Safe Cities: Using Smart Tech for Public Security

Public security is a growing problem for cities worldwide. Huawei’s LTE technology helps knit together a private Internet of Things to provide police and emergency services with new technologies to fight crime and make cities safer.Source : BBC (Safe cities: Using smart tech for public security)

The world’s cities are bursting at the seams, civic resources are under pressure and crime is harder than ever to police. As it stands, most video surveillance technology is inefficient. Police investigations are often hampered by blind spots in video networks and low-quality imagery.

Issues with data storage and retrieval mean incident data can be slow to reach command staff, and data loss can derail investigations altogether. However, new technology is starting to become available to help police combat crime more effectively.

Leading global information and communications technology (ICT) solution provider Huawei is a leader in the field of ‘smart city’ solutions, which make use of a web of inter-connected devices, software and cloud storage systems to enable public and private services to work together more efficiently.

Smart cities are, as a concept, safer cities. Huawei is utilising this same network of connected devices, or Internet of Things (IOT), to afford governments new tools to improve public services such as crime-fighting, and to keep an eye on what is going on generally.

Its safe city solution uses ‘enterprise’ LTE (eLTE) technology, a private version of the 4G (LTE) networks available to consumers, to knit together this IOT with secure wireless broadband connectivity, in tandem with sundry fixed line, fibre and microwave technologies.

Communications Network

The Huawei solution enables authorities to integrate a diverse range of information modules and communication methods across departments and regions.

It means they can combine their own video surveillance networks with other public and private security systems, as well as vehicle mounted and portable eLTE solutions, to keep a watch for incidents of theft, civic disturbance and unauthorised access. In theory, it means zero blind spots in their surveillance network.

In practice, it means police forces can have ‘eyes’ where they didn’t before.

With smart devices allied to a private broadband network, officers can pick up a live feed of a shop theft from CCTV, say, before they even arrive at the scene, or of criminals in flight from cameras fixed to patrol cars or drones in the vicinity.

Huawei’s eLTE system allows officers to swap incident details securely, and be more agile in pursuit. Responses can be coordinated between central command and local patrols, and criminals can be brought to book more easily. Incident reports can be filed on the spot, via a mobile app from the same handheld device.

It also means police can store and organise surveillance data in the cloud, and access, share and query it with greater ease and accuracy. Sophisticated analytics tools improve their ability to identify, classify and match stored video.

Importantly, Huawei says its safe city solution is secure against cyber attacks, and cost effective in terms of new infrastructure, especially when rolled out as part of broader smart city initiatives.

Economic Security

In Nairobi, Kenya, Huawei has put in place a new communications network that links 1,800 surveillance cameras with 195 police bureaus and 7,600 police officers. The new infrastructure, commissioned by president Uhuru Kenyatta, is of strategic importance in terms of both national and economic security.

Kenya’s is the biggest economy in East Africa, thanks, in part, to its wildlife and white-sand beaches. Tourism contributes around 14 per cent of GDP and 12 per cent of total employment, making it second only to agriculture in terms of importance.

But recent terrorist strikes on its cities and coastal towns, as well as the ongoing civil wars in neighbouring Somalia and Sudan, have seen foreign governments issue warnings to stop citizens travelling to Kenya. The tourist trade has been undermined as a consequence, with repercussions for its wider economy.

Public security is high on the agenda, clearly. Among a number of marketing initiatives to revive interest among foreign travellers, the Kenyan government has also invested in sophisticated technology to help tackle civil unrest. “Kenya wanted to improve security conditions, revive tourism and promote economic growth,” says Huawei.

Its National Police Service Commission now has a high-speed private broadband network at its disposal, reliant in part on Huawei’s proprietary wireless eLTE solution. The new infrastructure links its command centres with over 1,500 high-definition cameras in downtown Nairobi, more than 200 cameras at city checkpoints and any number of wireless devices in the hands of officers in the field.

Authorities have panoramic video surveillance of Nairobi’s urban centre, and a highly-agile command and dispatch setup, running on satellite-based GPS and software-based GIS, the geographic information system designed to store and manipulate GPS data.

An intelligent video analysis platform has been established to manage video resources and meet a variety of service needs, including real-time surveillance, video browsing, data sharing and evidence collection. The new system has enhanced police collaboration, coordination, decision-making and response times.

Safety Blanket

Perhaps the best illustration of the capabilities of the Huawei solution is in Nanjing, a city of more than eight million in Eastern China.

Nanjing played host for the 2013 Asian Youth Games. For the event, Huawei enabled surveillance and protection of key areas, including all 14 stadiums and nearby roads.

The Nanjing architecture is based on the same converged eLTE technology installations in Europe, and offers the same visual command and dispatch functionality. Nanjing has taken its practical application further, however, connecting up drone-mounted cameras and other vehicle-bound gadgetry to enable pictures and footage from 360 degrees, ensuring no blind spots in the system.

“Huawei’s solution enabled us to implement real-time coordination, with voice and multimedia services. It played an important role in dealing with emergencies and guaranteeing the security of the event,” says Li Nan, member of games’ organizing committee.

The Asian Youth Games infrastructure remains in use, and has in fact been expanded like a safety net across the city. It now enables sundry private communications, video surveillance and command and dispatch functions for all manner of public and private facilities, from government and emergency services, through to energy boards and the medical profession.

Nanjing played host for the 2013 Asian Youth Games. For the event, Huawei enabled surveillance and protection of key areas, including all 14 stadiums and nearby roads.

The Nanjing architecture is based on the same converged eLTE technology as European installations, and affords the same visual command and dispatch functionality. Nanjing has taken its practical application further, however, connecting up drone-mounted cameras and other vehicle-bound gadgetry to enable pictures and footage from 360 degrees, ensuring no blind spots in the system.

“Huawei’s solution enabled us to implement real-time coordination, with voice and multimedia services. It played an important role in dealing with emergencies and guaranteeing the security of the event,” says Li Nan, member of games’ organizing committee.

The Asian Youth Games infrastructure remains in use, and has in fact been expanded like a safety net across the city. It now enables sundry private communications, video surveillance and command and dispatch functions for all manner of public and private facilities, from government and emergency services, through to energy boards and the medical profession.

Marked Improvements

There is a gathering momentum for these sophisticated security systems. In Shanghai, similar endeavours have seen crime rates drop by 30 per cent, and police arrive at the scene in just three minutes on average. Authorities now have high-definition mobile video surveillance over the water along Lijiang River, in China.

But it’s Nanjing that has the biggest claim, and the final word here. While eLTE technology has helped make Nanjing a smarter, safer city, it also offers a blueprint of how Big Data and analytics can be applied in major cities across the world.

 

The Huawei Safe City Africa Summit – taking place in Nairobi between 14 and 15 October – will provide an international platform for senior experts and elites from the public safety industry to share ideas on industry trends, challenges, and solutions focusing on Safe City construction and operation experiences in Nairobi and Mombasa.

 

To learn more, visit the Safe City Africa Summit website: http://enterprise.huawei.com/topic/safe-city2016-en/

 

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