Tag Archives: London

Ipsotek’s Image Recognition and Incident Detection solution assists Transport for London in combating traffic congestion

Helping to keep traffic flowing through one of Europe’s busiest cities, video analytics specialist Ipsotek has developed a highly effective new technology in partnership with Transport for London (TfL). As one of a range of measures that’s helping to ease traffic flow in the capital, Ipsotek has worked closely with TfL to develop new CCTV analytics technology that can automatically detect traffic build-up and alert traffic operators to implement congestion-relieving procedures.

Ipsotek has developed the Image Recognition and Incident Detection (IRID) system, making use of the company’s own advanced video analytics technology. The technology constantly analyses each video stream from existing CCTV traffic monitoring cameras and uses pre-configured ‘congestion definitions’ to alert operators at TfL’s London Traffic Control Centre (LTCC) when a build-up of vehicles threatens to develop into a problematic congestion situation.

London’s LTCC is unique in that it carries out ‘real-time’ traffic management, while at the same time providing up-to-date traffic information to the media and other interested stakeholders including other highway authorities in London.

The Ipsotek IRID system works by monitoring each camera feed, ignoring ‘background’ image details which are of no interest to traffic co-ordinators. Those details would include trees and lamp columns. The remaining ‘foreground’ objects, namely vehicles, are analysed for behaviour.

Video analytics developer Ipsotek has been working alongside Transport for London to configure a highly effective new technology that aids traffic management in cities

Video analytics developer Ipsotek has been working alongside Transport for London to configure a highly effective new technology that aids traffic management in cities

Many algorithms can be used, but for the IRID system, stationary or slow vehicles are the primary concern. Once the system detects a build-up of stationary or slow vehicles, a desktop alert is sent to traffic co-ordinators prompting them to address the situation with a number of appropriate actions.

Automatic detection in practice

Before the introduction of IRID, LTCC operators had to manually trawl through images generated by more than 1,200 CCTV cameras, painstakingly looking for congestion issues across the capital’s road network. Consequently, traffic situations were often not spotted until they became severe congestion incidents with the obvious severe delays then affecting traffic movements across the capital.

Once a problem is automatically detected by the Ipostek IRID system, TfL’s traffic operators are able to implement traffic signal timing plans to clear any impending congestion. Traffic signals can be co-ordinated to keep traffic away from an area, or otherwise help to move the flow of vehicles around an incident on a safe basis.

“Traffic congestion can develop very quickly, from a small jam to a lengthy tailback,” said Bill Flind, CEO at Ipsotek. “That’s why fast detection and an effective response to these situations is vital.”

Positive outcomes

The LTCC’s 48-strong team of traffic controllers works to cover the capital’s main routes 24 hours a day, seven days a week. In their daily work they make use of many different tools to manage London’s traffic. The Ipsotek-powered IRID system integrates seamlessly into these systems, adding an extra layer of ‘intelligence’ to help the team make informed decisions and secure positive outcomes on traffic management.

The Ipsotek IRID technology is currently linked to cameras at 20 known congestion ‘hotspots’ in London, including Battersea Bridge and Marylebone Road.

Designed to be future-proof from the outset, the Ipsotek IRID system does not require any additional on-street infrastructure as it uses the existing traffic cameras. This ensures simple and cost-effective system expansion, duly increasing the return on investment with each additional camera covered.

One of the key benefits of using the IRID system at the LTCC is that it works in the background and only requires a response from the user when alerted to a potential problem. This means that TfL’s operators are able to pro-actively focus their efforts on keeping London’s traffic moving and not reactively looking for traffic problems.

The IRID system is pre-configured with a ‘definition’ of congestion which can be variable by location, time of day, day of the week or even the season. The alerts are activated when the real-time CCTV traffic images match one of these definitions. The preconfigured definition of congestion can also be adjusted to reflect the ever-changing nature of London’s busy road network and the different demands that are placed on it (for instance, when a new shopping centre or housing development results in different levels of traffic for a particular localised area).

While TfL uses a number of tools to beat congestion, Ipsotek’s IRID system has proven a key tool to ensure traffic keeps moving along London’s busy roads. For example, a road was recently blocked by a goods vehicle accident. IRID identified this incident and, within 30 seconds of the incident occurring, alerted LTCC staff.  They were then able to alert the appropriate Emergency Services and swiftly put in place remedial action to quell the rapidly developing build-up of traffic around the incident – helping traffic to keep moving and emergency vehicles to arrive on scene with little delay.

Powerful algorithms within IRID

The powerful algorithms within Ipsotek’s IRID have proven their worth in all weather conditions, including bright sunshine, rain and mist, and particularly on dark and wet days when other systems may be fooled into generating a false alarm by the many reflections/shadows from puddles, walkways and vehicles.

This advanced capability is an essential benefit, as the occurrence of adverse weather is usually when the risk of accidents is at its greatest, requiring extra vigilance to ensure that the roads are kept clear and traffic moving.

Ipsotek and TfL have been researching and working on the development of this technology for more than five years, producing a viable tool that could also be used by other highways authorities across the country.

To date, TfL has invested £180,000 in trials, training and the deployment of the system to the existing 20 cameras that make up the pilot scheme. The success of the system underlines Ipsotek and TfL’s commitment to improving road travel journey times and increasing traffic flow.

With a planned expansion to the scheme, this groundbreaking technology will continue to benefit London’s road users and will ultimately see the development by TfL spread to benefit other cities across the UK.

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TDSi reports 25% increase in export market visitors to its stand at IFSEC International 2015

Reporting a 25% increase in export market visitors to its stand at IFSEC International 2015, integrated security solutions developer TDSi believes this reflects the continued and rapid expansion of the global security market. Interest at the show also indicated a continued customer demand for fully-integrated solutions rather than just security components.

Post-event, TDSi’s managing director John Davies told Risk: “IFSEC International is a great barometer of the state of the security sector. It was obvious from this year’s event that the market has become truly globalised, with a sizeable increase in visitors travelling from other regions to see the latest and best solutions that the security sector has to offer.”

Davies continued: “I’m also pleased to say that the feedback we had from visitors is that our own approach to fully-integrated security systems is essential in the post-recession market. Rather than just purchasing security products, the evolving security consumer wants intelligent, flexible and comprehensively integrated systems. These are exactly what TDSi offers and continues to research and develop.”

The international nature of the event also confirmed assumptions on the geographical markets’ strengths and weaknesses. “In comparison to China, South East Asia and the Middle East,” urged Davies, “the European market has somewhat plateaued, partially due to a degree of uncertainty still looming over the Euro Zone. In the UK, TDSi is benefiting from a healthy upturn in the market and we anticipate a very healthy growth figure of 10+% this year. This may be partially due to having a new majority UK Government and thus a stable business environment for the next five years, in contrast to the situation that’s pertaining in Europe.”

TDSi's stand at IFSEC International 2015

TDSi’s stand at IFSEC International 2015

Security, IT and building control systems

Davies also explained to Risk UK that the demand for security systems designed to work with IT and buildings control systems is rapidly becoming truly global in nature.

“Security operators and consumers have become very well versed in what’s possible,” he said, “largely because of the rise in trends such as the Internet of Things. They now demand this flexibility from all of their technology purchases. These are exciting times with real optimism and increased funding. For their part, providers need to stay on top of demand and offer the very best solutions in what continues to be a highly competitive and ‘savvy’ buyers market.”

There was also a noticeable increase in the volume of new visitors at IFSEC International, as TDSi’s product and marketing manager Sarah Phillips observed during the show (which ran from 16-18 June at London’s ExCeL).

“IFSEC International has always been an excellent opportunity for security solutions providers, installers, integrators, consultants and end users to make contact,” stated Phillips. “That was very apparent this year. IFSEC remains an ideal platform to reacquaint with both existing partners and customers.”

Phillips added: “Many end users approached our team for advice. Naturally, we’re very keen to preserve the channel structure of our business so we do actively refer customers to our partners, but equally this gives us a greater insight into the needs of security operators. This kind of detail is invaluable for our business and product development streams.”

One of the main themes on TDSi’s stand at IFSEC International 2015 was a demonstration of the considerable benefits of using the company’s solutions in conjunction with those produced by other specialist manufacturers, among them Texecom, Milestone Systems, ASSA Abloy and SimonsVoss.

Sarah Phillips (centre) with Team TDSi at London's ExCeL

Sarah Phillips (centre) with Team TDSi at London’s ExCeL

This year, visitors took particular interest in TDSi’s new range of readers (including MIFARE Plus, DESFire and NFC technologies for added security and flexibility) as well as the enhanced web access portal for EXgarde.

In conclusion, Phillips explained: “Visitors are always excited to see brand new products and the readers are one of the staple lines in our product portfolio. IFSEC International is one of the highlights of our year and, with our continued success at the show, that situation will remain so for many years to come.”

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Sir Chris Hoy MBE added to Inspirational Speaker listings for Protection & Management Series 2015

Sir Chris Hoy MBE has been added as the final presenter for the Protection & Management Series 2015 Inspirational Speaker slots. Britain’s Greatest Olympian is due to take to the stage at ExCeL, London on Thursday 18 June.

Having won a total of six gold medals and one silver medal across three Olympic Games, Sir Chris Hoy reached the pinnacle of his career by winning his fifth and sixth gold medals at the hugely successful London 2012 Olympic Games.

In his motivational and engaging session, Sir Chris Hoy will talk attendees through the ‘marginal gains’ strategy which he credits for much of his success. Based on the theory that marginally optimising every possible area for improvement will result in profound progress, it’s a strategy that can be translated to any business sector.

Speaking about the announcement, Simon Mills (group director for the Protection & Management Series at UBM), said:“It’s with great pleasure that I can confirm our final high-profile speaker participating in this year’s Inspirational Speaker Series. I can think of no-one more motivating than Sir Chris Hoy. We very much look forward to welcoming him on the final day of the event in June.”

Sir Chris Hoy MBE

Sir Chris Hoy MBE

Mills added: “The Inspirational Speaker Series offers an exciting new element to the shows within the Protection & Management Series alongside an already-established and comprehensive educational programme that covers all of the latest topics, trends and innovations within the security, safety, fire, facilities and service management industries.”

Sir Chris Hoy joins Baroness Karren Brady and Sir Ranulph Fiennes as the presenters in the inaugural Protection & Management Inspirational Speakers Series. Brady takes to the stage on Tuesday 16 June and Sir Ranulph Fiennes on Wednesday 17 June.

Organised by UBM EMEA, the Protection & Management Series is the UK’s largest event dedicated to protecting and managing property, people and information.

The Protection & Management Series incorporates the major events that are IFSEC International, FIREX International, The Facilities Show, Safety & Health Expo and Service Management Expo and attracts more than 40,000 attendees annually over three days to ExCeL, London.

*Sir Chris Hoy MBE will speak on Thursday 18 June from 11.30 am at ExCeL, London

**Find out more and register for the event here: http://bit.ly/1C719Zb

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Baroness Karren Brady CBE to open the Protection & Management Series 2015

Baroness Karren Brady CBE has been announced as the first of three inspirational keynote speakers at the Protection & Management Series 2015. Baroness Brady will open the event on Tuesday 16 June at ExCeL, London.

Baroness Brady is a regular newspaper columnist, author and novelist and known as ‘The First Lady of Football’ having become managing director of Birmingham City FC at the age of just 23.

Her current role is vice-chairman of West Ham United FC, while the Baroness is also the Small Business Ambassador to the UK Government led by Prime Minister David Cameron.

Of course, Baroness Brady is well-known to millions of TV viewers for her role alongside Lord Alan Sugar in the popular BBC programme The Apprentice.

In this must-attend keynote address, Baroness Brady will share anecdotes from her own rise within the business world, offering plenty of insights and advice for women in the business sector.

Baroness Karren Brady CBE: vice-chairman of West Ham United FC

Baroness Karren Brady CBE: vice-chairman of West Ham United FC

Simon Mills, group director for the Protection & Management Series run by event organiser UBM, said: “We’re delighted to reveal that Baroness Karren Brady will be opening this year’s Protection & Management Series with a truly inspirational keynote address. We’re really looking forward to hosting such a phenomenal businesswoman on the first day in what is our second year at our new London home.”

The Protection & Management Series is the UK’s largest event dedicated to protecting and managing property, people and information. Organised by UBM EMEA, the series incorporates the major events of IFSEC International, FIREX International, Safety & Health Expo, The Facilities Show and Service Management Expo and attracts more than 40, 000 attendees over three days.

The 2015 Protection & Management Series of events will run from 16-18 June at ExCeL, London.

*Find out more and register for the event here: www.safety-health-expo.co.uk/keynotepr

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CIS Security enters fundraising partnership to support London’s Air Ambulance charity

CIS Security has entered into a fundraising partnership with London’s Air Ambulance that will see the solutions provider raise vital monies to help the charity’s ongoing delivery of trauma teams necessary for treating critically injured people right across the capital.

Founded in 1989, London’s Air Ambulance has delivered hugely important care to over 31,000 critically injured people and, indeed, attended most of the major incidents occurring in the capital since the charity’s inception.

On average, London’s Air Ambulance treats six seriously injured people each day of the week as it diligently serves over ten million individuals who live, work and travel in the capital. Broadly speaking, the charity’s services cover the area bordered by the M25 motorway (encompassing a geography of no less 600 square miles).

The charity is based on the top floor of The Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel and urgently deals with the immediate aftermath of incidents like road traffic collisions, stabbings/shootings and individuals who have fallen from great heights. This is the reality of the working day for members of London’s Air Ambulance team.

Using a helicopter during daylight hours and rapid response cars by night, doctors and paramedic teams can be at a patient’s side within minutes, in turn providing medical care such as open heart surgery and blood transfusions that very often proves to be life-saving.

To emphasise just how critical this service is, London’s Air Ambulance recently released figures for National Air Ambulance Week which took place last month. The statistics show that the charity’s services were summoned to no less than 282 shootings and stabbings in the first eight months of 2014 alone. This is the third biggest category of incidents after the aforementioned road traffic collisions and falls from height.

It’s a relatively unknown fact that London’s Air Ambulance is heavily reliant on charitable donations to keep the service up-and-running. At present, the charity has to rely on just one helicopter.

CIS Security's executive chairman Carl Palmer with London's Air Ambulance

CIS Security’s executive chairman Carl Palmer with London’s Air Ambulance

Vital support from CIS Security

Security officers on duty in the City of London know only too well the prevalence of violent criminality within the capital. Many of them have been trained to deliver ‘on the spot’ First Aid during emergency scenarios while they patiently await ambulances and medical staff to attend those who’ve been traumatised.

Many CIS Security officers have experienced being on the front line in such situations, including those occasions when public protests have taken place.

Carl Palmer, executive chairman of CIS Security, has been astounded by the work of London’s Air Ambulance and had no hesitation in selecting the operation as the security company’s ongoing charity partner.

In addition to organising a schedule of fundraising activities within the company itself (which holds professional security services contracts for many high profile buildings dotted around the city of London), Palmer has been selected to take part in the round-the-world Clipper Race and will now use his participation in that event to promote – and raise funds for – London’s Air Ambulance. The race runs for ten months and will see Palmer and his fellow competitors circumnavigate the globe in what is the biggest matched ocean fleet race in the world.

To mark the launch of the new charity partnership, Palmer was photographed (see above) by celebrity and reportage photographer Neale Haynes on the helipad atop The Royal London Hospital. Haynes – who has shot portraits for the likes of Richard Branson, London Mayor Boris Johnson and Simon Cowell – generously provided his expertise to help generate awareness for London’s Air Ambulance charity.

*For further information on London’s Air Ambulance charity visit: http://www.londonsairambulance.co.uk

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London’s calling for Assa Abloy’s security doors

Assa Abloy Security Doors has designed, manufactured and installed a range of high performance security doors for multiple specification projects across London.

From the installation of innovative fire doorsets in the Shard through to supplying London Underground’s Bond Street Station with its specialist steel doorsets, the company has proven its ability to specify high profile projects.

Working with some of the most respected contractors in the industry, Assa Abloy Security Doors has used its value added service and consultancy skills across range of specification projects.

London's iconic Canary Wharf skyline

London’s iconic Canary Wharf skyline

The company has supported the design intent of buildings such as Buckingham Gate, which was part of the regeneration of Victoria, Canary Wharf and Quadrant 3 (one of London’s most ambitious West End redevelopments to date).

Brian Sofley, managing director at Assa Abloy Security Doors, commented: “We’re proud to have secured a vast number of projects that are very much part of progressive and exciting developments in the capital. Many of the buildings we have supplied are set to become iconic features of London’s skyline, and we hope to continue to provide sustainable, robust and effective door solutions across the country.”

For further information visit: http://www.assaabloy.co.uk/securitsolutions

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Security and Counter-Terrorism: Operation Penna hailed a success by Metropolitan Police Service

More than 11,000 people were briefed about the importance of security and counter-terrorism policing in London during a two-week major Metropolitan Police Service initiative.

The initiative – known as Operation Penna – is the second of its kind run by the Metropolitan Police Service. It involved co-ordinated activity focused on reminding members of the public of the vital role they can play in helping to protect the capital.

Activity took place across all 32 London Boroughs between 16 and 24 January 2014. Officers held 537 external briefings involving a total audience of 11,390 people, providing information explaining the ongoing threat from terrorism and what can be done to protect the capital against it.

Key role in counter-terrorism policing

Briefings were also held for officers and staff on every Borough to highlight the key part they play in counter-terrorism policing by providing a link between national expertise and mainstream neighbourhood policing.

During the course of the operation, no less than 4,300 officers and staff were briefed at 335 separate events.

More than 11,000 people were briefed about the importance of security and counter terrorism policing in London during a two-week major Metropolitan Police Service initiative

More than 11,000 people were briefed about the importance of security and counter terrorism policing in London during a two-week major Metropolitan Police Service initiative

Operational activity included high visibility patrols around crowded places such as shopping centres and transport hubs, which in turn resulted in other criminality being detected and disrupted.

Across London there were 181 arrests for offences including theft, burglary and drugs supply and 32 vehicles seized by police officers.

Officers also distributed 45,700 leaflets to the public as part of the operation.

Briefing businesses and the public

Commander Richard Morris from the Met’s Specialist Operations Division said: “A key element of this operation is briefing businesses and members of the public to raise awareness of how they can help keep London safe. I’m extremely pleased that we have managed to brief more than 11,000 individuals on such an important subject. Such work will continue.”

Morris added: “The operation also shows how proactive policing focused on counter terrorism can also contribute towards combating other criminality.”

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