Monthly Archives: September 2011
You can’t have escaped the news about the metal theft crisis. It’s become such a prominent issue that the House Of Commons debated the subject recently. An early day motion and debate in the House (September) noted that “the theft of metal (copper, lead etc.) is a growing problem in the UK affecting many industries (including power, transportation, water and communications), with the cost to the UK economy estimated at £770 million per annum [according to the Association of Chief Police Officers]”. The problem of metal and cable theft is not new, but it has been escalating rapidly over the past few years, fuelled by the rising demand for scrap metal in developing markets as a commodity that can be sold easily for cash, the increasing desperation of criminals and the involvement of organised crime. It’s clear that it’s a rising problem for not only the UK’s utility companies, but it’s also driving the UK economy to a crisis point.
One village in Cambridgeshire, Barrington, has seen eight thefts in the past year, from criminals disguised as BT workers. Luke Beeson, general manager for cable theft at BT, told Radio 4′s Today programme: “The Barrington incidents highlight the type of issues that we as a company and our customers are facing. We’ve seen an increase of 12% in cable theft across the country and it’s a massive problem for customers and the societies we serve.”
But a combination of the remoteness of locations where thefts are taking place and other spending priorities for authorities makes policing metal theft difficult. With police authorities scrambling to catch up, and traditional technologies ill-suited to the challenge, utilities and others are looking for a new solution to the age-old problem. However, a technology solution is now emerging in the form of remote awareness through the use of IP cameras. Cost-effective and simple to install and monitor, it is a very modern answer to a policing challenge that has a long history.
Step forward Jabbakam and its cloud-based IP remote awareness system, for automated remote location awareness. By installing low-cost IP cameras linked to the internet, combined with a Web based IP camera network infrastructure service, utilities can monitor their facilities by exception. The latest IP cameras do not require special cabling, just a small power supply and connectivity to the Internet, so they are perfect for rural and widespread areas.
And if there is no broadband access in a particularly remote rural location, it is now possible to set up satellite-based security links. Broadband via satellite is now relatively inexpensive and it has evolved to such a state that it is reliable and offers levels of service even higher than regular broadband.
Unlike traditional CCTV systems, an IP based remote awareness system is simple to set up and administer. So for utilities and other companies looking to protect themselves, it doesn’t require a high level of skill and experience. No expensive CCTV installers are needed here, meaning that Jabbakam presents sites at risk with a real-world solution to protecting against metal theft.
A new type of crime appears to be evolving – certainly in parts of leafy Surrey. A Neighbourhood Team Coordinator recently sent out this warning to members of the Neighbourhood Watch …
“We have seen a number of burglaries recently where residents have reported seeing males on motorbikes acting suspiciously in the vicinity. (more…)
Technology was originally developed for airports
What has Fulham’s football ground got in common with Luton airport? The answer is that Fulham has just deployed an all-IP based surveillance system that was actually designed with airports in mind. The whole installation was managed by EMC– the IT storage experts – and as a result even manages to incorporate cloud computing. The one feature which attracts attention, however, is that the football club’s own security team can access the system wirelessly using Apple iPads or even iPhone smartphones if they actually wanted to. The advantages derived from the club’s IP based system over its old VCR-driven installation are numerous. There’s even scope to install facial recognition – linked to a database of known hooligans – at some future stage. (more…)