work by police forces, removing this from the (now private) forensic providers.

“Not only has this led to unpredictable revenue for the forensic providers but it has has placed an increased burden on shrinking police resources to undertake this forensic examination work themselves.

“The Committee acknowledges the work of the Forensic Regulator in ensuring that all labs undertaking forensic work meet minimum standards, but also acknowledges the difficulties some police forces are having in meeting these standards.

“A cornerstone of good forensic scientific practice is to have those analysing and interpreting forensic evidence independent and remote from those prosecuting, something recognised in the US National Academy of Sciences report on Strengthening Forensics in 2009.

Dr John Bond OBE. Photo: University of Leicester

Dr John Bond OBE. Photo: University of Leicester

“Having more and more work undertaken within police premises by those working alongside investigators can only encourage the suggestion that the forensic process is not truly independent.”

In desperate need of a new strategy

“I would agree with the committee that forensic science in this country now desperately needs a strategy, along with adequate funding to police forces to purchase their forensic science needs, which are based on what is proven to provide good and cost-effective evidence.

“I would also endorse the comment made by the committee with regard to the lack of investment in forensic science research, although work is now in hand to address this through the Government-sponsored Technology Strategy Board which, earlier this year, set up a Forensic Science Special Interest Group.

“I sit on the Steering Committee for this Group and we are actively pursuing current issues in forensic science, including quality standards as well as research funding. Last month, the Group held a well-attended meeting at the University of Leicester to pursue these issues with local police forces, academics and the private sector.”

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IBM unveils new software to help companies identify and predict security risk

As cyber attacks increase in volume and severity, IBM’s QRadar Vulnerability Manager helps to identify, sort, contextualise and prioritise network vulnerabilities.

IBM has unveiled an integrated security intelligence solution that helps organisations identify key vulnerabilities in real-time, while also reducing the total cost of security operations.

IBM QRadar Vulnerability Manager (QVM) gives security officers a prioritised view across their entire network, helping them to quickly strengthen and fortify defences. By aggregating vulnerability information into a single view, security teams can see the results from multiple network, endpoint, database or application scanners for quick review and management.

IBM’s X-Force team has catalogued more than 70,000 known vulnerabilities and the National Vulnerability Database is adding an average of 15 newly discovered vulnerabilities every day. The rapid expansion of social, mobile and cloud computing can further increase the number of potential vulnerabilities, in turn expanding the threat landscape.

Part of the IBM Security Intelligence Platform, QRadar Vulnerability Manager combs through security holes to help close them to potential exploits, excluding those hidden behind firewalls, associated with inactive applications or otherwise unreachable from external attacks. By simply activating a license key, this new software can automatically scan the network and perform the analysis helping security teams more effectively direct their limited staff resources.

IBM QVM Screenshot

IBM QVM Screenshot

“Security Intelligence is about putting all the available data into context, and making it useful for each client’s unique security needs,” said Brendan Hannigan, general manager of IBM’s Security Systems Division. “We’ve relentlessly expanded QRadar’s capabilities. Tight integration of vulnerability management is the next natural extension.”

Designed to address gaps in vulnerability management solutions

IBM QRadar Vulnerability Manager helps clients reduce the remediation and mitigation burden by aggregating vulnerability information into a single risk-based view where it can be quickly prioritised.

Security teams can see the results from multiple network, endpoint, database or application scanners alongside the latest X-Force Threat Intelligence alerts and incident reports from the National Vulnerability Database. The new offering also includes its own embedded, PCI-certified scanner which can be scheduled to run periodically or triggered based on network events.

“QRadar Vulnerability Manager is a breakthrough for the IT security industry,” said Murray Benadie, managing director at Zenith Systems (an IBM Business Partner). “It can cut a huge list of vulnerabilities in half, if not more. Users will quickly see vulnerabilities on their networks without trying to mash products together – that’s how information falls through the cracks. This is a true game changer.”

Intrusion prevention solution provides ‘Virtual Patch’ when remediation isn’t available

IBM is enhancing its intrusion prevention platform with the introduction of the IBM Security Network Protection XGS 5100. Fully integrated with IBM QRadar Security Intelligence Platform, the platform now provides ongoing network data feeds to help identify stealthy Secure Socket Layer attacks (SSL: a security protocol to enable Web sites to pass sensitive information securely in an encrypted format), in addition to helping provide real-time protection from advanced threats and heightened levels of network visibility and control.

This enhanced intrusion prevention platform also includes IBM’s ‘Virtual Patch’ technology to provide vulnerability protection when a software patch is not yet available.

IBM QVM Dashboard

IBM QVM Dashboard

Additionally, IBM is also announcing a new version of the IBM Security zSecure Suite, a mainframe security solution with IBM QRadar Security Intelligence Platform integration. This combined solution helps provide organisations with enterprise-wide visibility of mainframe security events, supported with automated real-time threat alerts and customised compliance reporting.

To learn more, visit

About IBM Security

IBM’s security portfolio provides the security intelligence to help organisations holistically protect their people, data, applications and infrastructure.

IBM offers solutions for identity and access management, security information and event management, database security, application development, risk management, endpoint management, next-generation intrusion protection and more.

The company operates one of the world’s broadest security R&D and delivery organisations, monitoring 15 billion security events per day in more than 130 countries and holding more than 3,000 security patents.

For more information on IBM security visit:

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Panasonic remote cameras used to broadcast criminal trial

For the first time, and in the wake of three years’ of detailed negotiations, remotely-operated cameras have been placed inside a British criminal court to capture a trial in its entirety.

Windfall Films has created a new feature-length documentary film – the first episode aired on Channel 4 on 9 July – that explores the process of justice in a Scottish High Court like never before, using five Panasonic AW-HE120 remote cameras to film the case of Nat Fraser (a man accused of murdering his wife).

Panasonic AW-HE120 PTZ cameras were chosen to film the pioneering documentary due to “their particularly compact design and discreet colour” which allowed silent operation and would not disrupt the important proceedings taking place inside the Courtroom.

The wide range of angles and focal distances achievable with the cameras’ pan-tilt flexibility and 20x zoom lens contributed to the extraordinary footage seen in the film.

Panasonic's cameras: starring role on Channel4

Panasonic’s cameras: starring role on Channel4

Remote operation and discretion the important factors

“When filming The Murder Trial it was vital we used equipment that wouldn’t intimidate or inhibit those involved in the case,” stated Gillian Goodlet, production manager at Windfall Films West.

“We needed equipment that was discreet and operated remotely from outside the Courtroom. The quiet and compact design of Panasonic’s AW-HE120 cameras allowed us to capture compelling footage while the equipment remained unobtrusive.”

Also used during the production of the documentary – which was filmed across a six-week period – were Panasonic AW-HS400 video switchers, the AW-RP50 camera control unit and AW-HCK10 camera heads coupled with the AW-HMR10 portable memory card recorder.

Background to the criminal proceedings

The Channel 4 website states: “The victim in the case is Arlene Fraser, and her family have been waiting over 14 years for justice. Nat Fraser was first brought to trial in 2003 for the murder of his wife. He was found guilty, but Fraser argued that the trial was a miscarriage of justice and challenged the verdict in the highest courts in the land. The case became a cause célèbre. Eventually, after years of Nat Fraser protesting his innocence, the conviction was quashed in 2011.”

“In April 2012, Nat Fraser was sent back to the High Court in Edinburgh for a fresh trial, 14 years after his wife’s disappearance. A new jury was sworn in to hear all the evidence against him. Would they find him innocent or convict him of murder?”

Arlene Fraser’s body has never been found, there’s no weapon or crime scene and her husband appears to have a cast-iron alibi for the day she disappeared.

“This film shows the process of justice in a Scottish High Court like never before. With over 70 witnesses and 104 pieces of evidence, the complex case is dissected first by the Prosecution QC Alex Prentice and then the Defence QC John Scott.”

For more information on The Murder Trial visit:

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Guardian24 and Mercury Security Management: joining forces to safeguard lone workers

Two Northern Ireland companies have joined forces to address the growing issue of lone worker safety and the potential impact it could have on businesses under Corporate Manslaughter legislation.

Guardian24, a leading provider of lone and mobile worker safety solutions, and Mercury Security Management (Northern Ireland’s biggest independent security company) have teamed up to offer much needed protection to vulnerable lone workers throughout Ireland and beyond.

According to The Office of National Statistics (2009) there are approximately 2.5-3.5 million lone workers currently employed in the UK – a long list that would include rent collectors, postal staff, social workers, doctors, district nurses, pest control workers, drivers, engineers, architects, estate agents, sales representatives and similar professionals visiting domestic and commercial premises.

Even office staff working alone late at night can be vulnerable to potential theft or attack.

The solution on offer from Guardian24 and Mercury Security allows lone workers to use their mobile phone to log their whereabouts at any particular time as well as the expected duration of their stay, or track their movements via GPS. Their mobile device also doubles up as a covert panic button which can be activated discreetly if the lone worker’s safety is compromised.

The service – which can be used via mobile phone, BlackBerry, Android, iPhone, Windows PDA or any specialist lone worker device – is also of great interest to local businesses and employers who have a Duty of Care to protect their staff or face very severe consequences in the event of an employee being harmed while carrying out their job.

Guardian24 and Mercury Security Management: now in a strategic partnership to assist lone workers with their security and safety

Guardian24 and Mercury Security Management: now in a strategic partnership to assist lone workers with their security and safety

Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act

Under the Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act of April 2008, companies can be prosecuted for the offence of corporate manslaughter if the way in which their activities are managed or organised causes a death and this constitutes a gross breach of a Duty of Care to the deceased.

In addition, owners and senior managers of businesses can be personally prosecuted for offences related to failures in Health and Safety management, including gross negligence and manslaughter.

Indeed, it’s likely that a prosecution will be brought for corporate manslaughter against a company in tandem with prosecutions against individual directors or senior management for personal liability.

“Guardian24 already safeguards over 33,000 people across 400 organisations in the UK and Ireland through our mobile application for lone workers,” said the company’s CEO Henry Woods. “Now, as a result of our partnership with Mercury Security Management, companies from Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland will benefit from having a robust and fully accredited Alarm Receiving Centre response provided by the Mercury team. Both Guardian24 and Mercury Security are fully committed to helping safeguard these individuals that work alone in vulnerable circumstances, which is why we believe that our partnership will be a great success.”.

Mercury Security’s regional director for the UK and Ireland, Liam Cullen, commented: “We believe that this combined solution will provide the highest level of protection for lone workers while also protecting employers from potential legal action which could be extremely damaging to their business. The system allows customers to take advantage of the trend towards BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) among employees, freeing employers from the financial and time considerations inherent in device evaluation and procurement processes.”

Cullen continued: “Users now have a lone worker solution on the device they are comfortable and familiar with, and which they already carry at all times, safe in the knowledge that our Alarm Receiving Centre is on hand and ready to kick into action should the need arise.”

How the lone worker safety and security solution works

The lone worker logs his or her whereabouts via their smart phone or mobile device, leaving details of their location and the expected duration. If their activity over-runs, Guardian24 will automatically call the worker to verify their safety.

If the user cannot be reached, a nominated respondent or Mercury’s Alarm Receiving Centre will be notified so that an agreed protocol can be put into action to verify the user’s safety and location.

Should the lone worker’s safety be compromised, they can discreetly press a dedicated key on their chosen device to summon emergency assistance – even if the keypad is locked.

At this stage, Guardian24 will record live audio and immediately notify a nominated respondent or the Mercury ARC. Guardian24 provides the user’s personal details, activity details and live audio to the respondent receiving the escalated call. The respondent may then call the incident Helpline and connect to a live feed through the user’s handset for further emergency audio. This information is invaluable if you need to notify the emergency services.

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