Tritectus Ltd

Author Bio ▼

Brigadier (Retired) J (Jeff) Little OBE MBA CGIA FICPEM FSyI – Joint Founder and Director of TriTectus. Jeff Little served over 30 years in the British Army following a wide and diverse military career seeing duty during the Cold War in Europe , Operation Banner in Northern Ireland, Operation Granby in the Middle East, the Balkans War during the siege of Sarajevo for which he was awarded the OBE, the USA, Gibraltar, Turkey, Kosovo and throughout the UK. He has been involved in numerous contingency and response operations at home and overseas at both national and local levels. He gained extensive project management experience within the then Defence Procurement Agency and served on the Directing Staff of the Royal Military College of Science. On leaving the Army he took an MBA with the Open University and studied emergency planning and disaster management at Coventry University. This work spawned his passion for resilience and security issues. For 3 years, Jeff served as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the UK’s National Security Inspectorate (NSI) and is now a member of the elite security and resilience consultancy TriTectus. TriTectus draws upon a unique and expert pool of strategic and operationally experience practitioners who both individually and collectively provide world class advice and guidance to governments and private organisations. He is a fellow of the Security Institute (SyI) and a past chair of the Institute of Civil Protection and Emergency Management (ICPEM). In his spare time he teaches the game of Mah Jongg, writes short stories and cooks outstanding curries.
May 24, 2016

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Data Sharing: Why it’s Time to Join Up Isolated Camera Networks

It is alleged that the UK has the largest number of visual surveillance systems per head of population of any nation on Earth.

Many owners and operators are now upgrading their surveillance systems to exploit the advantages of high definition (HD) transport video interface (TVI) and Internet Protocol (IP) based digital systems.  These offer a vastly improved quality of imagery, flexibility and true day/night capability.  Together with dome cameras, built-in video analytics and much more powerful DVRs, modern CCTV offers win-win advantages for a relatively small increase in investment.

The potential power of this network of cameras, however, does not end there.  Having a discrete isolated network is fine for local area coverage.  But today’s threats are anything but local.  Organised crime gangs are known to operate nationally and exploit the boundaries between individual police services.  Large retailers have shops and sales outlets all around the country – a gang who find a weakness in one store in Norfolk will exploit that weakness in other chain stores across the South.  Terrorists will have to travel across boundaries to reach their targets, whether on foot, public transport or in a vehicle.

Discrete networks operating in isolation will never realise the full potential of sharing and pooling intelligence and information to create patterns of activity and to help to predict where the gangs will strike next.  With the significant reduction in the numbers of police officers in every police service area due to austerity spending limits, some crimes will simply now not be investigated – the resources are just not available.  Business must respond to this challenge.

The way to respond is to exploit the technology now readily available.  To exploit it by collating digital evidence files of photography and CCTV imagery together with a pre-formatted report form and a simple MG11 witness statement.  To bring these together into a digital file format which can be sent securely and electronically to the police and which can then work its way through the criminal justice system relieving the courts, the CPS and the defence lawyers of the mountains of paper bundles under which they currently sink.  To relieve a police officer of the need to even visit a crime scene.  To save the police having to wade through hours of irrelevant footage – all that will be done by the system provider and a short, sharp evidence file presented and ready to support a viable prosecution.

But that is only one fraction of the potential of creating a joined up network.  Using ANPR and facial recognition, modern surveillance devices can build up a database of vehicles and persons of interest.  Sharing this information between systems will enable a national ability to prevent and deter crime, a higher successful conviction rate and far earlier guilty pleas being submitted when culprits are presented with a raft of crystal clear visual evidence of their misdemeanors.  Coordinating this shared data at national level will tilt the balance of crime back away from ever more cunning and capable crooks and in favour of law abiding communities and businesses who simply want to offer their customers a safe and enjoyable retail experience.  Sharing data will allow the appearance of a person of interest in a shopping mall, a garage forecourt or an iconic building to trigger an alarm and to allow security staff to cue other systems, additional officers or heightened alert states to defeat the criminal even before he or she has time to execute their crime.  True technological crime prevention by society and communities to deter and deflect anti-social activity.

The means to achieve this state exist now.  The software is improving all of the time.  What a shame that 50% of new surveillance systems fitted last year were analogue and not digital.  It is time for the security industry to rise from its current somnambulant posture, to hear the call to arms and to advise their customers of the advantages and potential of digital IP surveillance.  It is time to begin generating clear and unambiguous imagery, of evidential quality that will never again lead to a lost conviction because of poor quality or incompatibility with court-room systems.  This siren call is long overdue and now needs strong leadership, a drive for higher standards from the government, the SIA and the inspectorates and the creation of a fully informed customer base which knows what is available and which demands a better deal for their financial investments.

SERIFM will lead the way.  The facilities management industry is in an ideal and unique position to lead the charge of business reaction to the need for self defence and proactive push back against a criminal fraternity who increasingly have the upper hand.  Join SERIFM today and part of this advance.  Call Gilly Crichton on 07710 471214 or email [email protected] for more information on the Security and Resilience in FM initiative.

Brigadier (retired) Jeff Little OBE will be presenting on ‘Security, resilience and recovery in an increasingly uncertain world’ at Facilities Show 2016, which is co-located with IFSEC International. Jeff’s presentation will take place on the afternoon of 22 June in the FM Excellence Arena at ExCel London.  

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Aidan Anderson
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We probably already live in an Orwellian age, the Government, through their security agencies gathers vast amounts of data about the websites we visit and the emails we send.  To a large degree and for most people, the collection of that data is passive but through its analysis patterns are established and persons of interest identified. It’s a process that in the UK at least and maybe because of the long years of Northern Ireland related terrorism that people seem to accept.  The core of what is being suggested here is that IP cameras are linked, with the images analysed,… Read more »

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