TODAY’S world is fast-moving and many security technologies are developing quickly and providing greatly improved performance.
Some of that is down to increasingly intelligent application of hardware and software, explains security specialist Secom.
An example is video analytics – the use of software applied to a video stream to detect particular images or movement. That can include: motion tracking, following a moving object across a camera’s view; object detection; object classification identifying the type of moving object as person, animal, or vehicle; direction of movement; loitering; removal of object; face detection; people counting; and more.
Along with obvious security uses, says Secom, video analytics can also be used for marketing and retailing analysis, tracking customer flow, and queue analysis and management.
Among other recent developments Secom launched its new lone worker tracking solution in July.
SecomProtect is a mobile communications device that’s also an identity card holder. The firm says that makes it easy to wear, and to operate discreetly – should a person working alone feel that their safety might be compromised.
At the press of a hidden button, an alarm is sent to Secom’s alarm receiving centre (ARC). There are two alarm options, red and amber. An amber alert enables a worker at the start of their shift to leave a short voice message through the unit – outlining their name and location, plus details of the activity being carried out and a description of any apparent risk. A red alert enables a one or two-way audio link between the device and the ARC at the push of a button for immediate assistance. The configurable one or two-way audio channel can be altered depending on a worker’s risk profile.
Once an alert is raised, the alarm receiving centre operator can track the worker’s location via GPS, and can then instigate an appropriate response – ranging from a call to a user’s manager, up to an emergency services call-out if required. During a red alert, the call is monitored continuously, and audio is recorded for future use, with date and time stamps, should it be required as evidence.
There’s a status check button that gives feedback on the strength of the GSM network signal, GPS coverage and battery life. Secom is also able to provide an option to raise an automatic red alert if a lone worker is incapacitated by a fall or an unexpected health issue – by detecting a tilt in combination with non-movement.
Secom’s security tips for retailers include:
• Use visible burglar alarms, CCTV, locks/grilles and security lighting, which are excellent ways of deterring potential thieves.
• Good lighting makes it harder for intruders to go unnoticed. However, if your shop is tucked away and isn’t particularly visible at night, it makes criminals’ lives easier, so you’ll need to take extra precautions.
• Always fit good quality locks on doors and windows.
• Don’t keep large amounts of money in your till. Vary your routine, and don’t leave cash in the till overnight.
• Think carefully about the best position for the till.
• Control stock tightly and limit access.
• Keep shelves at a level where staff can see what the customers are doing.
• Use anti-graffiti paint or plastic coating for windows.
• Clean up graffiti or any damage to your property quickly.
• Use tagging devices to protect your goods.
• Consider using defensive merchandise (dummy goods) to protect high-value items.
• Train your staff to be alert suspicious behaviour.
• Set up procedures for staff to record incidents of crime.
• Routinely check debit and credit cards to protect against fraud.
• If you’re going away for several days, ask a friend or neighbouring business to empty your post box.