How are intelligent technologies improving security?

When they were first introduced, traditional CCTV systems represented a huge leap forwards in terms of ensuring the security of a premises and continue to provide pictures that often prove to be essential in securing convictions and recovering property stolen, in addition to the inherent deterrent value.

However, technological advancements in recent years has brought intelligence into these systems which make them a proactive solution that overcomes the reactive nature of traditional CCTV systems, as represented in SECOMs latest infographic – The Latest Video Security Solution.





Older analogue cameras simply cannot capture pictures in the same detail as newer alternatives. High definition CCTV systems are capable of covering a much greater area in significantly more detail, meaning fewer cameras are required to secure a property.


Although they are often referred to after the event and help to provide an on-site presence, in order to combat any incident traditional surveillance systems must be monitored by at least one guard, often more, to detect any potential security breaches. Each of these employees can cost up to £50,000 per year – enough to buy 83 brand new company laptops.

Loss prevention

Older systems are also unable to automatically identify threats, something that is a key benefit of systems utilising the latest technology. The British Retail Consortium estimates that 91 per cent of all customer thefts went unreported in 2013, something that could possibly be attributed to the fact the technology in use currently is not able to sufficiently highlight incidents, nor provide useable evidence after the event.


Latest video analytics systems can automatically distinguish between events of interest to security personnel, such as humans or vehicles entering the field of view and events of no interest such as the appearance of animals, foliage or litter – all of which can generally be disregarded.

Intelligent algorithms are able to distinguish between the information provided and ensure a control room operator is only presented with relevant events. The higher resolution cameras make it easy for the system to differentiate between animals and humans, for example. As a result, security staff are able to more effectively use their time to deal with genuine risks.


New video analytics technologies can have a number of benefits for a wide range of the UKs largest industries. In retail, they can be used to create heat maps in order to manage queues, monitor trends and work out where is the most effective position for promotions. Furthermore, security staff can use the system to alert of unauthorised access and potential threats.

It is common across the construction sector to employ guards to monitor sites, but video analytics is also able to detect intrusions and provide alerts in order to stimulate an appropriate response. Companies employing two guards who choose to reduce this to one and install a video analytics system could see a return on investment in as little as three to six months.

However, it is not just properties that can be protected. Very large sites, such as wind/solar farms and utility companies can be protected by the use of combining video analytics with thermal imaging which is able to detect intrusion without any supplementary lighting being required.