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Tony Porter the Surveillance Camera Commissioner shares his thoughts on the value of VSS (CCTV in old-money)

N.B. Tony will be our keynote speaker at our annual seminar in Bristol on 12th November 2019

VSS are operated by most Local Authorities in England and Wales and are intrinsically linked with operational policing to protect the public and ensure their safety. Indeed the whole genre of video surveillance systems (VSS) beyond the traditional CCTV is growing rapidly – Drones and Body Worn cameras, Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) and evolution of technology incorporating artificial intelligence represent the current landscape. It’s evolved in the last few decades from just a few dozen cameras to millions of cameras in operation now. They are everywhere from stadiums and trains stations, shops and high-streets, cash machines and even abattoirs.

There is of course a balance to be struck between ensuring the effectiveness of VSS and preventing serious intrusion into citizen’s private lives. So how effective are they and is the cost of installing and operating those systems really worth it?

There is little evidence to suggest that these systems help to deter crime, however VSS footage plays a major role in responding to incidents, investigating crimes and prosecuting those responsible. Such footage is useful in both low level crime cases and high profile incidents – it’s captured the movements of terrorists such as the culprit of the attack at Manchester arena in 2017 and helped to identify the suspects of the Salisbury Novichok poisoning in 2018.

It’s also used to find missing adults and children. A recent report by Missing People said someone is reported missing every 90 seconds in the UK.

But in some cases, Local Authority VSS schemes are being switched off due to a lack of funding as other important areas seek investment in resources, or because VSS is not proving to be effective in catching criminals. If systems are of limited use then it is right they should be removed. However, if they are valuable and play a crucial role in protecting the public then Local Authorities and the police should be able to explain why their use is justified and should receive adequate funding to continue providing this service.

It is therefore vital that organisations are able to demonstrate the value of the surveillance camera systems they use and for its use to be recorded as a detection factor against police crime records at every stage of the criminal process. That means looking at how many hours the police spend reviewing VSS evidence, how many times footage is used as evidence in court and how many times that footage results in a prosecution.

For several years Dorset police have been recording the number of times VSS (in this case CCTV) is used to prosecute individuals accused of committing a crime. A yearly average of 47,014 crimes were reported in the years 2015-2018, of which there were 9,556 positive outcomes. Dorset police statistics show there was a CCTV element in over a third of these cases – it is unfortunate that not all forces record their CCTV detection factors in this way and I would urge they do to ensure users of VSS can see the benefits.

It is also worth noting that police and Local Authorities in England and Wales must pay due regard to the Surveillance Camera Code of Practice when operating surveillance camera systems overtly in public places and that Section 33(4) of the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 says that failure to comply with the Code may be detrimental to the use of VSS evidence in court as this can be raised within disclosure by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) and may be taken into account.

Complying with the Code, and recording the value of VSS under a standardised formal process, will help police and Local Authorities to demonstrate the value of those systems and ensure there are no missed opportunities to take criminals off our streets and protect the public from harm.

The post How effective are Video Surveillance Systems (VSS)? appeared first on Global MSC.

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  • 20171114 - Global MSC by @JonCraig_Photos 07778606070

Public space video surveillance provided by local authorities is facing a dilemma of priorities between continuing its use or to spend money on statutory services. Brian Sims of Risk Xtra highlights the comments from the Global MSC Security MD, Derek Maltby.

https://www.risk-uk.com/cctv-in-austerity-what-price-public-space-surveillance/

The post CCTV in Austerity: What Price Public Space Surveillance? appeared first on Global MSC.

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20181113 - MSC Global Security by @JonCraig_Photos 07778606070.   Kevin Thomas of Cornwall Fire & Rescue being presented with the 2018 Gordon McLanaghan Security Innovation Award by the Lord Mayor of Bristol, Cleo Lake.

Cornwall Fire & Rescue Service has won the 2018 Gordon McLanaghan Security Innovation Award. The accolade is presented annually in memory of Bristol City Council CCTV and Emergency Control Room Manager Gordon McLanaghan, recognising those who have gone above and beyond, to achieve a technical security solution.

The Cornwall Fire & Rescue Service Critical Control Centre  (CCC) in Tolvaddon is staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week, by staff who are trained in handling 999 for the Fire Service.  In addition, all members of staff are Security Industry Authority (SIA) qualified CCTV operators, and manage out of hours calls on behalf of Cornwall Council. Since January 2016, the CCC has been actively monitoring 114 CCTV cameras across 11 towns.

The camera footage enables CCC staff to provide on-going narrativeduring incidents via direct radio link. In addition, to the direct radio link, staff have direct Airwave radio contact with police officers on the ground, which has proven to be an invaluable asset to support the use of CCTV monitoring. Today, not only are police able to request CCTV monitoring of incidents, but CCC staff are also able to alert police officers of developing situations, often before they have been reported through traditional routes.

The award was presented at a charity dinner on 13thNovember, hosted on the eve of the by Global MSC Security Conference and Exhibition, which took place at the Bristol Hotel in Bristol. Receiving the award on behalf of Cornwall Fire and Rescue was Area Manager – Resilience, Mobilising & Service Training, Kevin Thomas and he comments: “I am proud to accept this award on behalf of the Cornwall Fire & Rescue Service, as I honestly believe that our Critical Control Centre staff have embraced a wealth of change over the last four years. Workloads have grown enormously but the benefits provided to our local communities are significant.”

Managing Director of Global MSC Security, Derek Maltby adds: “Cornwall Fire & Rescue is a truly deserving winner of the 2018 Gorden McLanaghan Award. This initiative needs to be shouted from the rooftops, so that more people in the security and CCTV business understand what collaboration can achieve.”

The post Cornwall Fire & Rescue Service wins the 2018 Gordon McLanaghan Award appeared first on Global MSC.

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20181113 - MSC Global Security by @JonCraig_Photos 07778606070. Sean Gane and Nicky Wallace of the Warrior Programme and Royal British Legion

MSC are proud to have raised the largest amount ever from our annual seminars in aid of the Royal British Legion to mark the centenary of the cessation of hostilities of the First World War on the anniversary of the Armistice Day.

We were  joined by Sean Gane an ex-serviceman, representing the Warrior Programme and Nicola Wallace from the Royal British Legion.   Sean - a veteran of 2 Rifles and numerous tours of Afghanistan was medically discharged in 2009 and is now the co-ordinator of The Warrior Programme.  This programme is a 3 day motivation and training foundation programme enhanced by 12 months' structured support and signposting. The Warrior Programme runs these residential programmes across England and Wales not just for Veterans but for family members / partners and dependants of Veterans too.

Nicola Wallace - Advice and Information Officer at the Bristol Office works with Sean, referring Members of the Armed Forces and Veterans to him when appropriate, as well as helping with many other issues faced by Service Personnel that The Royal British Legion can help with.

The delegates heard of the trauma and difficulties Sean had been through after being blown up twice on two different tours in Afghanistan.  This caused severe PTSD and many other effects which took him to the depths of despair.  He was put back on the road to recovery and now gives these inspirational talks to help others cope after giving service to their country.  As a result of the compelling and descriptive account Sean gave, delegates dug deep for the charity raffle to raise a super £2,600 for the charities where people were able to take advantage of the generous prizes donated by the exhibitors of the event.

The post Global MSC Security Conference Achieves a Whopping £2,600 for the Royal British Legion appeared first on Global MSC.

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Tony Porter the Surveillance Camera Commissioner launched his new online toolbox in his keynote speech at this years Global MSC Security annual conference in Bristol on 13th November 2018.

The toolbox is a collection of resources to help CCTV system owners and managers comply with the surveillance camera code of practice and legal requirements.  It comprises of the Buyers Toolkit; the Passport to Compliance; the Self-assessment Tool and the surveillance cameras specific Data Protection Impact Assessment (DPIA).

Tony Porter said:

I have a statutory remit to encourage compliance with the surveillance camera code of practice and to provide advice about it. To do this, I have worked with a range of organisations to develop various guidance notes, tools and templates which are now available on my website.

These tools will help your organisation comply with the code and its 12 guiding principles, which if followed, will ensure that surveillance camera systems are only operated proportionately, transparently and effectively.

I am grateful to Alastair Thomas, BSIA and the ICO for all their efforts in developing this toolbox.

Derek Maltby Managing Director of Global MSC Security said:

We are always privileged to have Tony speak at our event who recognises the value of end users and suppliers in attendance who are willing to work with him to improve the way camera surveillance is carried out by relevant authorities.

The post Surveillance Camera Commissioner Launches his online toolbox at the MSC seminar in Bristol appeared first on Global MSC.

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Global MSC Security has announced that Risk Xtra will be the exclusive Official Media Partner for the Global MSC Security Conference and Exhibition 2018, which takes place on Tuesday 13 November at the Bristol Hotel in Bristol. The headline theme for the 13th Edition of this hugely popular annual free-to-attend event is ‘GDPR, Surveillance and Security’.

Derek Maltby, managing director of Global MSC Security, explained: “Risk Xtra is the ideal Media Partner for the Global MSC Security Conference and Exhibition 2018 as the print publication and website’s readers mirror our delegates. They are end users charged with managing and mitigating risks for organisations in the public and private sectors. Not only do they need to be aware of the changing threat landscape, but they also want to understand the latest technology available to help mitigate against it.”

Not only is the event free to attend for all delegates, but the Global MSC Security Conference and Exhibition also delivers double Continuing Professional Development points from The Security Institute for anyone who does attend the conference programme.

Also on Monday 12th November, Global MSC Security will host a Gala Dinner to raise money for the Royal British Legion and present the winner of the 2018 Gordon McLanaghan Award for Security Innovation.

Speaking about the latest Media Partnership to be ratified by Risk Xtra, Brian Sims – the Editor of Risk Xtra online and in print – observed: “We’re absolutely delighted to have been chosen by Derek and Global MSC Security as the exclusive Official Media Partner for the 2018 Conference and Exhibition. I’ve attended this event in the past and the depth of insight imparted for end users on the day is always first class.”

*Registrations are open and exhibitor packages are still available. For more information visit: https://www.globalmsc.net/seminars-2/

The post MSC partners with Risk Xtra for 2018 Autumn Seminar appeared first on Global MSC.

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