Many have predicted that the legacy of the London 2012 Olympics will be one of surveillance, but with New York’s recent “Domain Awareness System” announcement, it’s looking like city security expansion will be the legacy of 2012 in general.

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Cameras are everywhere from stores and homes to war zones and unmanned drones. But for all the video footage that’s collected there aren’t enough people to actually sit there and watch it, which inevitably leads to important images being overlooked or missed completely. Well that is all about to change thanks to an Israeli firm that created a new way watch surveillance footage.

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21cameraxlarge1As the weather gets warmer, and the summer tourism and nightlife start up, Baltimore’s mayor and the top police commander are beginning to implement a new strategy to help deter street crime. This new strategy involves using technology to better monitor the streets and get the police officers to the area where a crime is happening as fast as possible.

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cctv_1405281cThe Public Security Ministry in the State of Israel has announced that they will be setting up CCTV systems in many of Israel’s cities. These surveillance systems will be part of the City Without Violence program which has the goal of deterring criminals, terrorists, and making it easier for Israeli authorities to more efficiently track down these criminals.

The cameras will be mounted in industrial zones, residential neighborhoods, schools, major intersections, and parks, but the Ministry spokesman promises that the CCTV systems will not adversely affect individual people’s privacy.

This new surveillance network initiative is part of a 5 point plan that Prime Minister Netanyahu started last year in order to reduce violence. The plan also includes limiting alcohol sales at night, harsher penalties for violent crime, and anti-violence education in schools.

(Via Israel National News)

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drone-002Police in the U.K. plan to expand the county’s CCTV system with military-style spy drones. These unmanned spy drones have previously been deployed in Afghanistan. The drones are programed to take off and land on their own and are able to remain airborne for as long as 15 hours at a height of up to 20,000 feet.

The drones’ ability to reach such high altitude has raised concerns from the U.K.’s Civil Aviation Authority, which regulates airspace. The division is hesitant to allow the UAVs to fly in normal airspace because of the risk of colliding with airplanes. However, the “sense and avoid” technology for the drones are only a few years away.

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article-1243989-07e3d4e3000005dc-92_634x286Lorrain Andrews, a severely disabled women in Bristol, England, knew something was awry when money from her purse kept going missing. Because Lorraine can’t even get out of her bed without help, she knew that she would need help to catch the thief in the act. As a result, she set up a surveillance camera inside her home.

The camera ended up recording her aid, Jane Hoy, stealing from her purse and rugsack a total of 8 times in just a period of a little over two weeks. Lorrain suspects that during the past year or so, over 2000 pounds have already been stolen from her.

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DEU BAHN SICHERHEIT After an incident where a perpetrator stabbed an 11-year-old boy and was never identified, the municipal transit system in San Francisco performed a thorough check on all of their surveillance cameras. The startling results showed that that out of the approximately 960 vehicles equipped with surveillance devices, 22 percent didn’t work at all, and 30 percent were only partially functional. This revealed that only 48 percent of all the cameras installed were actually working properly.

The check also discovered significant problems such as blurry images, vandalized cameras, poor sound, broken data packs, bad cables and inoperable recorders. There were also some cameras found that were still operating even though they are around 9 years old, which is practically ancient compared to the surveillance systems available today.

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cameraThere has always been somewhat of a struggle involved when trying to get people to actively participate in their communities safety. However a new innovative and cooperative system used to get people to participate in their safety, has been implemented in England.

Internet Eyes is a new “game” where the public is invited to watch thousands of CCTV cameras for criminal activity. The way the game works is that they have thousands of people watching thousands of cameras and when someone observes a crime they can report it. There are even prizes given being awarded to those who aid in the capture of criminals. Along with the streaming cameras there will also be a gallery posted that will display the images of wanted criminals. Internet Eyes is totally free to participate in and it is scheduled to launch next month.

According to Internet Eyes, “The locations of the feeds are not disclosed and Viewers reporting remain anonymous. Viewers can earn money by detecting an event that matches the above scenarios. The Viewers notification is sent to an SMS device of the owner of the video feed. The owner of the video feed is known as a Customer. The customer will also get a screenshot sent to their Customer Control Panel. As a Viewer you’ll need to be quick if you’re certain of activity as there maybe other Viewers watching the same video feeds. Only the first notification gets through.”

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Hopefully this new system will help lower crime rates and give people another reason to pay attention to security in their neighborhoods.

(Via Boing Boing)

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th1_nhec-2610-05-2310-145615An elderly man armed with a towel and a spade was caught on tape stealing flowers along a town’s landmark bridge in the U.K. The elderly man was captured on CCTV at County Bridge, Sowerby Bridge, digging up geraniums and shrubs planted by the town’s In Bloom committee.

Samantha Ward, a Calderdale Council parks officer and project coordinator for Sowerby Bridge In Bloom, said: “We couldn’t believe it when we heard what had happened.The flowers had been disappearing for a while and it was a real mystery where they were going.”

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Federal Way Transit Center

Last week in Seattle, law enforcement used the GPS feature installed in most cellphones to track a murder suspect as he fled from the scene at the Federal Way Transit Center. Merlin Bell was suspected of shooting and killing Devon Winston Parks. Witnesses told police that they had seen Bell speaking with Parks before the shooting and then identified Bell as the shooter.

Police were able to obtain Bell’s cellphone number and worked with T-mobile to track his cellphone while the police searched for him. Soon after the shooting a police dog found Bell hiding behind a bush with a revolver hidden nearby. Furthermore, police were able to identify Bell in an MTA surveillance camera shooting. Police say that the surveillance footage reveals that the victim has been in a defensive position. Overall, the insurmountable evidence presented against Bell was enough to put him behind bars under second-degree murder charges.

This story is another example of how A-GPS technology, now common in most cell phones, is helping law enforcement do their jobs more efficiently. It’s becoming very clear that GPS, combined with the CCTV surveillance cameras installed in many transportation systems are helping the authorities bring in dangerous criminals at a faster pace than ever before possible.

(Via Seatlle 911)

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