Security News » Video Security Security News, Publishing, Products and more... Fri, 29 Aug 2014 11:50:04 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Channel 5 proves value of CCTV with Caught on Camera series Wed, 23 Jul 2014 11:36:45 +0000 Introduced by journalist, Nick Wallis, Channel 5 series two of Criminals Caught on Camera offers insight into those who monitor the UK's streets.

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Channel 5, caught on camera, cctvThere are almost six million CCTV cameras in the UK, more per head than any other country on the planet, according to Channel 5.  These cameras are becoming increasingly important in catching criminals in the act and providing the evidence that’s putting the guilty behind bars. Introduced by journalist, Nick Wallis, the highly popular series Criminals Caught on Camera offers a unique insight into the world of those who monitor our streets and the law enforcement professionals they liaise with 24/7.

The new season for 2014 kicked off with a one hour special that gave almost 1.3 million viewers a look at the UK’s capital as never before. Titled Gangs and Guns: Caught On Camera, the first episode examined crime on the streets of London. Revealing footage caught on some of the capital’s four hundred thousand CCTV cameras captures criminals involved in robberies, thefts, drug crimes, street brawls and a rampage involving guns and the Met’s Air Support Unit.

Channel 5 provided the audience a sneak peak into three of the city’s busiest and most sophisticated CCTV Control Rooms in Soho, Lambeth and Hammersmith & Fulham, where London’s streets are monitored over a typical weekend. From the secret underground bunker in Soho, to the Met Police’s Central Communications Command Centre in Lambeth, via the busy borough of Hammersmith and Fulham, episode one delivered an illuminating look at just what criminal elements get up to when they think no one is watching.

This includes a plethora of illegal activity from robberies, to drug dealing, to the new pickpocket technique of ‘hugger-mugging’.  Not to mention a range of alcohol fuelled madness, some funny, some not. Two nearly became one when, horrifically, a couples’ argument resulted in the boyfriend jumping onto one of the capital’s railways where the deadly 1500 volt ‘third rail’ lay in wait – an incident that nearly always results in a fatality.  A 999 call came in of a rampaging gang armed with a gun.

And then there was the incident that will make you reconsider buying that hotdog from a vendor at the end of a night out on the town…

Episode 2, Shops & Robbers: Caught on Camera, is airing tonight at 9pm and has just as much action lined up for viewers. Tonight, Caught on Camera looks into the battles being waged on the high streets and in our shopping centres. It’s a war, with shoplifters, ram-raiders, robbers and thieves on the one side and the police, CCTV Operators and their state of the art CCTV cameras on the other. According to Channel 5, Last year was the worst in a decade for shopkeepers, with retail crime up a staggering 6%. But its £511mil financial cost isn’t the worst thing – 36,000 innocent shop staff were abused or faced violence last year. In tonight’s episode we see how three CCTV Control rooms are taking on the bad guys directly, and bringing the fight to them.

This includes a horrific attempt by a weapon-wielding ex-employee trying to rob a fish and chip shop, a hard working newsagent face an incident when a gun toting maniac tries to rob his day’s takings and seasoned operator and ex-cop Barbara witnessing a drug taker getting his fix from her CCTV control room in Stafford. Viewers will also follow Barbara as she tracks an abusive shoplifter until he is apprehended by the police, follows a coat thief who thinks he’s high and dry, and catches a drunk student – who takes issue with a bin.

The show is filled with other acts of brazen criminal daring, all caught on camera, unique access to one of the Met’s elite Video imaging units as they take viewers through the case of the Romanian Jewellery heisters responsible for a crime spree that raked in a million pounds, over seven daring raids.

It’s another action filled episode that provides an incredible insight into how Britain’s CCTV crusaders are stopping criminals in their tracks, and keeping our high streets and shopping centres free of crime. Not to mention catching those who can’t hold their drink!

There are a further seven shows, scheduled for later in the year, set to reveal shocking real crime footage caught on camera from across the UK. From gangs and guns to retail crime, and yobs on public transport to traffic horrors, its jaw-dropping footage and unique insight into the crime happening under the nose of the country’s CCTV operators.

Whatever the situation, the message is clear – Criminals beware, one way or another, you’ll be Caught on Camera.

Don’t miss Shops & Robbers: Caught on Camera tonight at 9pm on Channel 5.

To find out more about tonight’s episode, or to catch previous episodes on demand, visit the Channel 5 website here.






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Boston Networks secures University of Strathclyde Mon, 14 Jul 2014 08:00:35 +0000 Boston Networks designed a solution to enhance the University’s security operations and provide the security required for safety of staff and students.

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Utilising Pelco by Schneider Electric’s IP security technology, Boston Networks has delivered a fully comprehensive security system, comprising over 200 cameras, for the University of Strathclyde’s campus in Glasgow, Scotland.

Strathclyde security control deskWith more than 18,000 full and part-time students, the campus is home to staff and students from more than 100 countries, uniquely located right in the heart of the city.  Named ‘UK University of the Year 2012/2013’ the institute has a reputation for its innovative approach, so it was vital that its security systems also matched up.

The campus is monitored by 200 CCTV cameras from one central control room which also covers some of the public spaces in Glasgow city centre. Due to its unique location, Police Scotland has found the CCTV system to be beneficial to them for crime related matters both on and off the campus.

To effectively manage the surveillance across the entire campus, the university needed a robust and future-proofed solution, so embarked on a full refurbishment of their control room.  This meant the university needed to bridge the technology gap and shift towards IP CCTV, with the superior image quality of IP cameras compared to their analogue counterparts.

Boston Networks designed a solution to enhance the University’s security operations and provide the stringent security required to guarantee the safety of its staff, campus and students. Where possible, to maximise its existing hardware, legacy analogue cameras were also fitted with digital encoders to extend their life period and help the university bridge the technology gap.  A total of 166 new IP cameras from Pelco by Schneider Electric were also installed across the campus to include Espirit SE30/SE31, Sarix IM dome, Spectra IV IP dome, Spectra HD and the latest Spectra Mini models.

The new control room is now able to simply manage all of the campus’s security footage around-the-clock from one central location and eliminate the need to run disparate systems.  The new system is also scalable enough to accommodate thousands of HD and/or megapixel cameras in future, providing cost-effective recording and storage.

Furthermore, Boston Networks now maintains the University’s entire CCTV estate, guaranteeing seamless surveillance operations, 24/7.  The bespoke maintenance package provided covers all CCTV hardware, software and central control equipment and provides the University with 24/7 technical support, as well as rapid replacement of hardware and software failures.

Ian McKay, Project Engineer, Estates Services at The University of Strathclyde adds: “This upgrade in our security solution means the control room surveys the entire University campus.  The image quality of the new IP technology and recording resolution is a vast improvement on what we had before.  We are very pleased with the result.”

Kevin Smith, Director, Pelco by Schneider Electric commented: “We have worked with Boston Networks and the University of Strathclyde for several years, so it is great to be involved in the evolution of the University’s security systems, and help them bridge the gap to make way for the new technology we are bringing out onto the market.  Utilising our expertise, Boston Networks has installed a security system which will protect the University for several years to come and what’s more, has the flexibility to be scaled and added to as the university grows.”

For more information on Boston Networks please visit Please visit or for more information about Pelco by Schneider Electric.

Read the full case study here.

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Gordon McLanaghan’s CCTV legacy is one for others to follow Thu, 03 Jul 2014 12:55:17 +0000 Gordon McLanaghan is well known in the UK CCTV industry for his ground-breaking management of the Bristol CCTV system. Diagnosed with cancer last year, he wanted to give one last interview to the industry.

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Gordon McLanaghan portrait 2Gordon McLanaghan will be well known to many in the UK CCTV industry for his proactive and ground-breaking management of the Bristol Council CCTV system and for his unwavering support for the industry as a whole.

For those who don’t know him or haven’t come across his work before, it’s worth knowing that in his eleven years as CCTV manager at Bristol, he has gone from someone who knew relatively little about CCTV to an expert who is often called upon to deliver talks and sits on a number of advisory groups for the industry and government.

He is a strong advocate of regulation, standards, licensing and training, and has also been proactive and creative in finding ways to make the CCTV system in Bristol self funding. Always humble, he always has time for his colleagues, to share good ideas, swap gossip or simply chew the fat.

It was therefore with great dismay that his colleagues in the industry learned that he had been diagnosed with cancer late last year and undergone radical surgery to help control it. Hopes that the disease had gone into remission were dashed just over a month ago and just a couple of weeks prior to writing this, a place was found for Gordon in a hospice near Bristol to make him as comfortable as possible in his last days.

Room with a view

Gordon is a stalwart supporter of the CCTV industry. He attends many conferences and is always delighted to welcome visitors to his control room in Bristol. As an editor, I have interviewed him many times over the years, to get updates on his control room for the Rooms with a View feature in CCTV Image or simply to get his opinion on topics ranging from regulation and licensing to CCTV management and redeployable cameras.

He has always been very open and happy to talk about almost anything, so it was no surprise when I heard through Gordon’s good friend Derek Maltby (a fellow Bristolian) that Gordon wanted to give a final interview to the security press.

Even in sickness, Gordon is as charming and open as he was in health. Despite being on pain medication and being connected to various devices, he focuses intensely on his guests, talking, listening, cracking jokes and sharing his feelings about his life and his illness.

The outpouring of sympathy and messages of support from people in the CCTV industry surprised him, he confesses, adding that it has been “very humbling”.

Leaving a mark on the CCTV industry was never his intention when he joined Bristol Council 11 years ago after a career in Scotland’s Strathclyde police service.

Of his time in the police, mostly based in and around Glasgow, he says it was rough and tough: “I have seen things that I shouldn’t have seen and done things that no one else should have to do,” he says, adding that he was one of the first officers in Lockerbie on that fateful night. “It marks you forever.”

“Unfortunately I used to be first at the scene of anything horrible that went on,” he says. “I don’t miss that at all – I enjoyed the job but I don’t miss that.”

Following his retirement from the police 12 years ago, he took a diploma in emergency planning which is how he landed the job in Bristol – incidentally as the emergency planning manager, not a CCTV manager.

“I thoroughly enjoy my current job – loved it from day one,” he says. “It has been something new, a challenge, and I have thrown myself into it with a passion.”

Even though he is a former police officer and found it easy to work with the police, he never made a big thing of it. “I have never advertised that because it wasn’t important. That was then, and I was now meeting the police in my current capacity; I would like to think that we built up a mutual respect for each other.”

He looks back on his police career with some affection. He was given a great deal of responsibility to organise major events in Glasgow, for instance, a role he lucked into but one that would garner him a great deal of respect in the force. “As in so many walks of life, once you’ve done something successfully, you become the expert and all these similar jobs come your way – but I loved it.”

It was the combination of his experience in policing and his later role managing the emergency control centre in Bristol that would earn him a Fellowship in The Security Institute, an achievement of which he is particularly proud.

And yet he is humble about his achievement. “I don’t think that I have done anything extra clever – I have just done what I wanted to do.”

When it is suggested to him that this may be the case but he did it with a great deal of energy, he concurs, saying: “Yes, everything I do, I do with passion. I firmly believe that if you’re going to do it, then do it properly – don’t do it half-heartedly at all.”

Gordon McLanaghan portrait 3He is full of praise for Bristol City Council, which gave him free rein from the time he was appointed, putting a great deal of trust in their new member of staff despite being untested and untried. “While some people have had bureaucracy to deal with, I have been quite lucky to be able to control my own budget and be given free rein to be innovative and seek new ways to bring in money and keep the whole control room afloat.”

While he has strived to be innovative, it hasn’t been at the price of being reckless. Far from it. “I’m willing to take a chance but the things I’m willing to take a chance on are based on educated guesses,” Gordon said. “I don’t just jump in with two feet; I think things through very carefully and weigh up the odds and then say, I’ll take a chance on this.”

He is particularly proud of the changes he has made to the monitoring programme for lone workers. Bristol provided a monitoring service for lone workers such as the noise pollution team and a couple of other small teams. The system was primitive, involving writing details down on paper which inevitably led to mistakes and missed contact calls. “If you were busy, you might forget to phone someone back at 9pm or whatever time you had promised, and they wouldn’t be happy and rightly so.”

Gordon thought there had to be a better way, preferably electronic, and after some investigation, he found it. It cost a few thousand pounds but it’s paid for itself as the council has gone from monitoring fewer than 100 workers to over 1800.

Equally revolutionary changes were made in call handling which bolstered the control centre’s reputation for efficiency and effectiveness.

Did he face any resistance to these changes?

“The staff have been all right with it. I think they’ve been all right with it because it gives them more variety in the work that they do. I think my management above me were very pleased because that was another income stream so the more money I was generating the less the council had to put to my budget.”

When he joined the council, he thought it was going to be just a job and he didn’t intend to be as revolutionary as he turned out to be.

“I just thought that the way we were doing things were inefficient. And there were better ways we could be doing things. It suited some of the staff for it to be inefficient, they’d got themselves into a nice little groove where they didn’t have to push themselves too hard and life was quite nice.”

The control room unfortunately had a poor reputation for service delivery and it wasn’t just CCTV, he said.

“It was the call handling side of things as well. We didn’t have a wonderful reputation. So we needed some changes. And we needed to build relationships within the council, build a rapport with other teams, and that was a long slow process of doing that.”

Fortunately Gordon has a knack for networking – he readily admits that it comes naturally to him!

“We can get things sorted so much easier when you have that working relationship instead of getting into exchanges of emails or toxic emails – if you just pick up the phone and say this hasn’t been sorted yet, or … do it in a friendly way,” he says. “Or say, I’ve been thinking about this. Would it work if maybe we tried this or tried that. And more often than not they’re willing to say, yes, let’s give that a go or let us try this.”

Education is very important to him as well, as he has got to grips with what is, after all, a unique job.

“I’ve been on the supervisors course then the managers course and I’ve built up until eventually I got a Tavcom diploma for CCTV. So I have made a point of learning as much as I can. And I make a point when the engineers are in to asking them what’s that you’re doing?” he says.

“I won’t profess to be the most technically knowledgeable person in the world. There are some CCTV managers who are hugely technically knowledgeable and I take my hat off to them. But I don’t feel as I need to know – I understand and I grasp things quite quickly – so as long as I understand then that’s when I can pose more questions and ask can it do this and can it do that, and can we make it do this as well?”

Although his control room is a multi-function centre, CCTV remains his focus. “The CCTV part of it is still the bit that excites me the most. My biggest income generator is through the careline side, that is growing all the time, in leaps and bounds,” he says. “I have proved that staff can do both functions, and when you aren’t busy on one, you’re busy on the other. And the stats are there to show it.”

One must have to have highly motivated staff to achieve this then?

“Yes you do,” he says. “I have so many text messages from my own staff that would bring a tear to your eye – in fact, they have brought a tear to my eye. I have not been a bad manager over the years if so many of them are writing such lovely messages.”

However, he adds: “I don’t mean that I haven’t crossed swords with them over the years – of course I have. You can’t be a manger and be nice to everyone all the time, but I don’t hold grudges. If someone gets a telling off that’s the end of it. But I am also fiercely patriotic to my staff. I resent any other manager in the council giving my staff a telling off – come to me and tell me what the problem is and I’ll deal with it.”

He smiles and adds: “But don’t go off at one of my staff please – that’s my job!”

Gordon has redefined CCTV – literally. In his control room, he has put a banner up above the monitor wall that reads: “Caring for the Community Through Vigilance”.

“That’s what I like to think we are there for. We look out for the lost souls, the vulnerable and the distressed, as well as catching the bad guys. We love catching bad guys – who doesn’t?”

He thinks it’s unfair of groups like Big Brother Watch to pick on local authority CCTV systems when they represent just 2% or so of the total number of cameras in Britain and they are the most heavily regulated and controlled of the lot.

“The Home Office has laid down the criteria that we should be working to – in 99% of cases we work to it. And if it’s not 100% it’s through error and not deliberate intention not to work to the rules and regulations.”

Referring to research on public attitudes to CCTV and his own experiences with the public in Bristol, he points out that most of the public would like to have more public space cameras.

“I get more calls in the office that someone’s neighbour has got a camera that overlooks their garden and the children are playing in the garden, and they ask what can I do about it. And I say, honestly, nothing because there are no rules and regulations about it.”

He would like to see the government through the office of the Surveillance Camera Commissioner do something about the 98% of cameras which are not compliant with any regulations or codes of practice.

He would like to see local authority CCTV centres acting as a source of best practice and advice for private CCTV systems. “I could easily go out and carry out audits and give advice to people. I could advertise the fact that we’re the local authority, if you want any advice on your CCTV system, is it compliant or not, then I’ll do a free visit and give you free advice. More than happy to do that.”

There’s a great deal of expertise within the CCTV industry that the government should be tapping into as it develops regulation to meet the changing technological and social environment.

Gordon McLanaghan portrait 1One of the things that Gordon loves about the CCTV industry is the fact that everyone in the industry has a wealth of expertise in everything from technology to best practice and management and is willing to share it.

“What I like about this industry is that I’m not in direct conflict with any of these managers, I’m not trying to take business off them. And they are always happy to share information which is good,” he says.

“Managers are more than happy to tell the bad things with the good things. They share their experiences – ay, I got my fingers burned with this product. If you are going to buy it, do a little more research then we did. I like the share and share alike relationship.”

He says attendance at conferences has been an invaluable investment over the years, both in terms of the time and the money spent. “Lots of local authorities look upon these as a jolly and they won’t fund the staff to go to them. And I think that’s a travesty. Once a year, go along to one of the big conferences because you’ll learn so much. And if the local authority is so naïve as to think that £600 is too much – well, that’s nothing!”

The benefit of the conferences is partly the contacts you make and partly the discussions you have. “You find when you go to these conferences and speak with colleagues, you don’t always see eye to eye on these things, but that’s healthy. We don’t all want to be saying the exact same thing all the time. Everybody has diff views and comes at it from diff angles and that’s healthy because the end product should reflect all of those.”

Gordon of course has been on both sides of the audience at these events, first as a delegate in the audience and later as a speaker on stage. At what point did he find himself moving onto the stage?

“I think it was Derek [Maltby, Managing Director of Global MSC] who first got me up. I think it was at his Newcastle show – 6-7 years ago,” he says.

Following the success of that, he was invited once again to Newcastle to talk to a gathering of council staff. “Newcastle Council were quite disjointed in the way they did things. They were having a strategy day that Global MSC were hosting and I was invited.

“The chief executive and all the departments were represented. I was given the perfect start to my talk when walking into the venue. There were two cameras located just six feet apart. One was a public space camera and other was a traffic camera. So both owned by same authority, but they’d spent money putting up two columns and two cameras.

“So I got up and introduced myself and said, can I just start off by saying I’ve just seen two cameras outside that are just six feet apart. Now something tells me that one is a public space camera and the other is a traffic camera. I said, does no one speak to each other in this authority?

“I said, I can’t believe that – that one part of the council doesn’t talk to the other. And the chief exec stood up and said, that’s what today is all about. That went down quite well.”

CCTV managers need as much support as they can get from each other. “We are all trying to do the same job as each other. Why not help each other, because it can be a difficult enough job at times? You get flak from all diff angles, trying to justify what you are doing,” he says. “I’m never arrogant to think I have the answer to everything. There are some fantastic managers out there who do some things in better ways than I do them, and I’m always looking to learn from them.”

Because of the unique nature of what they do, CCTV managers on opposite ends of the country will have more in common with each other than they do with the person in the next room. “I don’t have as much in common with other people in my authority as I do with other CCTV managers. Even those who you are working with, the police, etc. – you are always dealing with external agencies all the time and very little with rest of the council.”

And he adds: “I’ll miss everyone in the world of CCTV – genuinely I have met so many nice people over the years, that I looked forward to bumping into at conferences and various places. And I wish them all the very best for the future. I think there’s a place for us all yet, and still a future for CCTV – very much so.”

As he thinks about dying, he says the experience puts things sharply into perspective. “Your family definitely comes first. Live for today because you never know what tomorrow will bring. Don’t be boring all your life. Go have adventures and have a nice time, because you never get your life back. Once it’s gone it’s gone.”

And have fun. “Go and have a laugh, do something daft now and again. Do something thrilling every now and again. Surprise even yourself, never mind even your family. In nice ways. Go and do things,” he says, describing a memorable trip to Switzerland and the time he surprised his wife by taking her to Paris for their 25th anniversary. “I’m quite lucky – there’s a lot of things that I had on the cards to do, that I wanted to do, that my wife and I wanted to do, and we’ll never be able to do those, but equally, we have done lots and lots of things as well, so we’ve had a nice time. It’s not been dull or boring all the way through.”

He pauses to look out the window of his room at the St Margaret’s Hospice, admiring the view of the gardens.

“I’m pleased with this place – it’s beautiful,” he says. “You’ll understand what I’m about to say. I’m happy here but sad as well – because I’m not going anywhere else. Ah well. Things happen very quickly. No one foresaw it. It came as such a pace. Even my specialists said you only see a form of cancer like this every four years – it was so fast. You know, I had a major operation at the start of the year and I thought I’d got rid of the tumour and I felt so well after it. I made a really good recovery and I had started back at my work.”

Unfortunately, he started getting sick again and despite the best efforts of the doctors, they found there was nothing they could do.

“It’s just a waiting game now,” he says. “But I get huge support – it’s very humbling. It’s lovely. I genuinely didn’t appreciate what so many people thought of me out there. And it’s lovely. It’s just so nice. It has made things so much easier.

“If people think that I’ve left some sort of legacy behind, then that’s fantastic, because it was never what I set out to do. I just set out to do a good job, do a job and do it well, that was it really.

“I love doing what I do and I love the people that I met in the industry.”

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Bookmarking and Case Management Features Highlight exacqVision 6.2 Release Thu, 19 Jun 2014 12:28:19 +0000 Exacq Technologies introduces the ability to seamlessly “bookmark” important video, audio and data with the release of exacqVision 6.2 - the latest release of the company’s Video Management System (VMS) software.

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exacqLatest version also includes improved EasySupport, Transacq Search, new IP camera integrations and more

(INDIANAPOLIS) – Exacq Technologies, part of the Security Products business unit of Tyco (NYSE: TYC), introduces the ability to seamlessly “bookmark” important video, audio and data with the release of exacqVision 6.2—the latest release of the company’s Video Management System (VMS) software. Version 6.2 also includes EasySupport for streamlined online technical support; and the ability to quickly find important cash register and other point-of-sale (POS) data with Transacq Search. In addition to software for the client and server, this release also includes updates to the Exacq Mobile app, the exacqVision web client and Enterprise System Manager (ESM), a health monitoring program for use with exacqVision networked video recorders (NVRs).

With bookmarking and case management, exacqVision users can permanently save, label and manage important video, audio and data to an exacqVision server. Users can name and add notes to each bookmark. Additionally, all bookmarks are retained and protected against deletion. Users of exacqVision Enterprise have the added Case Management feature which allows for multiple bookmarks to be arranged into “cases” for powerful and simplified viewing, exporting and administration. “Bookmarking and Case Management allows our users to permanently reference important video on their exacqVision servers without having to leave their client interface,” notes Tom Buckley, Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Exacq Technologies. “It makes organizing and accessing important data for investigations much easier and quicker.”

exacqVision 6.2 adds the new EasySupport feature with the addition of the “Support Diagnostics” option on the client. With a few clicks, a user can automatically send important system information directly to the exacqVision technical support team where it is typically viewed and responded to within a single business day.

The exacqVision VMS now supports over 1,900 IP camera models from the industry’s leading manufacturers including ACTi, American Dynamics, Arecont Vision, Axis Communications, Bosch, IQinVision, Panasonic, Pelco, Samsung, Sony and Vivotek. The latest release adds client-side dewarping support for “fisheye” or panoramic lens cameras from both American Dynamics and Samsung. Client-side dewarping enables the user to flatten out and zoom throughout a fisheye or panoramic video image directly from the exacqVision client. This works in both live and recorded video and only requires a single stream of video from the camera. Multi-streaming is now available on certain Bosch, JVC and Samsung cameras. This allows for multiple streams of video to be viewed and recorded simultaneously.

The latest Exacq Mobile app (Version 3.6) for iOS, Android and Windows Phone 8 devices allows users to view and utilize video meta-data for a timeline search. The video meta-data is displayed under the recorded video to indicate motion, alarm and continuous recording events in the same way as the exacqVision client and web client. Support for Active Directory and LDAP is now available for the Exacq Mobile app and the exacqVision web service for exacqVision Enterprise users. Active Directory and LDAP are commonly used by IT administrators to provide user privileges throughout an entire domain type network. The web client has also added the powerful thumbnail search feature that is available on the native client.

The exacqVision Enterprise Server Manager (ESM) allows users to maximize the uptime of large exacqVision deployments while reducing overall administrator maintenance time. The latest release of ESM (Version 2.6) adds a powerful new e-mail rules engine design that makes it easy to define e-mail notification rules using natural language “if/then” structure. Start/stop rules and other specific rules can also be created for individual servers, server groups and cameras.

The exacqVision VMS is accessed with the freely distributed exacqVision client software (Windows/Linux/Mac), the exacqVision free web client available for all leading web browsers (Google Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari and Opera), as well as the free Exacq Mobile app for iOS, Android and Windows Phone 8 devices. The VMS software is included with pre-configured exacqVision NVR servers or it can be installed on third-party Windows or Linux based systems.

For more information on this exacqVision software release and other new updates and offerings, go to

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NW Systems expands live streaming following Finetra deal Tue, 10 Jun 2014 16:12:16 +0000 NW Systems Group’s Streamdays network camera hosting and live video streaming service has been boosted after it took over Finetra’s customer-base.

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Streamdays logoNW Systems Group’s Streamdays  network camera hosting and live video streaming service received a significant boost this week after it cut a deal to take over the running and support of Finetra’s entire video streaming customer-base, effective from 1st June 2014. NW Systems provides video streaming services to the websites of hotels, leisure complexes, golf courses, as well as other tourist and leisure destinations.

The agreement means that Finetra’s customers will receive an enhanced and now full managed live streaming service designed to maximise uptime and minimise latency. NW Systems’ Streamdays service is suitable for use with all types of network cameras. Because NW Systems also runs its own security systems integration business it can advise on specification and configuration of cameras based on what the video feed needs to show.

Frank Crouwel, managing director, NW Systems Group, said:

“This is great news for NW Systems as it consolidates our leadership position in offering video hosting and streaming services UK-wide. We can now provide a best-in-class live streaming service delivering the lowest latency in the market, provided the customer can access an internet connection with 512Kbps upstream.

“We have been able to achieve this leadership by remaining at the cutting-edge of network camera technology innovation for the last 10 years; while deepening our technical support capability through installation and configuration of many hundreds of cameras for customers such as Marks & Spencer, TATA, Carillion, Bournemouth Council, St Andrews Golf Course, BAM Nuttall and Argent LLP.”

Ashley Warden, director, Finetra, added:

“We hand our video streaming customers over to NW Systems knowing that they will now access a very robust, mature and now market-leading live streaming service in Streamdays. The company’s reputation, technical capability and dedication in this area is second to none. It reassures us that our customers are in the best possible hands. They will receive a more consistent and effective service as a result of the move. We will ensure the transition is seamless and plan to complete it by the end of this month.”

Streamdays can also work in unison with NW Systems’ Remote Manager. Remote Manager delivers visual image archives and time-lapse movies for major building projects for example. The company also provides system design, installation and wireless or wired connectivity.

Streamdays is a live streaming webcam hosting service designed originally to meet the needs of the tourist, leisure and hospitality industry. It is also used for public engagement projects by councils and other public bodies. For more details on NW Systems Streamdays go to:

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Expect to be amazed at IFSEC, says Bosch Security Systems MD Paul Wong Thu, 15 May 2014 15:01:23 +0000 Bosch Security Systems is getting set to excite the security market yet again, this time with the launch of two new cameras at IFSEC 2014.

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Paul Wong, Managing Director, Bosch Security Systems Ltd in the company's demo room

Paul Wong, Managing Director, Bosch Security Systems Ltd in the company’s demo room

Bosch Security Systems is getting set to excite the security market yet again, this time with the launch of two new ranges of cameras at IFSEC 2014: the IP 8000 and the MIC IP 7000.

This of course is the company that’s famous for the Metal Mickey CCTV camera, celebrated for its robustness and performance in extreme environments. Popular with installers and integrators the world over, the MIC is probably the most distinctive looking camera in general production.

The latest upgrades to the MIC series are its IP versions which Bosch will officially unveil at IFSEC 2014 in London. According to Paul Wong, Managing Director of Bosch Security Systems Ltd, this is the first time in many years that the company has used IFSEC to launch a new product.

The MIC IP 7000 HD range can be supplied with one of two chips: the full HD model which would give you 1920×1080 pixel resolution or the starlight enabled chip, ideal for extremely harsh lighting conditions, with a resolution of 1280×720 pixels.

Wong showed me a demonstration video of the MIC IP starlight 7000 HD in action at night on the streets of a northern city, and despite rain, car headlights and nasty reflections coming off the wet roads, the image was clear and you could even discern subtle shades of colour. “The colour rendition is very good,” says Wong. “The reds come out and the yellow from the sodium street lamps, and the bits of red and yellow on the cars and pavement in really tough lighting conditions. All are still well represented, and we are really happy with the quality here.”

Going large

Also on show at IFSEC will be the company’s new 4K ultra HD camera. Based on the Ultra High Definition video standard, 4K ultra HD CCTV cameras will give users double the resolution of full HD. That’s a jump from 1920×1080 pixels to 3840×2160 pixels – twice as tall, twice as wide, and four times as many pixels in the picture.

The distinctive design of the Bosch MIC camera series

The distinctive design of the Bosch MIC camera series

There is quite a lot of talk in the security market about 4K cameras, but Bosch believes its 4K ultra HD camera will be the first to be commercially available.

Megapixel camera manufacturers will say they got there a long time ago – what’s the big deal? But Wong believes the 4K cameras will have a number of advantages.  “Covering a large area and identifying objects at a great distance is challenging. That’s why the 4K ultra HD technology in our DINION IP ultra 8000 MP offers 12 megapixel resolution to deliver amazing detail even when zoomed-in. With an incredibly high frame rate of 20 frames per second for a 12 megapixel camera, you can capture fast moving objects in high resolutions. This speed and these resolutions provide the level of detail that makes the difference when collecting evidence. The images produced are perfect for a detailed and effective retrospective analysis,” he says.

4K ultra HD will open the way to even more challenging security applications. “It will take us into arena security, crowd management and football ground monitoring, because now you are able to get details of faces,” he says.

Constraining bandwidth

CBIT is also a standard feature in its MIC units. Content Based Imaging Technology combines information from the sensor, image pipe, encoder and intelligent video analysis to dynamically optimise the image for every scene, achieving a balance between bitrate and image quality to reduce bitrate by up to 50%.

To demonstrate its claims about image quality and bitrate/cost reduction, Bosch conducted a series of customer go-carting events. At these events, it set up one of its cameras plus cameras from three competitors. All the cameras were recorded onto the same system, running a third-party VMS package from a leading supplier.

“We had the event organisers turn down the lights – not completely off of course because we didn’t want the customers crashing into each other! – so the lighting conditions overall were very challenging,” Wong says.

Customers were invited to compare the image quality and compare the amount of storage used by each camera over the two-hour event.

In the events which Bosch ran, its MIC camera consistently beat the other three models in image quality andbitrate. With one brand, Bosch was 5-10% more efficient on bitrate on average, beating it in 10 out of 12 events. The other two cameras were 20-30% less efficient.

Like other camera manufacturers, Bosch is well accustomed to product shootouts and Wong says it will happily respond to challenges from customers. “It’s not unusual to find ourselves stood on a gantry or bridge over a motorway in the middle of the night,” he laughs. “You just hope it isn’t raining.”

As a testament to the popularity of the MIC cameras, Wong points out that they were selected for the M1 motorway extension which has seen cameras deployed every 50-100m, and the company also has extensive installations along the M2 and M6.

Mobile app

A new technology for the company is Dynamic Transcoding. This has been developed to allow customers to monitor their cameras remotely via tablet or mobile phone over slower networks such as 3G. Using the Bosch Video Security app, your mobile device will monitor the quality of the connection and automatically tailor your high resolution video stream to the available bandwidth without compromising video quality.

A demonstration of the technology on an iPad mini was very impressive. The app stores camera details such as IP address and login credentials and can display them either as a list or on a map. Accessing a camera takes seconds and then you can either view recorded data or live video. PTZ cameras can also be controlled with a virtual joystick or simply by holding the iPad at eye level and moving it left to right and up and down.

Bosch has maintained its investment in research and development, spending some 10% of company turnover on R&D. “The MIC IP 7000 HD family has required lots of investment,” he says. “The mechanical parts need to work in all temperatures. They get mounted on vehicles, but the robustness of the product means it gets used in a wide range of environments.”

As a founder member of ONVIF, Bosch also invests heavily in integration and employs a team of people to ensure it interfaces with as many third-party products and systems as possible.

As we wrap up our interview, Wong says he is looking forward to IFSEC. The new venue will mean some change in the audience profile and he – like many in the security industry – is looking forward to seeing just how that will shake down in terms of numbers of installers compared to numbers of end-users.

“The move might change the dynamic, but for us, what we have to show is some new products with interesting new technology behind it, and this will be the first time that the wider security community will have been able to see it, so we are quite excited,” he says.


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CCTV enjoys 86% public support but call for better monitoring and more information Tue, 13 May 2014 16:04:36 +0000 Nine in ten people are in favour of public space CCTV but support could be higher still if system owners would commit to more real-time monitoring of live images.

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Research by Synectics shows overwhelming public support for CCTV

Research by Synectics shows overwhelming public support for CCTV

Nine in ten people are in favour of public space CCTV but support could be higher still if system owners would commit to more real-time monitoring of live images.

Synectics, in partnership with CCTV User Group, has commissioned new research into the public’s perception of CCTV in the UK. The results of the study reveal strong support for public space surveillance – 86% of people back its use.

When asked what would help increase that support, 43% called for closer monitoring of cameras to enable more immediate response to incidents.

The survey of over 2000 UK adults also revealed that despite the introduction of the Surveillance Camera Code of Practice, which calls for greater transparency and communication with the public regarding the use of CCTV, 80% of people feel ill-informed about how and why CCTV is used in their local area.

Awareness of the Surveillance Camera Code of Practice was low, but those surveyed welcomed its introduction if it leads to:

  • Local authorities reviewing their use of CCTV more closely (23%)
  • The public receiving more information (26%)
  • Image quality improving (21%)

UK CCTV Commissioner Tony Porter welcomed the Synectics research

Surveillance Camera Commissioner Tony Porter commented on the results: “This research is a welcome addition to understanding the public’s perception of CCTV. A key part of my role is to reassure the public that surveillance cameras are there to support and protect them rather than spy on them as well as to raise awareness of the Surveillance Camera Code of Practice.

“I will be working closely with local authorities to help them comply with the 12 principles in the surveillance camera code of practice and encouraging others to voluntarily adopt the code. In doing so they will be able to confidently assure the public that CCTV is used proportionately and transparently and only when a pressing need arises.”

The study also looked into what the public believes the purpose of public space CCTV is now, and what it should be, revealing that most people view its current purpose as preventative but would welcome closer monitoring. 71% think the purpose of CCTV should be to spot crimes as they happen.

Peter Fry, Director of The CCTV User Group, said: “It’s good to see that support for public area CCTV remains exceedingly high, but the really interesting insights come from looking at what people really want, such as regular updates on achievements, data on convictions, and increased monitoring.

Peter Fry, CCTV User Group Director

Peter Fry, Director of the CCTV User Group

“Regular and professionally undertaken surveys like this by Synectics, are critical to all Local Authorities operating public area CCTV systems, the system managers and the companies providing equipment, as they identify trends in public opinion that could help improve systems to mutual benefit.”

The full research report is to be presented and debated at the annual CCTV User Group Event taking place on 19-21 May. Synectics and CCTV User Group are calling on local authority and police CCTV managers to attend and provide feedback on key findings, as well as best practice operational and communications examples.

The topics discussed at this session, alongside data from the survey, will be used to develop an industry White Paper designed to help those operating public space CCTV by highlighting important and useful statistics, and including key learning points.

If you are unable to attend the User Group event session, the research results will be available via Synectics and CCTV User Group after the event.


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Samsung Techwin move forward with mobile solutions for transport sector Tue, 29 Apr 2014 16:15:59 +0000 The new Samsung Techwin SRM-872 mobile network video recorder has been engineered to withstand the rigorous conditions on buses, trams, trains and trucks.

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The new Samsung Techwin SRM-872 mobile network video recorder has been engineered to withstand the rigorous conditions experienced on buses, trams, trains and trucks.

Developed in response to increasing demand from the transport sector for robust IP network based solutions, the  SRM-872 network video recorder, working in conjunction with two Samsung Techwin camera models which have also been specifically designed for the transport sector, offers a highly effective ‘mobile’ ONVIF compliant video surveillance monitoring and recording  solution.

The SRM-872

The SRM-872

The SRM-872 NVR enables safety and security personnel to review latency free, high definition images of fast moving objects when an emergency or incident needs to be investigated. It achieves this by recording the images captured by 2 megapixel cameras at 60 frames per second through a recording bandwidth of 64Mbts, which ensures image edges are kept sharp and clear, and it can do so simultaneously across all of its eight channels.

Built-in GPS allows for location data to be recorded and whilst a hot-swappable 2.5” HDD can easily be removed for the purposes of backing-up video evidence, the SRM-872 also supports 3G/WiFi modules for “on the move” video retrieval.  The compact size of the SRM-872 provides the option to conveniently locate it on or below the vehicle’s console and a built-in PoE switch minimises installation time.

With a built-in heater for low temperature (-25ºC) environments the SRM-872 has been approved for use by the European Railway industry and has been certificated conformant to the EN-50121-3-2, EN-50121-4, EN-50155, EN-61373 and EN-609050-1 standards.

Mobile camera options

Both the Samsung Techwin SNF-7010VM and SNV-6012M mobile cameras offer an enhanced Digital Image Stabilization (DIS) feature which negates the effects of vibration. This can greatly reduce the rolling shutter effects such as image wobbling or skew that can be seen in high quality images.  They are also both equipped with a rugged M12 connector that is able to withstand vibration and harsh weather environments.

The SNF-7010VM 360-degree 3 megapixel (1080P) camera provides users with the option of selecting from a number of display options including 360-degree fisheye,  single and double panorama, quad, rectangle or a user selectable region. Vandal resistant to IK10, the SNF-7010VM also features four polygonal motion detection zones and a digital PTZ, as well as Progressive Scan technology to provide sharp edges on moving subjects and vehicles.

The SNV-6012M

The SNV-6012M

The SNV-6012M 2MP Full HD mobile flat network camera can capture high quality colour images when the lighting level is as low as 0.03 lux and has an ultra fast frame rate of 60fps at 1080p. The enhanced Wide Dynamic Range built into the SNV-6012M’s WiseNetIII DSP chipset, with performance greater than 120dB, can accurately produce images in scenes that simultaneously contain very bright and very dark areas.  It also offers a Defog feature which can be used to help improve the clarity of images captured in poor environmental conditions such as rain, smoke or fog.

Both the SNV-6012M and SNF-7010VM meets the EN50121 standard which covers electromagnetic emissions in railway environments whilst both cameras are weatherproof to IP66 and comply with the EN50155 standard.

More Information:

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IRIS certification awarded to Teleste for rail-specified video surveillance Tue, 29 Apr 2014 08:17:44 +0000 Teleste today announces that it has been awarded the International Railway Industry Standard (IRIS) certification from Loyd’s Register Quality Assurance

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Teleste LogoTeleste, an international technology group specialised in broadband video and data communication systems and services, today announces that it has been awarded the International Railway Industry Standard (IRIS) certification from Loyd’s Register Quality Assurance (LRQA). The globally recognized certification has been granted to Teleste in March 2014 and it proves Teleste’s high standards in developing, designing and manufacturing video surveillance solutions that meet the requirements of the railway industry.

IRIS is a unique standard that complements the international ISO 9001 quality standard with specific characteristics for the rail industry. Its main objective is to improve quality in the rail sector by the reduction of effort and costs. IRIS is promoted by UNIFE (Association of the European Rail Industry) and supported by operators, system integrators and equipment manufacturers. Today, IRIS sets the standard for global rail business requests.

Teleste’s rail-specific video surveillance solutions are part of an end-to-end rail solution which integrates on-board and wayside solutions under a single umbrella including also a complete set of Passenger Information Systems (PIS). The video surveillance solution consists of an IP based controlled video management system with multi-level integration and unlimited scalability. Implementation of this IRIS-compliant management system further enhances Teleste’s overall capabilities to meet customers’ future requirements and serve their long-term projects.

Receiving the IRIS certification is a key recognition of the high quality video surveillance solutions that Teleste provides for Rail operators. By achieving the standard, we are confident that we will be able to further strengthen our presence as an international provider who can meet industry-specific requirements and offer solutions that benefit our customer for years to come”, told Johan Slotte, Deputy CEO of Teleste Corporation.

More Information:

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AMG Partners with NICE – Integration of PanoCam360 with NiceVision Net 2.5 Mon, 28 Apr 2014 16:20:22 +0000 Enhances ease of video management and situation handling, and improves the quality and speed of critical decision making and investigation.

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PanoCam360 integrated with NICE VMS (2)AMG Systems, the British manufacturer of sophisticated Megapixel cameras and CCTV transmission technology announced that it has completed the integration of AMG-Panogenics’ 5-megapixel 360 degree PanoCam360 cameras with NICE System’s (NASDAQ: NICE) NetVision Net 2.5 – a comprehensive enterprise class, open VMS platform, for end-to-end IP Video surveillance applications. The technology integration is a significant move for introducing AMG-Panogenics’ range of cameras into applications in a number of vertical markets including the Transport sector.

“NiceVision Net 2.5 provides superior value to security operators, integrators, and IT managers with its focus on evolving market needs. We base our solutions on an open, IT-friendly design which makes it easy for third parties to integrate while still complying with end users’ IT requirements,” said Yuval Kiselstein, Head of Product Management, Surveillance Solutions, NICE Security Group. “We have found that AMG’s PanoCam360 lends itself incredibly well to our markets, including many Transport applications, and we look forward to a fruitful partnership that will help users get the most from their video technology.”

Sara Bullock, AMG Systems

Sara Bullock, International Sales and Marketing Director, AMG Group

Sara Bullock, International Sales and Marketing Director, AMG Group, said, “The Transport market has always been very important for AMG. It’s where our transmission technology stems from, and the AMG-Panogenics camera range, which includes TotemCam360 and PanoCam360, are particularly well suited for applications in this market. NICE’s sophisticated VMS solution fits a wide range of customers and implementations while ensuring the best total cost of ownership and unsurpassed reliability. In combination with our camera range, this creates a compelling market offering, and I am therefore delighted to announce this technology partnership.”

More Information: -

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