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The Value of Intelligently Integrated Surveillance in Transportation Networks

13 November 2017

The Value of Intelligently Integrated Surveillance in Transportation Networks

Critical Infrastructure Protection (CIP) is the “preparedness and response to serious incidents that involve the critical infrastructure” of a town, city or entire country – primarily relating to physical assets and data systems that allow urban environments to function.

With this definition it’s clear to see why protecting transportation networks has long been held as a key focus for CIP planning.

Historically the sector has been highly segmented, not only with security planning concerning rail, road, air, and ports all dealt with in isolation of each other, but also in terms of their place within broader town or city operations.

With the ‘Safe City’ ethos becoming a dominant force in safety, security and planning, this is no longer the case. Now, a new level of situational awareness and data collaboration is required that is all encompassing.

This is where intelligently integrated surveillance solutions can play an extremely valuable role.

What is intelligent integration?

Intelligently integrated surveillance solutions, such as Synergy 3, enable visual and audio data, alarms, and any number of application specific sub-systems (e.g. baggage scanning, check-in logs, ANPR systems) to be unified in a single monitoring and control environment.

They can be programmed to recognize anomalies and ‘coincidences’ by analyzing and cross referencing data patterns from multiple geographical locations.

To demonstrate why this is important, imagine the following series of events.

At a railway station, a staff member’s access card is swiped on a day they were not scheduled to be working; perimeter cameras detect a broken down car blocking a key route into the station; a bag is left unattended at a busy platform for ten minutes.

Individually these items might not cause alarm but if they all happen within a short timeframe, these ‘coincidences’ could suggest imminent risk and be flagged as “investigation required”.

Cross network collaboration

As well as helping specific sites to achieve a greater level of awareness throughout their own environments, intelligently integrated surveillance also facilitates greater collaboration across different organizations. The following example is a feasible scenario:

Using a loitering detection solution – which can identify people or objects that remain in a specific position over a set time period (e.g. a busy concourse) – rail station security staff can identify a suspicious package and determine if it poses a legitimate threat.

Staff can call up recent camera footage from the surrounding location to identify an individual who appeared to leave the item. At this stage the system prompts emergency response protocols to deal with the package (evacuation procedures, police notification, train operator notifications to deal with knock-on delays), while the individual is tracked departing the station in a black hatchback car and the number plate is reported to the city police force.

The police Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) system detects the vehicle on a road approaching the city airport. As this occurs within a set distance of the airport’s perimeter, an alert is automatically issued to security teams at terminal access points and also check-in teams, while the individual is located and apprehended.

The right systems used in the right way can greatly reduce the potential for ‘data drop’ between key transport infrastructure points, and facilitate true coordination and collaboration between operators, agencies, and government organizations to deliver the right response at the right time.