Recently, the Delhi Police was in the news for their deployment of smart technology in order to identify “crime hotspots” in the city and predict the possibility of repeat crimes in these susceptible areas through a new software called CMAPS (Crime Mapping Analytics and Predictive System). The web-based software accesses real-time data from Delhi Police’s Dial 100 helpline and, using ISRO’s satellite imageries, spatially locates the calls and visualises them as cluster maps to identify crime hot spots. Today predictive policing (PrePol) utilises algorithms to identify crime “hotspots”. However, despite heightened security measures, globalisation has increased the exposure of cities to myriad transnational threats. Next generation of surveillance in the form of Smart CCTVs can help address these challenges by acting as a city’s third eye by complementing the vigilance of police officers and the community.
Many countries are looking to install CCTV cameras at airports and train stations which are enhanced with facial recognition technology. Some are even developing domain awareness systems that use similar technology to track and monitor potential suspects. However, to reap the full benefits of video surveillance data, police departments and security agencies must accurately plan and architect their storage systems to accommodate current and future growth, along with potential future uses for the voluminous data. Three factors drive video surveillance data growth: The number of cameras installed and the type of cameras used, along with requirements pertaining to how long security agencies must retain data collected by those cameras. Security agencies must invest in a storage system that meets their current needs and can easily scale to accommodate future growth. Key things to look for in systems meeting these requirements include technology architecture that enable them to start with the smallest possible system without sacrificing on features, and ones that are built to take advantage of hard drive innovations. Security agencies must seek out systems designed to not only anticipate failures, but also to quickly recover from them if they occur, and include features like proactive failure detection, fast failure recovery and pre-emptive fixes to assure data availability. Systems designed with data as the central focus can handle component failures without video loss and are also able to recover fast.
Regardless of retention requirements associated with video surveillance policies, security agencies should account for the possibility that they must retain at least some video data for years. To do so, they can adopt a multi-tiered storage architecture so not all data is stored in one highly-available, high-performance, cost-intensive tier, as not all video needs to always “travel first class”. Finally, as technology continues to evolve, security agencies should adopt an open architecture featuring a modular design. This will enable them to update individual parts in line with technology trends without disrupting the system’s overall architecture. Deployment of smart surveillance, aided with evolving technologies like AI and predictive analytics, can transform the way security agencies and police departments fight crime. However, for continued benefits, they must begin by adopting a storage system that supports the open and seamless interface for data access.
By Bob Yang
The writer is vice-president, Asia-Pacific Sales, Seagate Technology