Wi-Fi hotspots can be found at hundreds of thousands of locations worldwide, as more and more municipalities are offering free Wi-Fi and other citizen-centric services. The pervasive availability of Internet connectivity means anyone can surf the Web, from their front lawn to their local coffee shop, to airports and hotels, all at the click of a button.
However, just because you can connect to these open portals from your smartphone, tablet or laptop, doesn’t mean you should, says Gerald Naidoo, CEO of Logikal Consulting. “Particularly in a country where crime is rife, it is not safe to pull your laptop and smartphone out in a public place to use these services. Given that municipalities have introduced these services, it is their responsibility to put measures in place to ensure users’ safety,” he says.
“In addition, as cities and towns expand, security in areas used by everyone becomes increasingly important. A constant flow of visitors and customers is crucial to the success of local businesses, restaurants and suchlike, and video surveillance is the perfect solution to keep customers safe, and these businesses thriving.”
He cites several benefits of municipal surveillance. “Increased business for one. Cameras set up in risky spots, or high traffic areas definitely help to lower street crime, and drive people to shops, restaurants and similar, boosting local revenues.”
Lowered crime rates are also a benefit, he continues. “Security cameras installed in the right spots help to lower crime, reduce vandalism, and help law enforcement agencies to apprehend crooks whose ill deeds are caught on camera.”
Similarly, he says surveillance helps to improve public areas, by encouraging business, and making citizens feel safer when making use of public areas such as squares and parks.
“Another benefit is a better relationship between municipalities and the businesses they house. Increased co-operation helps to foster good relationships, while improving security at the same time. It also helps businesses and municipalities anticipate, prepare and respond to security threats quickly and effectively.”
He says the Verint solution, which Logikal supplies to its customers, can help to protect people, property and assets. “Verint solutions have been implemented in a variety of sectors, such as government, law enforcement, transportation, critical infrastructure, and commercial businesses.”
Naidoo says criminal activities, including theft, vandalism and petty crime are driving demand for innovative solutions that can enhance security to help anticipate, prepare, and respond to threats. “Verint’s Security Intelligence Solutions help government and other organisations protect people, property, and assets while enhancing public safety.”
He says the solutions generate actionable intelligence by using a combination of the analysis of voice, video, and unstructured text. In addition, the cameras boast features such as biometric enabled licence plate recognition, gunshot sensors, and suchlike.
“This intelligence allows security professionals and first responders to take a more comprehensive, effective approach to gathering intelligence, managing security operations, optimising emergency management, and improving safety and security,” Naidoo concludes.