In his latest blog for Infologue, John Briggs, operations director for First Security, discusses the latest innovations in closed circuit television (CCTV), and how this technology can be combined with manned guarding to provide a more robust and efficient security response.
Traditionally installed to identify and record criminal behaviour, CCTV in working environments has greatly evolved. Now offering real-time surveillance and access to recorded data, CCTV is a valuable tool for analysing security across any environment.
With many electronic security systems available such as intruder alarms, access control and asset tagging, those responsible for managing building security may feel this technology is too costly, over complicated or difficult to maintain.
However, the evolution of technology has seen security systems improve in ease of operation and affordability, with many systems amalgamating to produce a bespoke solution for any business.
Yet, such technology is only as efficient as the response mechanism it generates; offering a deterrent, however actually preventing very little.
The physical presence of a security guard offers real-time response – identifying a situation as a possible criminal breach or incident, and acting at that moment to prevent any escalation.
A properly trained and licensed security guard will bring the personal touch required during difficult situations; whether this be as simple as assisting a lost visitor, or as complex as dealing with a threat of terrorism.
Although they are always alert, a lone manned guard cannot, however, maintain a constant vigilant presence in every area of a business. Therefore, achieving a balance between a physical presence and an electronic security system can create a security solution that offers smarter security through personal delivery.
The correctly-trained guard can be a valuable asset in monitoring and reacting to CCTV footage – recognising and understanding patterns of behaviour from frequent users of the building, and sensing and reacting appropriately when abnormal activity occurs.
One of the newest developments in CCTV technology is to connect security cameras to a building’s IP network, which allows cameras and digital recorders to be installed wherever there is a network point.
Innovations in modern digital cameras offer faster operation, and fibre optic technology improves bandwidth, allowing cameras to operate more efficiently on smaller bandwidth through network cabling.
Networking also caters for expansion, reduction or relocation as cameras can be added, removed and relocated through the digital system much quicker and easier than previous means allowed; offering a very flexible system that can change as business needs change.
Networking also allows users to view the images from cameras within a local network or via the internet.
CCTV systems are becoming easier to understand, operate and maintain. Any member of a security management team can undertake the appropriate SIA course to become a licensed CCTV operator, to analyse the recorded data and identify subjects, allowing security guards to focus their attention on providing the physical presence.
Being able to distinguish between an innocent, suspicious or malicious act is key to planning the right security response. CCTV video analytics allows users to search for and track a particular item within the footage. For example, a bag that has been left at the entrance to a shop is treated with suspicion. The security team won’t know who has left it, when they left it and why. Video analytics allows users to search the CCTV database to locate the same bag together with its owner.
Video analytics is now widely available and is improving continuously, developing into a real asset for businesses.
In conclusion, security guards provide a responsive and preventative approach to security combined with customer service that no machine can replace. Technology such as CCTV, access control and video analytics can assist them to perform their job more effectively, offering flexible, more affordable and bespoke security solutions for any business.
Opinions expressed by contributors and commentators do not necessarily reflect the views of Infologue.com or Interconnective Limited.