Thursday, 15 November 2007

UK Prime Minister rises security budget to focus on national infrastructure security

The Prime Minister sets up new strategies to focus on physical security, with the rise of total security budget from £2.5B this year to £3.5B by 2011. He said government will encourage more design-in protective security measures. May be every crowded places and public building in the future will be incorporate with CCTV as mandatory security measurement (just like fire alarm/extinguish) , new housing development will be encouraged to include CCTV as optional “build-in furniture”, and perimeter CCTV surveillance as mandatory measurement.

Brown announces new focus on national infrastructure security

14 Nov 07

By Emily Cadman

Prime Minister Gordon Brown has announced a new focus on protecting the national infrastructure, including ports, airports and key commercial areas.

In a speech to the House of Commons on Wednesday, Brown pointed to the conclusions of a strategic review by Lord Alan West and said that planners would be encouraged to design-in physical security to all new buildings.

Among the new security measures were details of the structure and powers of the new UK Border Agency. The new agency will be 25,000 strong and will have the power to detain people on the suspicion of criminal activity – including terrorism.

It will man a single point of entry and exit for both passport and customs control in airports, ports and train stations.

Designing in protective security

In a wide ranging statement, Brown argued that Lord West’s review on the protection of strategic infrastructure such as stations, ports and airports and other crowded places identified a need to step up physical protection against possible vehicle bomb attacks.

“This will include, where judged necessary, improved security at railway stations - focusing first on those of our 250 busiest stations most at risk - and at airport terminals, ports and over 100 sensitive installations,” Brown said.

He added: “The report proposes the installation of robust physical barriers as protection against vehicle bomb attacks, the nomination of vehicle exclusion zones to keep all but authorised vehicles at a safe distance, and making buildings blast resistant.”

Brown stressed that no major failures in protective security had been identified by the review but said that those companies responsible for crowded places – such as cinemas, commercial centres, hospitals and sporting venues – will be sent new and updated advice on improving “their resilience against attack, both by better physical protection and greater vigilance in identifying suspicious behaviour.”

Additionally, “Up to 160 counter-terrorism advisers will train civilian staff to identify suspect activity and to ensure premises have secure emergency exits, CCTV footage used to best effect, and regular searches and evacuation drills. From now on, local authorities will be required as part of their performance framework to assess the measures they have taken to protect against terrorism.”

“The report proposes the installation of robust physical barriers as protection against vehicle bomb attacks, the nomination of vehicle exclusion zones to keep all but authorised vehicles at a safe distance, and making buildings blast resistant”

Prime Minister Gordon Brown

Brown said that the government would be working closely with architects and planners to encourage them to design-in protective security measures into new buildings such as traffic control measures and the use of blast resistant materials.

Additionally, Brown warned that at some large rail stations, the government is planning to introduce additional screening of baggage and passenger searches.

But in some good news for air travellers, the Prime Minister said that the current restrictions on hand luggage – where passengers are only allowed to travel with one piece of luggage – will begin to be progressively lifted.

Security Services

Brown also announced a series of rises in both counter-terrorism and security budgets, as well as manpower.

The security budget will rise to £3.5 billion by 2011 from £2.5 billion this year and the manpower of the security service will rise to over 4,000 from 2,000 in 2001.

From the Home Office budget until 2011 there will be an additional £240 million to finance counter terrorism policing. £70 million pounds is being invested in community projects devoted to countering violent extremism.

Counter Terrorism Bill

In the upcoming Counter Terrorism Bill, Brown also confirmed there will be stronger sentences for terrorist related sentences and new powers for the police to monitor the activities of terrorists who have completed their sentences.

“companies responsible for crowded places – such as cinemas, commercial centres, hospitals and sporting venues – will be sent new and updated advice”

The bill will also contain measures designed to help the police pursue those who finance terrorism.

There will be 14 new protected courtrooms to handle terror cases, and a single senior Judge has been nominated to manage all terrorism cases.

A specialist unit in the Prisons Service will also be established tasked with preventing extremists from using prison networks to plot future activities.

UK Border Agency

As of January next year, the UK Border Agency will have the power to detain people not just on the suspicion of immigration or customs offences but also for criminal activity including terrorism.

Airline liaison officers will also be given powers to cancel visas.

Apart from manning a single passport and customs check-point in and out of the UK, the Border Agency will also work throughout the rest of the world. It will be responsible for transferring intelligence from UK operations overseas to those making visa decisions, and to check biometrics taken from visa applicants against criminal and counter-terrorism records.

There will be biometric visas for all applications from March next year, alongside biometric ID cards for foreign nations by the end of 2008 and a strengthening of the e-borders programme.

Brown was speaking ahead of the publication of the National Security Strategy which is expected in the next few weeks.

Thursday, 1 November 2007

Turn your ordinary CMOS camera mobile phones into smart networked surveillance camera .

Facet - a Java based mobile phone software that turns any standard mobile phone into smart networked camera which can then be linked together to construed a intelligent surveillance network, will soon be available as open source code. The researchers managed to link four CMOS camera phone via Bluetooth and intelligently exchanging the captured data for simple image analysis, such as object distance and movement direction. In addition of exchanging events via Bluetooth, each camera also been programmed to send events to a central server via GPRS for comprehensive analysis. Click here for more details.

Nokia 6630 was used in the testing due to the limited image size and computing power, more complex image processing (concuretn object count and object detection restricted to moving speed) tasks can not be carried out. Surely with the advancement of the technology, more complex data can be processed on the phone as well as using a mobile phone as a realtime surveillance camera through high speed HSUPA 3G (up load video upto 5.8Mbps) link. Check on this 3G phone on a chip recently announced by Broadcom, a breakthrough all-in-one 3G chip, support HSUPA 3G broadband that allow downloading/uploading speed of 7.2Mb/5.8M. The 5.8Mb unploading speed (compare to the 384kb upload on current 3G network) will means that the modem (on chip) will be ideal to use in IP CCTV surveillance mobile gateway, where uploading speed is crucial for realtime monitoring and remote archive of high quality pictures. Perhaps we will soon see CCTV manufacturer come out with a all-in-on mobile DVR phone.

Tuesday, 30 October 2007

Taxi and car hire in Kent to install in-car CCTV with EU funding

Taxi and car hire in Kent to install in-car CCTV with EU funding. The total funding available for the in-car safety CCTV cameras is £118,000. Driver can now install CCTV camera in vehicle with over 75% cost to be subsidized by the Fund. Perhaps more councils will follow suit?

Taxis to get CCTV

9:29am, 30th OCtober 2007

By Charlotte McDonald

TAXI drivers in Gravesham are one step closer to getting CCTV cameras in their cabs after securing EU cash.

Cabbies have been calling for more security measures following the death of Gian Chand Bajar, a taxi driver found lying in the road in St Benedict's Avenue, Gravesend, on May 23.

The 71-year-old father-of-six is thought to have been run over by his own car.

Now £59,000 has been secured from the EU's Urban Thames Gateway Kent fund.

This will be matched pound-for-pound by a partnership of the drivers themselves, Gravesham Council, the police and the multi-agency Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnership which deals with public safety.

It will make a total of £118,000.

Gravesham's United Taxi Group communications officer Rick Davis said: "This is far beyond our greatest expectations.

"I am sure other councils and authorities will follow suit, so this will be a flagship scheme.

"We have come an awfully long way."

More than 100 taxi and private hire drivers have already signed up to have CCTV in their cars.

The council hopes to have some of these cameras in place within weeks.

Drivers will only have to pay at most a fifth of the overall cost as a contribution towards the cost of the in-cab equipment.

It is estimated the cost of a camera for one vehicle will be between £400 and £500.

Mr Davis added: "The fact the drivers can have this added protection at a reasonable price is unbelieavable.

"Everybody has worked hard together.

"It wouldn't have worked without this co-operation."

There are 250 drivers in Gravesham and help with funding these cameras will be available to all of them.

Suggestions of getting CCTV installed in cars were discussed at the first joint meeting between the drivers, the council and the police following Mr Bajar's death in May.

Since then the council, the police and the Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnership have met regularly with the United Taxi Group.

Gravesham Council leader Councillor Mike Snelling said: "It had been an ambition of the council for a long time to help the drivers get CCTV and I am very pleased we have been able to achieve this.

"Community safety is the council's number one priority and we have pledged to make the borough safer."

Cab drivers and the Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnership members have been invited to an open day at Brands Hatch next week when a range of CCTV and other safety equipment will be displayed.

Inspector Paul Anderson is running the Kent police work on the project through the Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnership.

He said: "Over the past six months, there has been a considerable amount of work done to source suitable safety products which will provide reassurance to drivers and passengers, will deter potential criminals and also provide hard evidence to assist in any criminal investigations.

"I look forward to seeing this technology in taxis in north Kent over the coming months."

Luke Andrew Aujila, of no fixed address, has been charged with the murder of Mr Bajar.

Aujila, who was 20 at the time of being arrested in connection with Mr Bajar's death, is currently in custody.

Wednesday, 10 October 2007

A rising compression codec in the making – AVS ( Audio Video Standard)

China Netcom has been field trialling the Chinese version of H.264/AAC Video/Audio compression codec on IPTV for half year, the success of the China “home made” AVS (Audio Video Standard) codec in the trial will result in the mass deployment of AVS codec as a compulsory IPTV standard in green field deployment and also to replace the existing system which are using MPEG2/4 and H.264 standard. China Telecom will soon be follow suit.

They are so confidence in the new AVS codec and are now applying for national approval to be implemented on CCTV security surveillance equipment.

It looks like the national implementation of AVS codec is more a commercial reason (not need to pay loyalty/license fee for using overseas patents) than technology superiority.

For those who can read Chinese, here is the news link

Tuesday, 9 October 2007

Europe shows 230% growth in IPTV services in the last 12 months

New broadband and IPTV statistics shows that Europe has the largest growth in IPTV services subscription in the last 12 months, overtaking Asia Pacific, with 230% of growth rate. France is the world leader with 2.5millions IPTV subscribers. The future growth of IPTV will be boots by the continuous deployment of ADSL2+, as DSL remains the major broadband access medium representing ~66% of global broadband services. However, the world leader in IPTV service, France Telecom and Hong Kong’s PCCW, both have invested in FTTH (fibre to the home), as DSL (copper wire) bandwidth cannot be guaranteed over distance.

O2 has recently announced the launching date of its broadband service to be on 15 October 2007. O2 broadband service will base on its Broadband Internet arm – Be*, which offer up to 24Mb connection using ADSL2+. This will give O2 a great platform to provide “quad play” services (Internet, TV, voice and mobile) to compete with “triple play” (Internet, TV and voice) provided by incumbent fixed line operator such as BT.

Oct 09, 2007

The number of people signing up to IPTV service increased by 179% in the 12 months to June 30, 2007, according to Point Topic.

The report, published Monday at the Broadband World Forum Europe in Berlin by the DSL Forum, reveals that over 8.2 million people are now connected to IPTV services.

Over three million subscribers were added in Europe during the period, making it the strongest market in terms of growth (231% in 12 months) and total subscriber numbers (nearly five million).

Asia Pacific is the second largest market of IPTV, with its total subscriber base growing 120% to nearly 2.2 million, followed by Americas with over one million of IPTV subscribers, up 161% during the period.

“Top markets like France (2,550,000 customers) and Hong Kong (938,000 customers) show that IPTV can be deployed rapidly to large numbers of subscribers, if the market conditions are right,” said Point Topic senior analyst John Bosnell.

“On the demand side, competitive and clear bundle pricing and content deals will help to attract customers to IPTV services, while on the supply side, making IPTV easier to install and develop will help to deliver IPTV services to a wider subscriber base.”

Bosnell added that developing and agreeing to standards will help to simplify the delivery process and drive higher take-up in other markets too.

Western Europe continues to have the most broadband users, with 72 million of the 86 million broadband subscribers using DSL.

The Eastern Europe DSL market, while small at less than 14 million, had the strongest growth at over 60% in the 12 months to June 30.

The US has the most broadband subscribers (over 63 million), but China tops the DSL subscriber list with over 44 million of its 59 million broadband users connected via DSL.

According to the study, 15 countries now have over three million DSL subscribers, and 29 have over one million subscribers.

DSL remains the most popular access technology, with over 200 million, or 66% of the world’s 313 million broadband subscribers connecting via DSL.

The global market share of broadband technologies remains largely unchanged from December 2006, with almost 22%of subscribers using cable, and just over 10% using FTTx.

Saturday, 6 October 2007

Criminal suspect captured on CCTV camera while buying CCTV using a stolen credit card.

How irony is this – a blunder criminal spent over thousand pounds on CCTV gears with a STOLEN credit card in a shop that sell CCTV cameras. Obviously UK “criminals” still need more awareness and education on CCTV to know that current CCTV technologies are different from what they saw on BBC’s “crime watch”. Those numerous tapes swapping, hours of playback searching on blurry and jerky images are gradually replaced with user friendly digital surveillance system which produces clear picture and uses intelligence search function for easy prosecution purposes. Do we need another millions of CCTVs? Or good CCTVs that installed in the right place and does the right job!

Picture scanned from The Sun, Saturday, 6th Oct 2007, click on picture for enlarged picture for easy reading.

If you know this guy please ring the confidential hotline 0207 782 4102 or email

Here are two colour image of the suspect captured by the IP CCTV system installed in iViewCameras showroom in Fulham, London.

Together we can makes our streets safer to walk on.

Surveillance cameras yes, speed camera NO! (call me double standard ;-p)

Thursday, 4 October 2007

UK CCTV equipment sales remain strong

One interesting find out in the recent UK CCTV Market Development report, it seems like the analyst started to see the trends in DIY CCTV. The value of equipment sales is expected to represent strong growth over the importance of installation and maintenance values, which ownership is gradually taken up by enduser, the growth in IP/networked surveillance system has reflected such. Most company in-house IT team will be able to install and commission IP CCTV system with sufficient training and support from the equipment seller.

Also we are now seeing more home networking device manufacturer targeting the lucrative IPCCTV surveillance market. Most of their earlier equipment is just an evolved webcam which is alright for remote monitoring purpose but not for video and audio recording. This has been changed in recent years, but improvement remains to be seen. If you are looking for IP surveillance recording software, give iCatcher a try,

CCTV still going strong

03 Oct 07

By Alan Hyder

It may have slowed slightly from the boom time in city centre installations, but there is plenty of growth predicted in the UK CCTV market over the next few years …

Newer CCTV technologies such as mobile CCTV, ANPR and "algorithmic" (video analytics) systems will be areas of strong growth in the CCTV sector over the next few years.

Opportunities in commercial and non-residential construction, particularly the 2012 Olympics, will also boost the market, says a CCTV survey.

Increased price competition and the completion of major city centre schemes has meant CCTV has developed at more modest levels in the last few years but there are still growth opportunities in the commercial sector as the trend to replace guards with CCTV continues.

The UK CCTV Market Development Report says the UK market (including sales and rental income) increased each year from 2002 to last year. In the early years of the review period, growth was at 5-7 per cent, boosted by major town and city schemes.

By last year, with the completion of many of these schemes, it had slowed to 4 per cent.

"Nonetheless MBD believes there still exists strong growth potential with some areas of the market, in particular the digital and networked video solutions sectors and new technology areas such as mobile CCTV systems, automatic number plate recognition schemes and algorithmic systems. The commercial sector also continues to provide opportunities for CCTV installations as the trend of substituting manned security continues."

The market is expected to grow in the forecast up to 2011 although levels are "expected to remain relatively moderate" at around 2 per cent per annum in real terms.

“Mobile CCTV, ANPR and algorithmic systems show big potential”

By 2011 the value of the market is forecast to reach £1195m at 2006 prices. Demand for digital and networked systems is expected to continue to be buoyant although prices are anticipated to fall in these sectors.

Further sectors expected to show strong growth include remote monitoring services, rapid deployment cameras and alarm activated systems.

"Anticipated output growth in a number of construction sectors, most notably the commercial and public non-residential sectors, as well as the 2012 Olympics, will provide a positive impetus for the CCTV market. However, intense price competition and increased import penetration from low cost manufacturers at the lower end of the market are expected to remain features of the CCTV market.

The proportional importance of installation revenue is forecast to decline from 46 per cent in 2006 to 45 per cent by 2011 "partly reflecting the increasing popularity of digital and networked systems". Even so, the value of installations is forecast to continue to increase, culminating in real term growth of 7 per cent between 2006 and 2011.

The value of equipment sales is expected to represent strong growth with an overall increase of 14 per cent in real terms forecast from now until 2011. Despite relatively buoyant demand, "intense price competition is likely to be a feature."

The value of maintenance taken out by end users will increase by 10 per cent in real terms to 2011. The proportional importance of maintenance will remain stable at 19 per cent of the total CCTV market although "stronger growth is expected to be hindered by the rising popularity of IP enabled systems, which tend to have lower maintenance costs."