Monthly Archives: September 2014

Suspect Search video analytics solution introduced by NICE Systems

NICE Systems’ Suspect Search is a patent-pending analytics solution that, for the first time, enables end user organisations to quickly search for a specific person within large volumes of video.

When time is of the essence, security and public safety organisations will no longer be overwhelmed by the process of reviewing hours of video to identify and track people.

NICE Systems has now formally introduced to the market NICE Suspect Search, a new video analytics solution aimed at efficiently searching through multiple video sources to detect targets in a matter of minutes.

Currently, searching for a specific person over many cameras and locations and across a broad period of time is a demanding, lengthy and cost-consuming task that may end up proving fruitless. With NICE Suspect Search, a search for an individual is initiated with a reference based upon a recorded image, an uploaded full body photo or by creating a composite. The system can simultaneously search for multiple targets in several cameras.

By automatically filtering out 95% of irrelevant images and presenting the results by relevancy, an hour of video can be reviewed in less than a minute.

NICE Systems' Suspect Search

NICE Systems’ Suspect Search

NICE Systems’ Suspect Search can be useful in many instances:
• Conducting a forensic investigation by analysing multiple video sources following a crime to identify the perpetrator’s route and actions
• Tracking an intruder within a closed area or checkpoint breach
• Finding a lost child within a critical time window
• Locating the owner of unattended luggage

As a result, organisations can optimise their ongoing security and safety operations by:
• Enhancing forensic analyses of events
• Improving response times
• Preventing criminal activity
• Reducing operational shutdown times

Suspect Search is built on NICE Systems’ NiceVision IP video management solution, and can also be integrated with NICE Systems’ dedicated situation management solution, Situator. Suspect Search is currently deployed in several ‘Proof of Concept’ projects around the world, including airports, mass transit, safe cities and major sporting events.

Chris Wooten, executive vice-president at the NICE Security Group, said: “While the proliferation of cameras is an important trend in the security market, the burden of processing all of the data has limited the value of the video footage. Based upon our extensive work in the market, we’ve developed NICE Suspect Search which is a ground-breaking application designed to tackle what is a major pain point for end users. Whether they’re trying to find a suspect or understand who left a bag in a given location, end users may now have that answer in minutes.”

For more information on NICE Systems’ Suspect Search visit: http://www.nice.com/find-right-now/

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RiskBusiness International publishes guidance on three lines of defence

RiskBusiness International, the operational risk advisory and solutions firm, has published guidance for those companies wishing to develop, implement and maintain a formal three lines of defence structure for corporate governance and risk management.

While there has been much discussion as to what constitutes a three lines of defence model, there remains across all industries (and, notably, within financial services) little understanding of the ramifications of actually implementing a risk agnostic, organisation-wide three lines of defence model.

Drawing upon its experiences in working with a wide range of organisations across the globe exhibiting different sizes, complexities and management structures, RiskBusiness International has established a step-by-step guide to assist companies in establishing a robust, proactive three lines of defence model which is able to stand the test of time.

The resultant approach allows for custom models – there’s no ‘one size fits all’ – which have been tried and tested across corporate entities, banks, insurers, asset managers and other entities.

RiskBusiness International has published guidance for firms wishing to develop, implement and maintain a formal three lines of defence structure for corporate governance and risk management

RiskBusiness International has published guidance for firms wishing to develop, implement and maintain a formal three lines of defence structure for corporate governance and risk management

“Three lines of defence is not about risk management,” stated Mike Finlay, CEO of RiskBusiness International. “You cannot try and apply a model that affects corporate structure, individual accountability and, as a consequence, corporate culture by thinking it’s a risk management initiative – even worse if you think it only applies to operational risk and perhaps to the compliance function.”

Finlay continued: “Three lines of defence is integral to the DNA of the firm. It begins with the vision, mission and values and flows through corporate governance, corporate strategy and overall business objectives into the everyday functioning and decision-making of the entire enterprise. It’s all about the core principles on which we base our business and how we measure ourselves against the achievement of those principles and our defined business objectives.”

Global regulation, particularly in the financial services sector, is increasingly focused on good governance and how the Board and executive management behave and run the enterprise. To comply with the ever-increasing volume of regulation and achieve the firm’s potential, every enterprise should implement a robust governance structure which embraces the three lines of defence concept. On that basis, this new guidance from RiskBusiness International is an invaluable resource for every firm, irrespective of geography, size or nature.

Companies interested in more information about the RiskBusiness International Position Paper on the Three Lines of Defence should visit the RiskBusiness website at: http://www.RiskBusiness.com

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GMB welcomes Labour’s plan to increase National Minimum Wage to £8 per hour by 2020

The GMB Trade Union – which represents many workers within the UK’s security sector – believes it’s important to shift the burden of dealing with low pay from taxpayers to employers, and that the transition must be real so that the increase is not paid with one hand and taken away with the other.

At the Labour Party Conference in Manchester, Ed Miliband announced that Labour plans to raise the National Minimum Wage to £8 per hour by the end of the next Parliament. In response, Paul Kenny (GMB General Secretary) said: “This is a welcome and necessary first step for workers to recover the nearly 15% drop in the value of earnings they’ve suffered over the last six years. It’s important to shift the burden of dealing with low pay from taxpayers to the employers, many of whom are sitting on record levels of cash and profits. The transition must be real so that the increase is not paid with one hand and taken away with the other.”

Miliband told delegates at the Labour Party Conference in Manchester that his ‘Plan for Britain’s Future’ will rebuild the link between working hard and sharing in our national wealth. The planned increase would take the National Minimum Wage from £6.50 in October this year to £8 by 2020 – a rise of £1.50 an hour for Britain’s lowest paid workers (worth £60 per week or £3,000 per annum).

Labour Party leader Ed Miliband

Labour Party leader Ed Miliband

The proposed wage rise – which would be implemented by the Low Pay Commission over the course of the next Parliament in consultation with business – is based on a plan to boost the National Minimum Wage from 54% to 58% of median earnings by 2020.

“Too many people are treading water, working harder and harder just to stay afloat,” said Miliband. “Too many working people have made big sacrifices but in this recovery they are not seeing the rewards for their hard work because, under the Tories’ failing plan, the recovery is benefiting a privileged few far more than most families. One in five of the men and women employed in Britain today work the hours and make their contributions but find themselves on low pay. If you work hard, you should be able to bring up your family with dignity. From Perth to Portsmouth to Penzance, working people are demanding to know if any political party can make a difference. I have heard that despair in Scotland and across the United Kingdom.”

The Labour Party’s leader continued: “This week, Labour’s ‘Plan for Britain’s Future’ will show how we can change and how we can once again become a country that rewards hard work. That’s why we have set out plans to raise the minimum wage by £1.50 an hour by 2020 to £8 an hour – because Labour is the party of hard work, fairly paid.”

Background to the National Minimum Wage

The introduction of the National Minimum Wage was orchestrated by the last Labour Government, raising pay at the bottom for increased productivity. The National Minimum Wage was originally designed to prevent exploitation and extreme low wages. Today, the challenge is different, with the Labour Party pointing towards a large number of people that do a hard day’s work but are still living in poverty or dependent on in-work benefits.

In May this year, Ed Miliband announced that the next Labour Government will set the Low Pay Commission (LPC) a five-year goal of increasing the National Minimum Wage to a more stretching proportion of median earnings (as recommended by Alan Buckle in his independent review on low pay). It would be for the LPC to determine the path to reach that goal during the course of Parliament.

Miliband is now proposing that the goal should be set at 58% of median earnings by 2020. That would mean the minimum wage reaching £8 an hour by 2020. The theory is that a clear, long term target will give businesses time to plan and adapt their models in order to boost productivity and support higher wages.

The Labour Party is adamant that international evidence shows countries can support minimum wages at this level with no adverse impact on employment. This would afford the UK a National Minimum Wage similar to the level seen in Australia and EU countries such as Belgium and Germany, but still lower than France and New Zealand.

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Security Industry Authority CEO Bill Butler set to retire in Summer 2015

Bill Butler – the hugely successful chief executive of industry regulator the Security Industry Authority – is to retire in the Summer of 2015, and the search to recruit his successor is now underway.

Bill Butler joined the Security Industry Authority (SIA) back in July 2009, having previously held the post of director of corporate services at the Gambling Commission (where he was part of the team that led the establishment of the new regulator for the gambling industry).

Butler has also worked in a number of other large national organisations, including the Audit Commission (where he qualified as an accountant and held a number of roles, including regional director for central England and director of health) and the Healthcare Commission, where he served as finance director.

Butler holds a degree in law and is a member of the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy, and has done an exceptional job as CEO of the SIA.

The SIA, of course, works closely with industry, Government and the devolved administrations to develop the regulatory regime. The organisation certainly has a challenging agenda ahead, including the planned introduction of business licensing next year, licensing of the private investigations sector and further development of both organisation and services within the regulator itself.

SIA CEO Bill Butler: retiring in the Summer of 2015

SIA CEO Bill Butler: retiring in the Summer of 2015

The job advert issued by the security sector’s regulator on recruitment consultant GatenbySanderson’s website reads: “Playing our part in protecting the public remains the priority. We are looking for a new chief executive who will bring a successful track record of leadership at Board level in the public or private sector. You must be a strong leader. Excellent stakeholder engagement skills will be critical, and there will be a high level of success in delivering change within your career to date. This is an exciting time to join the SIA.”

Elizabeth France CBE, chairman of the SIA, commented: “This is an important appointment and I want to ensure that we find an excellent replacement for Bill. We have the time and opportunity to make sure this change happens with the minimum impact on the SIA’s services, stakeholders and staff.”

France added: “To ensure continuity, Bill has agreed to stay on until his successor is in place and a handover complete. That may be the end of summer 2015. In the meantime, Bill will be with us for many months yet, making sure we keep our plans on track. We’ve a lot of work to do, and it will be business as usual at the SIA.”

Closing date for applications (Ref: GSe17021) is Monday 13 October.

Preliminary interviews will be held week commencing Monday 27 October, with an Assessment Centre taking place week commencing Monday 17 November.

The final panel interview is to be conducted on Thursday 4 December.

*Interested candidates should contact Michael Dobson (tel: 0207 426 3968) or Mark Turner (tel: 0207 426 3983) at GatenbySanderson. The full job description and person specification is available here: http://www.siafuture.com/job/chief-executive-at-security-industry-authority-in-london.3686

**Starting salary for the CEO’s role at the SIA is circa £120,000 per annum

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CFOs question performance and benefits delivered by procurement teams

In a combined initiative designed to bring common value management visibility and practices to the procurement profession, three organisations – The Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply, A.T.Kearney and the Institute for Supply Management – have issued the results of the inaugural ROSMA Performance Check Report.

The Return on Supply Management Assets (ROSMA) Performance Check Report was developed to establish a uniform measurement of procurement’s value delivery to a given organisation. Entitled ‘Building the Brand of Procurement and Supply’, the report finds that leading procurement teams are indeed delivering significant value to their organisations.

However, without a credible standard allowing companies to consistently track and score procurement activities, many CFOs are now beginning to question the performance of – and the benefits delivered by – their procurement teams.

In what is an independent survey of CFOs and financial function leaders, the extensive study highlights that only 10% of procurement functions have established recognition with their CFOs regarding how procurement contributes value to the host business and that the benefits are both real and measurable.

The report is distilled from more than 400 completed, qualified and accepted cumulative benchmarks along with over 170 submissions focused on 2013 results.

Contributors participated in the benchmarking through ROSMA Performance Check gateways located within the CIPS and ISM websites as well as via A.T.Kearney’s 2014 study entitled: ‘Assessment of Excellence in Procurement’.

A.T.Kearney also contracted independent research to address the CFO community’s view of procurement.

The ROSMA Performance Check Report was developed to establish a uniform measurement of procurement’s value delivery to host organisations

The ROSMA Performance Check Report was developed to establish a uniform measurement of procurement’s value delivery to host organisations

Joe Raudabaugh, A.T.Kearney partner and co-author of the ROSMA Performance Check Report, stated: “There are many opportunities to change the brand of procurement across the profession and within our enterprises, and to attract, develop and sustain best athlete-calibre talent. Adopting value management practices is necessary for the future.”

David Noble, Group CEO at CIPS, noted: “There’s no doubt that the profession has to be seen as supporting the strategic aims of the enterprise and to have relevance to its goals and successes. We must be able to demonstrate value in a quantitative way.”

Focus on the main study findings

The inaugural ROSMA Performance Check report findings were developed through the survey responses of hundreds of companies. ROSMA is a revolutionary performance measurement standard that’s helping companies around the world to understand and measure how procurement contributes financially to the business.

Key findings of the new study are as follows:

• Top-quartile performers are reporting hard financial results in excess of seven times their costs and investment base in procurement, providing a strong basis for reinvestment and recognition. These leading procurement functions generate nearly £1 million in financial benefits per procurement employee each year

• Middle-tier performers are accretive, typically generating four-to-five times the investment and cost of their supply management assets, including people and technology, but they have not improved their productivity since tracking began in 2011. Bottom quartile teams are dilutive with financial benefits that do not cover the cost of and investment in their organisations

• Most organisations don’t have the reporting and tracking capabilities to provide ongoing and accurate visibility of procurement’s value-creating activities. They simply do not have a grasp of – and therefore cannot manage – their resources to optimise them with the same level of precision as is typically the case in other functions

• As noted earlier, the independent research that was conducted with CFOs as part of the overall study showed that only 10% of procurement functions have captured the respect, understanding and mindset of their financial colleagues regarding the value they contribute. Almost 15% are ‘out of mind’ or ‘inconsequential players’ to the CFO community while 75% have mixed and yet-to-be developed ‘brands’.

Tom Derry, CEO at the Institute for Supply Management, said: “With ROSMA Performance Check, we now know what world class performance looks like. Our challenge as a profession is to make sure that we are not a drag on performance, but rather a driver.”

To read the full ROSMA Performance Check Report visit: http://www.cips.org/rosma

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NICE Systems partners with G4S subsidiary AMAG Technology to integrate NICE Situator with Symmetry access control system

NICE Systems has announced its partnership with AMAG Technology, a G4S subsidiary, for the integration of the NICE Situator Physical Security Information Management (PSIM) solution with AMAG Technology’s Symmetry access control system. The joint solution can be used by command and control centres worldwide to improve situational awareness and streamline incident management.

The integration enables bi-directional communication between Symmetry and Situator. This means Situator can receive real-time Symmetry access control alerts and display these events along with access records and images of permitted personnel.

Situator’s ability to pull in data from a wide range of security systems means that Symmetry access control information can also be correlated with information from other sensors for accurate alerting. Once an alert is received, Situator’s automated processes guide operators through response plans to improve management efficiency and minimise risk.

Several utilities companies and ports are already using the integrated solution for day-to-day security operations, allowing them to more easily identify access breaches and to improve collaboration between relevant parties.

Leading expertise in PSIM

Shae Taylor, Symmetry’s extended business solutions programme manager at AMAG Technology, explained: “We’re thrilled to certify NICE as a partner in our Symmetry Extended Business Solutions Programme. NICE’s leading expertise in PSIM and situation management complements our advanced access control technology, enabling end users to benefit from an intelligent and unified solution.”

Chris Wooten; executive vice-president at the NICE Security Group

Chris Wooten; executive vice-president at the NICE Security Group

Chris Wooten, executive vice-president for the NICE Security Group, added: “Security operations are already benefiting from the enhanced situational awareness and streamlined incident management afforded by this integrated solution. The integration is available globally for any customer that wants to leverage Situator and Symmetry together. End users can have confidence in the rigorous testing and certification process that has taken place.”

NICE Systems’ security solutions help organisations capture, analyse and leverage big data to anticipate, manage and mitigate security and safety risks and improve operations. The NICE security, intelligence and cyber offerings provide valuable insights that enable enterprises and Government agencies to take the best action at the right time by correlating structured and unstructured data from multiple sensors and channels, detecting irregular patterns and recogniszing trends.

The company’s solutions have been deployed to help secure a broad range of organisations and events such as banks, utility companies, airports, seaports, city centres, transportation systems, sporting events and diplomatic meetings.

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Research reveals alarming levels of ignorance and complacency about fire safety

Fire safety is a massive issue in the UK with an average of 174 building fires occurring every day, but new research has shown that people are shockingly complacent about the subject.

The Fire Door Safety Week 2014 logo

The Fire Door Safety Week 2014 logo

Published to coincide with Fire Door Safety Week (which this year runs from 15-21 September), the research reveals that almost half of the public (47%) have never been informed about the fire safety procedures where they work.

If a fire alarm was to sound, 14% of people say they would see what everyone else was doing and ‘go with the flow’. One in ten people (11%) would go into the corridor and investigate, while one in 20 admit they would simply ignore it, assuming there must be a fault somewhere on the alarm system.

When respondents with formal responsibility for fire safety in their organisations were asked if they were fully aware of their legal obligations, almost half (46.5%) said they either didn’t know what these obligations are or admitted they were unclear.

Fire is still a big problem in the UK, with an average of 174 building fires occurring every day

Fire is still a big problem in the UK, with an average of 174 building fires occurring every day

A similar proportion (45%) say they really would not know how to spot a dodgy fire door – one of the most critical passive fire protection features in the buildings we use on a daily basis.

Opening our eyes to fire safety

John Fletcher – manager of the British Woodworking Federation’s BWF-CERTIFIRE Scheme which, together with the UK’s Fire Door Inspection Scheme (FDIS), is behind the organisation of Fire Door Safety Week – stresses that we all need to open our eyes to fire safety.

“Dodgy fire doors are usually just one of many signs of fire safety negligence,” asserted Fletcher, “but actually they’re a relatively easy one to spot and do something about. We are calling on everyone to look again at the buildings in which they live and work and to report dodgy fire doors to the landlord, building manager or owner.”

Fletcher added: “The same principle applies to all commercial buildings, non-domestic and multi-occupancy premises, including offices, restaurants, shops, hotels, care homes, public buildings, high rise flats and privately rented apartments. All of these buildings should have properly installed and maintained fire doors to help save lives and property.”

Damaged fire door in a hotel

Damaged fire door in a hotel

There are three easy steps to check a fire safety door:
*Make sure any door marked ‘Fire Door’ closes correctly around all parts of the frame and that it’s not blocked or wedged open
*The gap between the door and the frame should be no more than 3-4 mm
*There should be no damage on the door, its edges, hinges, handles and windows

If you’re in any doubt seek a proper inspection by a qualified fire door inspector.

Video: Fire Door Safety – What Happens When You Get It Wrong?

London Fire Brigade issues fire safety door warning

The London Fire Brigade is urging residents and landlords of purpose-built blocks or houses converted into flats not to replace vital fire doors at the entrance to the property with doors that do not meet the required safety standards.

The Brigade has also raised concerns about people removing the self-closing mechanism on their fire doors to prevent themselves from being accidentally locked out.

In the last three years in London three people have died and 36 people have been injured in fires where fire doors have been replaced, left open or incorrectly fitted.

Fire doors are a legal requirement for flats which open on to communal areas shared with other tenants. They ensure escape routes are protected if a fire breaks out and are designed to automatically close behind people in the event of fire, holding back flames and stopping the spread of fire and smoke.

Steve Turek, Assistant Commissioner for Fire Safety Regulation, explained: “You wouldn’t remove seatbelts from your car, so why remove fire doors from your home or business premises? Fire doors are specially designed to automatically close behind you in the event of fire, holding back flames and stopping the spread of the fire and toxic smoke into escape routes, corridors and other flats in the block. It’s crucial that people don’t remove the self-closing mechanism on fire doors.”

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