High crime rates have been a major concern for South Africans for many years now, and the police seem to be fighting a losing battle. Technology is one area that can really help to combat crime, and improving safety by increasing situational awareness is the first step.
Gerald Naidoo, CEO of Logikal Consulting, says all sorts of organisations can benefit from intelligent video and analytics solutions. “Municipalities, businesses, retailers, banks, law enforcement, border control, transportation security, critical infrastructure, and many other large-scale security initiatives, can boost their security. These solutions can enhance situational awareness while uniting data from a wide range of security systems, including video, sensors, audio, social media, access control, and intrusion detection. By combining the data from all these sources, situational awareness solutions enable efficient data correlation and analysis, quick alerts and action, and allow for rapid and easy information sharing across agencies, to ensure fast response time.”
“Intelligent video fights crime. Its power and versatility are vital to solid collective intelligence. Sensors and devices can be installed at intersections, in buildings and other public areas, to protect people. Law enforcement officials can quickly identify any potential threats, and put a stop to them more easily. This is particularly true for municipalities, especially in light of the free municipal wifi projects that are rolling out in the country, and making these solutions easier to implement.”
However, he says intelligent video is only part of the solution. “All the information in the world is useless on its own, unless someone can make sense of all the data, and have a unified view to paint a full picture. Analytics are needed to make sense of all the ‘big data’ and make it work for you.”
According to Naidoo, good data analytics solutions can pinpoint the data that is relevant out of the heaps of data collected, but in order to turn the data into actionable intelligence, a single view of all the relevant platforms is needed. This is where a tool such as the Verint Situational Awareness Platform comes in, he says. The platform is a unified solution for boosting awareness, enhancing safety and maximising efficiency.
“Today’s organisations make use of many security systems, business optimisation systems and other tools, each of which require operators to view the applications separately. The Verint platform unites multiple systems, and combines the information from all the disparate sources. Not only does this give far better, more actionable insight, it helps streamline business operations too. All this translates into lower costs on infrastructure, which ultimately boosts the bottom line.”
Once all the security sensors, video and similar are unified into a centralised system, the technical team gains an overarching view across all systems and geo-location devices, combining multiple data streams into unified interfaces and user-friendly dashboards. “This boosts analysis, response, investigation, evidence gathering, and incident reconstruction and debriefing. In addition, the platform also features reports and dashboards that enable better planning and coordination across agencies with accurate operational metrics,” says Naidoo.
He adds that intelligent video and analytics are a must-have for law enforcement, as well as municipalities wishing to protect themselves. “The data collected is not only invaluable for crime fighting, but for daily practicalities such as traffic management. Intelligent video and analytics are becoming core to security initiatives, and to safeguarding people, organisations and governments.”
Finally, he says as intelligent video capabilities have advanced and become more mainstream, they have become far more reasonable in terms of cost. “Today, businesses of all types and sizes can benefit from video analytics without breaking the bank. Moreover, these technologies can save money by establishing security response standards, automating some business processes, quickening incident response and streamlining business operations.”