Tag Archives: COVID-19

Security & Safety Things “sparks new era” in video surveillance with commercial availability of supported cameras

Security & Safety Things is “set to reshape innovation in video analytics and computer vision” with the commercial availability of a number of new IP security cameras from a variety of vendors that leverage the Security & Safety Things open and secure Internet of Things platform. This new generation of security cameras will employ the free Security & Safety Things camera operating system, which enables the cameras to run multiple Artificial Intelligence-enabled applications in parallel.

The apps automate the analysis of video data to produce valuable operational intelligence for business optimisation as well as provide easy-to-deploy tools that can aid in re-opening measures from the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Organisations of all sizes around the world need flexible and easy-to-deploy solutions that enable compliance with constantly changing pandemic-centric Health and Safety mandates and provide future value to ramp up and optimise their ongoing business operations,” stated Hartmut Schaper, CEO of Security & Safety Things.

He continued: “Companies can now deploy cameras running the Security & Safety Things operating system and use a selection of apps from our Application Store to detect the absence of facial coverings in a retail environment. The next day, that same camera can help the same retailer optimise merchandise placement based on store footfall, in one store or throughout the enterprise, along with further optimisations.”

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First camera manufacturer

This month, Qisda/Topview will be the first camera manufacturer to launch a camera running the Security & Safety Things operating system, followed in quick succession by AndroVideo, who will also start shipping its own Security & Safety Things-enabled cameras in Q2.

Bosch is making its INTEOX camera line available as of July followed by Vivotek and BSTsecurity, who plan to ship a bit later in Q3. The first devices from Hanwha Techwin that run the Security & Safety Things operating system are expected to be commercially available in Q4. Security & Safety Things, Hanwha Techwin, Vivotek, Bosch, Qisda/Topview and AndroVideo are all members of the Open Security and Safety Alliance.

The free Security & Safety Things operating system is built on the Android Open Source Project. It leverages the expanding processing and analytic power of modern IP cameras to exponentially increase the amount of operational intelligence that can be mined from traditional IP-based surveillance footage.

The applications that can be installed on these cameras, both in an on-premise as well as a remote setting, are created by highly specialised third party developers and available through the platform’s open Application Store. This already features more than 50 applications from more than 35 developer partners, with more than 30 additional apps expected to be available the store very soon.

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Typical use cases

In addition to pandemic applications, use cases include the detection of weapons, behavioural analysis, payment systems for garages, drone threat detection and even identifying objects presented for purchase in a cash register transaction for cashier-free retail environments.

Together with some of its camera and system integration partners, Security & Safety Things is already running projects in a live setting. These projects use, for example, heat mapping and queue analysis in retail stores and automated payment processing and license plate recognition for barrier-free traffic.

These types of applications are running in pilots with the parking management solutions provider Peter Park as well as with the leading mobility provider SIXT.

*More information about the Security & Safety Things platform and how businesses can benefit from the platform can be found at www.securityandsafetythings.com

**For an overview of the Artificial Intelligence video apps currently available for the Security & Safety Things-supported cameras, the Application Store may be viewed at https://store.securityandsafetythings.com

 

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2020 edition of Security Essen cancelled by Messe Essen due to ongoing COVID-19 pandemic

The 2020 edition of popular international trade fair Security Essen, which was scheduled to run from 22-25 September, has been cancelled due to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic. According to Messe Essen, customer expectations and the performance promise of the exhibition cannot be fulfilled under the present circumstances. The decision to cancel was taken by Messe Essen in the wake of close consultations with partner associations. The next Security Essen will now run at Messe Essen from 20-23 September 2022.

As a respected international platform for the security industry, Security Essen is always a showcase highlighting the latest innovations. Numerous market leaders in the security industry had already confirmed their participation for this year.

Messe Essen GmbH, Norbertstraße, 45001 Essen, Germany
http://www.messe-essen.de

Security Essen covers everything from cyber security through to innovations in building security and new solutions for the protection of valuables. Every other year, circa 1,000 exhibitors from upwards of 40 countries show their innovations to no less than 36,000 trade visitors from 125 different nations.

“Anticipation around the 2020 edition and the new concept we had put in place for Security Essen was so high among all those involved,” explained Oliver Kuhrt, managing director of Messe Essen, “which made the decision to cancel all the more difficult. The fact is that the current situation, as well as the continuing global travel restrictions, will not allow adequate preparation for the trade fair.”

Careful evaluation

Norbert Schaaf, chairman of the Management Board of the Federal Association of Safety Engineering and chairman of the Security Essen Advisory Board, observed: “The cancellation of Security Essen 2020 is the result of a careful evaluation of the current situation which we have undertaken together. Since the majority of our participants come to Essen from abroad, we had to act with prudence. Due to the unclear worldwide development of the Coronavirus pandemic and the associated uncertain travel planning we were left with no alternative.” 

Dr Christian Endreß, managing director of the Federal Association for Security in Industry and Commerce and a member of the Security Essen Advisory Board, added: “Security Essen as an important international event in the security industry’s calendar and a particular highlight for the Federal Association. The cancellation is hitting the industry and the security associations pretty hard. We regret the decision, but we also fully understand it and look forward to 2022 with confidence.”

Dr Harald Olschok, general manager of the Federal Association of the Security Industry and also a member of the Security Essen Advisory Board, concluded: “From the perspective of our member companies, the decision to cancel Security Essen is fully understandable. Personally, I regret this very much, because it would have been my fifteenth and last Security Essen as CEO of the BDSW and the BDGW. The Coronavirus crisis represents an enormous economic challenge for security solutions providers. I’m sure that the management and the entire team of the BDSW and the BDGW with their affiliated member companies are looking forward to Security Essen 2022 when, hopefully, there will be better economic conditions for all.”

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Webeye security specialist’s daughter runs 140 miles in aid of NHS Heroes

Maddie Wall, the daughter of security cloud monitoring specialist Webeye’s global sales director Mark Wall, has committed to running five miles every day for 28 days in aid of NHS Charities Together.

At just 13 years old, Maddie began her challenge on 19 April with the intention of raising £500 for the NHS official charity organisation. By the halfway point, Maddie had smashed her target, raising an impressive £2,725.

A keen fundraiser, Maddie recently completed the ‘Brave the Shave’ challenge, duly raising £1,200 for Macmillan Cancer Support. She’s a keen cyclist, but until now has never attempted to run more than a circuit of the local park.

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Mark and Maddie Wall

Proud dad Mark is actively supporting Maddie. He told Security Matters: “Maddie took this challenge upon herself and, before we knew it, had set up a GoFundMe page and was ready for her first run. She’s fully committed and we are really proud of how much she has already raised in support of our incredible NHS staff, enabling them to do so much more to protect lives at this uncertain time.”

NHS Charities Together is a membership organisation representing, supporting and championing the work of the NHS’ official charities. It’s currently focusing on supporting NHS Staff and volunteers caring for COVID-19 patients, raising over £80,000,000 to date.

*To support Maddie’s charity-focused challenge, please visit https://www.gofundme.com/f/to-help-the-heroes-of-2020?

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Smart R Distribution provides vital link for CCTV expansion at New Cross Hospital

As a direct consequence of COVID-19, many hospitals have needed to quickly erect new portable buildings to expand the capacity of certain sensitive areas. In turn, this has created a requirement to immediately expand the scope of existing CCTV systems to ensure Control Room operators are able to monitor and react appropriately to any suspicious activity in the vicinity of the new buildings.

New Cross Hospital, which is run by the Royal Wolverhampton Hospitals NHS Trust, is just one of many throughout the UK faced with the challenge of ensuring all areas of its campus can be monitored on a 24/7 basis. Providing 700 beds and employing circa 9,500 members of staff, it’s the largest teaching hospital in the Black Country, having been originally built in 1900 as a workhouse.

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The need to install a new 4K camera in a location over 300 metres from the hospital’s Control Room initially seemed daunting in terms of the cost of laying the network cabling normally needed to transmit the ultra-HD images captured by IP cameras.

“Apart from the cost of the engineering work and the disruption caused by installing the new cabling, it would also have taken several days to achieve,” said Dan Mather, director of Derby-based JKE Security who’ve enjoyed a long-term working relationship with the Royal Wolverhampton Hospitals NHS Trust.

“We clearly needed to find a much simpler and cost-effective solution which would enable our clients to take full advantage of the superb quality images captured by 4K cameras and, if necessary, pass evidence of any wrongdoing to the police.”

NewCrossHospital2Finding the solution

Mather sought advice from Smart R Distribution, the Haverhill-based specialist electronic security products distributor. The business was able to offer Mather an assurance that its own brand 602POE-2P single port PoE Ethernet Extender would be able to reliably support a new 4K Wisenet PNP-9200RH dome camera by facilitating the transmission of the IP images over the hospital’s existing coaxial cabling.

The Smart R 602POE-2P is proven to be able to robustly transmit data over any two-wire cable and, with the ability to handle bandwidth of up to 200 Mbps, is more than capable of coping with the transmission demands of the Wisenet 4K camera.

“Although we didn’t source the camera directly from Smart R, it could not have been easier to connect it to the Ethernet Extender,” said Mather. “It was truly a case of plug-and-play, with both devices installed, configured and working within half a day.”

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Commenting on the successful installation of the new camera, Paul Smith (head of security and car parking for the Royal Wolverhampton Hospitals NHS Trust) said: “During this challenging time, it’s essential that we’re able to continue to provide a secure and safe working environment for all our heroic colleagues who are so compassionately caring for people suffering from the Coronavirus. I’ve been impressed with how quickly various companies within the electronic security supply chain have been able to join forces and use their combined expertise to provide us with an efficient and cost-effective solution.”

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Security challenges in telecoms sector met head-on by access control systems

As Catherine Laug explains, the telecoms industry has grown at such a remarkable rate that it’s now a key part of our everyday lives. At present, the COVID-19 pandemic has created an unprecedented requirement for almost all industries to operate a ‘working from home’ policy and to provide the general public with an increased access to online services, in turn making the telecoms industry even more vital.

A major impact of this fundamental change is the presence of a growing number of telecoms facilities, which are proving to be the cornerstone of service delivery. Equipment is often located in isolated areas, so strict access control systems are needed to keep any vulnerability to an absolute minimum.

Telecoms companies cover vast expanses of land to keep the service up-and-running for their customers. This involves several tens of thousands of plants and facilities, from mobile phone towers through to street cabinets for the wired network. This underlines the value of a standardised access control strategy to simplify access to all sites.

Now, maintenance technicians no longer need to worry about accessing the numerous facilities during their daily inspection rounds. Once configured, single electronic key solutions guarantee access to the right place at the right time, allowing technicians to focus their attention on the task at hand.

Specific access processes

For their part, operators are assured that their field teams, often comprised of sub-contractors, can carry out all maintenance work during specified times in line with their specific access processes.

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Most of the facilities requiring protection are outdoor sites particularly exposed to wind, sun, snow and sea spray. That being so, access control systems must be able to withstand corrosion caused by bad weather. End users can now specify a certified and conceptual solution to this challenge with cylinders that meet the requirements of the EN 1670 corrosion resistance standard with a, IP66-67-68-69 rating designed to guarantee maximum protection.

In point of fact, the latest generation electronic keys also use inductive technology for contactless information exchange between the key and cylinder. With this technology, the electronic key can transmit access rights to the cylinder even if the humidity at the site has corroded the surface of the lock. In other words, bad connections no longer prevent information from being transmitted between the key and lock.

At some telecommunications towers, access is restricted to those authorised to work at height. Software is now available that liaises with the operator’s information system, collecting select information from the various user profiles to limit access to authorised individuals. This allows operators to use the software to assign access rights for specific areas based on the technician’s profile and authorisation.

To improve on-site control activities, electronic keys work with specific apps and new technology (ie RFID and beacons, etc) to send technicians verification messages about their access rights or required safety instructions (such as wearing a helmet and abiding by the buddy system, etc).

Similarly, users can interact with the central system and submit on-site attendance reports and flag up anomalies errors, etc. These bespoke features are designed to meet ever-stricter security requirements in companies and, importantly, accommodate the latest Government guidelines.

Sub-contracting and shared access sites

Sub-contractors are an increasingly common fixture in both maintenance activities and emergency call-outs. Several officers may well require daily access to a number of scattered, remote facilities.

The access control system is further complicated by the fact that sites may be shared by different businesses. Water towers, for instance, are often used to support radio masts.

It’s now possible to deliver an effective response to multi-activity sites with just one electronic key being needed for countless locks. Officers no longer need to carry large bunches of keys between sites. Instead, they can access the right place at the right time with maximum security.

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Communication infrastructures may be the prime target for large-scale attacks wherein those parties involved are looking to compromise the country’s economic potential. They may also attract various types of vandal, tempted by the challenge of scaling facilities or the apparent vulnerability of street cabinets.

Today’s access control solutions are invaluable when it comes to protecting facilities from harm. Electronic cylinders and padlocks have CEN 1303 certification with the highest level of resistance to drilling and, therefore, vandalism.

What’s more, a lost or stolen electronic key can be disabled on a swift footing to prevent any unwanted intrusions. In certain solutions, the built-in reporting feature in the system software aims to report any attempts to gain access outside specified time ranges or in out-of-bounds areas, thereby detecting any anomalies.

Catherine Laug is Group Head of Marketing at LOCKEN

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SSAIB praises registered firm PLP Fire Protection for playing vital role at NHS Nightingale Hospital

The Security Systems and Alarms Inspection Board (SSAIB) has been full of praise for one of its registered firms, namely PLP Fire Protection, which has been providing invaluable assistance in the building of the Government’s first emergency field hospital at the ExCeL Exhibition Centre in London’s Docklands.

The temporary NHS Nightingale Hospital has been established to treat up to 4,000 Coronavirus patients, with Dorset-based PLP Fire Protection helping to transform ExCeL (which was due to host IFSEC International and FIREX International next month before the COVID-19 pandemic forced a reschedule) into a working hospital in just nine days.

BAFE SP203-registered PLP Fire Protection has worked diligently with 160-plus other contractors – as well as 200 British Army engineers – to complete the astonishing transformation.

Company director Rob Beeching has revealed just how hard the work has been for him and the various members of his team, whom he has nothing but praise for in what had been a tough week for them all. Replying to an email from Fire Industry Association CEO Ian Moore, Beeching stated: “Quite honestly, this week has been hell. We were literally brought back to site on Monday morning and had the most unrealistic time to make sure the initial 500-bed section was installed and signed off. The effort from my team and the sub-contractors has been incredible. I’m so proud of them all.”

Beeching added: “We have even had tears from some of our guys, but proud tears. Working conditions have been very tough, both physically and mentally. I have been arriving back home at midnight most days this week. Then I just feel like breaking down. It has been an emotional rollercoaster for sure.”

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Intensive care scenario

With the initial 500 beds in place, the NHS Nightingale Hospital will care for patients with the virus in intensive care who have been transferred from other London hospitals. The building work continues in order to make sure the space is sorted for the other 3,500 beds planned, but Beeching insisted that he would not force his committed team to continue to work if they were worried about being in close proximity to the virus.

On that note, Beeching observed: “We were told by a representative from the World Health Organisation that, once patients start arriving, although they will be sectioned off by a wall, we would still be working in adjacent halls. They said we would be completely safe. I wasn’t going to force any of my guys to carry on working if they didn’t feel comfortable with the arrangements but, when I asked for a show of hands in terms of who wanted to continue, 80% raised their hands. They’re all in this until the end and feel they cannot leave the site until the job is completed.”

In conclusion, Beeching said: “Even our suppliers have been personally delivering the equipment that we need to site. We are so grateful. The help being offered from so many people has been amazing.”

SSAIB CEO Alex Carmichael informed Fire Safety Matters and Security Matters: “It’s great to see SSAIB-registered firm PLP Fire Protection assisting with the construction of the NHS Nightingale Hospital and I have to commend the company for its dedicated effort during this difficult time.”

Carmichael continued: “On behalf of everyone here at the SSAIB, I want to thank Rob and the rest of his team for their heroic commitment to helping the NHS in this way and as they continue to assist with the creation of more beds at the facility. I hope they all remain safe while completing this vital work.”

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Home Office grants £14 million funding for security at Jewish institutions

The Home Office has granted the Community Security Trust (CST) funding to the tune of £14 million for security measures designed to help keep members of the Jewish community safe in their daily lives. The grant will cover protective security for the next financial year at Jewish institutions such as schools and synagogues.

A charity that monitors and helps to protect against anti-semitism, CST recorded 1,805 anti-semitic incidents in the UK in 2019. This figure represents a 7% increase on the previous year.

Home Secretary Priti Patel said: “Anti-semitic incidents are not just an attack on the Jewish community, but on everyone who believes in a free and open society. This funding will help Jewish people practise their religion and way of life without fear of attack or persecution.”

Baroness Williams, the Minister for Countering Extremism, added: “No-one should feel afraid for practising their religion. We are committed to ensuring our places of worship remain safe spaces for worship, contemplation and reflection. Only by working together can we ensure that hateful behaviour like anti-semitism are eliminated from our society.”

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The grant was introduced in 2015 following a series of terror attacks against Jewish targets across Europe. It has been renewed yearly following security assessments by the Home Office.

The CST’s CEO David Delew explained: “The British Jewish community is deeply grateful for the renewal of Home Office funding for the provision of security officers at Jewish schools and other communal premises facing the continuing threat of terrorism. The CST will continue managing this grant, which alleviates a serious financial security burden from Jewish communities across the country.”

Most of the funding will go towards protective measures for Jewish schools. While the funding period commences on Wednesday 1 April, all synagogues remain closed while schools only remain open for the children of those conducting essential work as part of Government efforts to tackle COVID-19.

In addition to the protective security grant, the Home Office also runs the Places of Worship Scheme, which provides funding to improve physical security for non-Jewish places of worship.

Importantly, the Home Office has recently launched a consultation to see what more can be done by the Government to improve security for faith groups.

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