Global MSC 2016: discussing advantages of security in the Digital Age
by Peter Mawson, Commercial Director at Security Media Publishing
Discussing advantages of security in the digital age was hot on the agenda this week at the Genetec sponsored Global MSC Annual Conference and Exhibition held at the prestigious Bristol Hotel in yes, you guessed it, Bristol!
Bringing together members of the security industry community Global MSC’s Derek Maltby and team have pulled off another forward thinking innovative program for those that look after our public areas, CNI and beyond.
Arriving on Monday evening, I joined the formal dinner which kick started the program of events. A hearty meal, a game of heads and tails and a fundraising raffle which generated well over £2000 for Children’s Hospice South West.
There was also an auction that I have to highlight; after some fast fire bidding WCCTV insisted on outbidding all for the chance to ‘enjoy’ a hot air balloon trip with a ‘pilot’ that hasn’t quite qualified as yet! I couldn’t help but note the glee in the team when they realised their MD David Gilbertson had won the auction as they wished him well with his flight – I wondered what they were really thinking!
The Gordon McLanaghan Award was presented, for the third year of its conception, to Gloucester City Council for their innovation and timely delivery of a system that coped with the World Cup Rugby landing in their jurisdiction.
Working in partnership with BT Redcare, the system was deployed and delivered in record time and met and exceeded the client expectation.
Post-dinner I found myself networking with some of the industry’s finest as well as alongside plenty of new faces all there to learn, present or show their brand benefits to the audience which was made up of councils, Police Forces and Major End Users.
After collecting a pile of business cards I retired ready for an early start on day two. Chaired by David White, a long standing member of the industry, a busy conference room heard about topics that included an explanation of a ‘super recogniser’ which highlighted just how much of an art recognising offenders on CCTV footage really is. Moving on, Professor Kamal Bechkoum of Gloucester University talked of the current Cyber Security threats facing the IoT which has a predicted market share value of $1.9 trillion USD by 2020. Prof Bechkoum pointed out that whilst the IoT offers convenience and many other positives, it also opens the door to numerous security concerns and he explained that security professionals should be viewing cyber security as a process and not an event.
Headline event sponsor Genetec talked us through how they cope with installations on a city-wide basis and how they have developed a cloud based solution that accommodates what they call a ‘Unified and Federated’ approach. Using the City of Detroit as an example, they explained how this approach had had a positive impact on the city streets – opening up ‘no go’ areas and giving police the edge when hunting for criminals. One success was highlighted by a specific example detailing an arrest within two hours, versus the pre-system arrest expectation time for the same crime, that being some four to five days.
Simon Gordon of Facewatch took to the stage to present the latest news from what is rapidly becoming the way forward for many retailers in the UK and now, I hear, also in Brazil. During a two week trial some 250,000 faces were captured in a major shopping centre, generating 88 alerts from which five criminals were found and arrested… not bad for a trial and hardly surprising to hear the scheme will be expanded out across Brazil in short order.
Luton Borough Council presented a case study all about Body Worn video which really hit the mark and tied in with WCCTV (another event sponsor) introducing details of their wearable range. Interestingly they explained that their forward facing screen product was helping to diffuse situations based simply on the fact a perpetrator could see first-hand how their behaviour looked on camera!
From wearable CCTV Mark Bates ACC and NPCC Lead for development of CCTV in Policing explained how he is seeking an increase in Public support for CCTV and how commercial entities and users of systems can help him achieve that with case studies and examples that can be shared with all.
A break in proceedings gave an opportunity to network with some of the industry’s biggest names, Meyertech, 360 Vision Technology (who demonstrated live video on their stand), Dallmeier, Bosch, HIKVision, BT Redcare and many more all sharing their products and expertise with the end users in an environment that felt ‘safe’ for discussing threats and concerns facing those tasked with resolving them.
Once back into conference we were offered a ‘view’ from Bosch and an update about how they are tackling cyber threats and vulnerabilities the Security Industry Surveillance Commissioner, Tony Porter (a regular at this event) took to the stage to once again create a first for the conference. Tony announced the new Code of Practice guide and explained how well it was being received by the Retail sector where it’s being pushed first. He also appealed for industry support as he wants feedback from the sector to help formulate the thinking when the National strategy is reviewed in March 2017.
Post lunch and after a further opportunity to network, UK Broadband took us through the Pros and Cons of Wireless CCTV, including where to use wireless and how to reduce operational costs. This was followed by a very interesting talk about the use of drones in Policing as well as Counter drone measures; Craig Lippet, Independent UAV Consultant gave the scale of drone use in the UK. Talking of estimates of 90-100,000 drones in operation it was explained that only around 2,000 were operating with permission and interestingly he offered a comparative that 150 permissions were granted in 2012 – showing just how much impact drones are having in a short space of time.
As the program started to draw to a close, Detective Sergeant Paul Beattie from West Midlands Counter Terrorism Unit used a case study based in Birmingham and Walsall to promote support for CCTV in the community. One specific operation was profiled and the resulting 40 year sentence which was handed out for murder and Terrorism charges was championed and credited hugely to the use of CCTV – it was explained that without CCTV we’d still have a very active individual in the Midlands trying to harm the local communities.
Wrapping up the Q & A included potentially diverse views from Renate Samson, the CEO of Big Brother Watch, regarding privacy, cyber concerns and as Renate put it ‘Digital Citizens’. It was a lively debate and good to see the diversity of opinion in the room.
To summarise, the team at Global MSC have pulled off a success. There’s all too many event and roadshows in the annual security calendar that end up being ‘trade to trade’ but this one is different, very different and remains a must for those that want to benefit from a relaxed environment that’s completely conducive to learning, problem sharing and solving.
The event did what it said on the tin, it prepared attendees for ‘Advances in Security in the Digital Age’ – if you missed it this year I suggest now is a good time to capture the 2017 dates which are the 13th and 14th November.
Images taken by Jon Craig