communications

The Axis Partner Showcase to return with integrated solutions from 35 vendors

Installers and integrators Axis Communications is inviting security installers and integrators to attend its Axis Partner Showcase event in October. Scheduled for 11 October 2017 in Manchester, the open day will showcase technologies from 35 vendors that integrate with Axis surveillance solutions. The products on show, which will encompass fields beyond security, will include the latest in retail analytics, behavioural analysis, hosted services and cybersecurity, among other areas.

Confirmed exhibitors include Morphean, Milestone Systems, Genetec and ASSA Abloy. Axis ran its first Axis Partner Showcase in 2015 and said feedback was overwhelmingly positive. New possibilities As connectivity and the integration of products continues, the security needs of businesses change opening up new possibilities, said Daren Lang, regional manager of business development for Northern Europe at Axis Communications. Our strategies and solutions must therefore change to meet the new opportunities created. We are thrilled to announce the return of the Axis Partner Showcase. This event is designed to demonstrate how our partners, in conjunction with Axis, can deliver solutions that stand the test of time whether looking at the shift from forensic to real time analysis, how to deal with issues around cybersecurity, or keeping pace with new regulations such as GDPR. As security requirements shift, we see an increasing demand for alternative solutions. Instead of focusing on surveillance alone, businesses are increasingly seeking ways in which smart systems can be integrated, ensuring technology is flexible and future facing. This is how we help ensure that technology is not only fit for purpose, but fit for the future.

Atul Rajput, regional director for Northern Europe at Axis Communications, said: The pace of innovation is core to Axis philosophy and is of critical importance to keep each of our customers and partners up-to-date with the technology available today as well as its potential for tomorrow. Our showcase event brings this under one roof, providing the best forum available to experience these innovations in person. The Axis Partner Showcase takes place on 11 October 2017, between 10am and 4pm, at Tenants Hall, Tatton Park, Knutsford, Cheshire, WA16 6QN.

Register here to attend. Free download: The video surveillance report 2017 Sponsored by IDIS The Video Surveillance Report 2017 covers all things video surveillance based on a poll of hundreds of security professionals. Specifically looking at topics such as open platforms, 4K, low-light cameras, video analytics, warranties and this year due to the growing threat posed, the cybersecurity landscape.

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How to follow up sales leads following IFSEC and FIREX International

exhibitor advice Less than 70% of exhibitors have any kind of formalised plan or process in place for following up leads following a trade show or other live event. That s a pretty alarming oversight given the time, effort and resource committed to such endeavours and the enormous rewards if they re exploited to the fullest. Of course, trade shows benefit your brand in multiple other albeit more difficult to measure ways.

Those who stopped by your stand or listened to a presentation delivered by one of your representatives will leave the show knowing a bit more about what you do and (hopefully) be impressed with your products and/or expertise. They may have even been introduced to your brand for the very first time. And that s great. But it s not enough especially given the digital tools now available that can yield more concrete, quantifiable returns on your investment. The hard work doesn t end on 5pm of the final day of the show. Indeed: what, when and how you communicate to prospects that you met at the show in the following days, weeks and months can really make the difference. Here are some tips to make the most of your time at IFSEC International, FIREX International or other trade shows. Time is of the essence Get your follow-up strategy and campaign materials as ready as possible in advance of the event. You ve a greater chance of impressing and securing the custom of prospects if you follow up days or weeks faster than your competitors.

Prioritise your leads Grade your leads ranging from the hottest prospects, where someone requested a follow up and seemed keen on working with you, down to those who merely submitted their email address as part of a raffle you held on your stand. Then prioritise your responses accordingly. This means not only contacting high priority leads more urgently but also tailoring your communications more extensively. Lower priority prospects might be sent a standard email en masse, while the hottest leads will warrant a tailored email or depending on the preference expressed a phone call. Customise your call to action Your first follow up needn t be a hard sell. It all depends where the lead is in the sales funnel. You could instead send them a piece of content like a video, case study, white paper or blog post. And make your call to action descriptive of the benefit the prospect will actually get by clicking. So do say: Download white paper , request a personal demo , or join us for a free networking lunch ; don t say: Find out more or click here for more information .

A single call to action is often said to be best marketing practice. However, don t be afraid to offer 2-3 alternatives if your target data is sufficiently diverse in its preferences and stage of the buying journey to warrant it. For instance, you could offer the following options: request a demo , watch our video or sign up to our newsletter . Jog the prospect s memory Remind the prospect of the product launches, integrations, partnerships and other announcements you made during the show. There s so much going on at IFSEC, it s perfectly possible that they won t recall all relevant details. Include visuals in your emails A photo of your IFSEC stand busy with lots of people, ideally! is usually a strong image, though you may instead use a picture of a product they declared an interest in. Personalise each email People like to know they re dealing with an individual not a company, so sign off with the relevant salesperson s name and, crucially, their phone number and personal email. Don t rely on Microsoft Excel spreadsheets Microsoft Excel is useful for financial accounts but a chaotic nightmare and terrible for collaboration when applied to customer relationship management (CRM).

Automated lead nurturing tools make building on your conversations at the trade show easier, less time-consuming and, on average, more fruitful. There are countless platforms out there, some of which are free, with others charging a monthly subscription. Just to give three examples, Communigator, tray.io and run by SalesForce, the most popular CRM by far Pardot are all highly effective lead nurturing tools. Free download: The video surveillance report 2017 Sponsored by IDIS The Video Surveillance Report 2017 covers all things video surveillance based on a poll of hundreds of security professionals. Specifically looking at topics such as open platforms, 4K, low-light cameras, video analytics, warranties and this year due to the growing threat posed, the cybersecurity landscape.

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Watch: Martin Gren of Axis Communications top influencer among security vendors 2017 at IFSEC

Watch our interview with Axis Communications co-founder Martin Gren at IFSEC 2017. Gren, who co-founded the surveillance giant in 1984, recently topped our roll call of the Top 50 influencers in security & fire 2017: security manufacturers/service providers. Watch more videos from IFSEC 2017 here .

embedded content Free download: The video surveillance report 2017 Sponsored by IDIS The Video Surveillance Report 2017 covers all things video surveillance based on a poll of hundreds of security professionals. Specifically looking at topics such as open platforms, 4K, low-light cameras, video analytics, warranties and this year due to the growing threat posed, the cybersecurity landscape. Further topics covered include: The network cameras hijack during the 2017 presidential inauguration, updates on the forthcoming EU data protection law (the GDPR), ultra-low light cameras versus thermal cameras and much more.

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How network video can support suicide prevention on the rail network

It describes some current suicide counter-measures and details the size of the challenge which the rail industry faces. This paper explains how IP network video can support existing measures in order to provide an effective overall suicide prevention solution. This paper does not attempt to find broader resolution to the questions around suicide and refrains from exploring the personal and tragic circumstances surrounding many of the individuals who find themselves attempting or committing this act.

Lucas Young Business development manager, transportation Axis Communications [email protected] Connect with me on LinkedIn

Axis Communications launches discreet indoor FA series and expands P13 series

product launch Axis Communications has introduced new and improved camera products in response to demand from some customers for discreet multi-view surveillance and detailed surveillance of large areas. The AXIS FA series is designed with modular cameras for highly discreet video surveillance that is also cost-effective, because one camera system provides coverage of several areas. The company has also expanded its P13 series with three new additions that offer 4K resolution in full frame rate.

The cameras can cover large areas and reproduce images in high quality detail. Axis will demonstrate the new cameras at ISC West 2017 in Las Vegas in April. The AXIS FA series and the additions to the P13 series will be available through distributors from May. Verticals/sectors City and public transportation surveillance Retail security Building surveillance and access control Home security AXIS FA series features AXIS FA series enables discreet, multi-view indoor surveillance of four closely situated areas using a single camera system. The main unit can stream at full frame rate HDTV 1080p videos from four connected sensor units at the same time, using one IP address. The AXIS FA series is modular, made up of the following separately sold units: AXIS FA54 main unit AXIS FA1105 sensor unit with a standard lens AXIS FA1125 sensor unit with a pinhole lens AXIS FA4115 dome sensor unit with a varifocal lens. AXIS FA captures video with forensic wide dynamic range (WDR) even in low light and in motion. The AXIS FA54 also has the capacity to support advanced video analytics, and has an HDMI output for connection to a surveillance or public view monitor, ideal for retail applications. The sensor units can be hidden in surfaces, structures or devices.

Installed at eye level the can provide video monitoring at building entrances without drawing attention. The sensor units come with an 8-m (26 ft.) cable for connection to an AXIS FA54. Axis Communications says By separating the sensor unit from the camera body, the sensor units can fit into tight spaces and blend in with the environment for unobtrusive surveillance. The pinhole sensor unit is especially useful at entrances for capturing people s faces at eye level, says Erik M rtensson, global product manager for modular cameras at Axis Communications. AXIS P13 series features The indoor AXIS P1367 and outdoor AXIS P1367-E and AXIS P1368-E network cameras are additions to the highly-respected AXIS P13 fixed-box series. With improved light sensitivity, better image quality and higher frame rate, these cameras can provide up to 4K resolution images in large open areas with challenging light conditions, such as arrival halls at train stations, crowded city areas or car parks. The system comprises: AXIS P1367/-E support CS and i-CS lenses 4K AXIS P1368-E is delivered with i-CS lens as standard AXIS P1367-E and AXIS P1368-E have specifically been designed for outdoor use, deploying a mechanical platform that allows for easier access to connectors and cabling and free up space for optional lenses Built-in camera rails increase the flexibility of the camera, allowing larger zoom lenses to be installed, delivering greater detail as required Axis Communications says The lightweight AXIS P1367-E and AXIS P1368-E are examples of real outdoor cameras. It s not just a camera put inside a housing, but for the first time we have developed an outdoor-ready CS-mount camera from scratch. This has enabled a highly flexible camera system that can use zoom lenses or even Axis Corridor Format when customers want to view a vertical image and not waste precious screen real estate and bandwidth, explains Andres Vigren, global product manager for fixed box cameras at Axis Communications.

Check out the latest solutions from Axis Communications at IFSEC International, 20-22 June 2017, London ExCeL. You can find Axis Communications on stand E1000. Get your free badge now. Join other high-end security professionals at the launch of Borders & Infrastructure Expo In conjunction with Europe s most renowned security event , IFSEC International, B&I is addressing your critical needs for large scale security projects affecting national security, integrated systems, border protection and much more. You will have access to test the latest security innovations in; Physical & perimeter, Barriers & bollards, Command & control, Emergency response, Cyber solutions, Drones & UAVs, Transport security and much more.

Click here to register your place now to join us at London Excel on 20 22 June 2017.

82% of small businesses with CCTV have plans to upgrade systems

82% Of Small Businesses With CCTV Have Plans To Upgrade Systems

Procurement More than four in five (82%) small businesses with CCTV systems plan to upgrade or replace existing systems, according to research by Axis Communications. The survey of 500 UK-based small-business owners also found that more than a third (39%) are considering doing so with in the next two years. Asked what their motivations for upgrading were, respondents most frequently cited theft and loss prevention motives.

Some 38% of small businesses have suffered a break in or theft at their premises. More than half of small businesses 62% already have a video surveillance system installed. With 78% stated that a break in or theft within the business is a major concern now and in the future, there seems to be scope for that figure to rise. Two thirds of respondents believe that video surveillance enhances their ability to protect premises, people and assets and gives peace of mind to them and their staff. Wider trend James Lowman, chief executive of the Association of Convenience Stores (ACS), said: Axis survey into the challenges facing small businesses and the increasing demand for video surveillance is representative of a wider trend. Convenience stores in the UK lost over 120m last year as a result of crimes committed against their organisations, with shop theft alone costing over 43m. Network cameras are a valuable tool for retailers, not just for reporting crimes when they happen but also to use as a preventative measure that discourages potential criminals. Our Local Shop Report shows that 78% of convenience stores have surveillance cameras in their business, and we also expect this to grow over the next year as more stores invest in effective crime prevention measures. Axis has targeted the small business end of the market with more affordable solutions in recent years, notably the Companion range.

embedded content Said Atul Rajput, regional director of northern Europe at Axis Communications: Installers should expect to see an increase in demand for high-quality video surveillance solutions in the small business sector as owners seek confidence that their premises are secure from theft and loss. From our research we are seeing that features such as remote access technology are becoming increasingly sought after. Video surveillance technology is continuously evolving and small business owners are becoming notably more aware that in order to ensure a high-level of security, up-to-date and systems that deliver excellence quality are an essential purchase. Find out more by downloading the report here. Download: The Video Surveillance Report 2016 This exclusive report covers the security needs of surveillance systems as shaped by the physical environment including: What do security professionals think about plug-and-play systems Challenges like low-light conditions or large spaces and the threats posed in various sectors Which cutting-edge features such as mobile access, PTZ smart controls or 4K resolution are most important to security professionals What are the most important factors driving upgrades and would end users consider an upgrade to HD analogue Download the full report here.

BSIA issues guide to metal theft prevention

BSIA issues guide to metal theft prevention The BSIA has produced a guide to help security professionals and property owners combat the growing spate of metal thefts across the UK. Metal theft is an ongoing problem in the UK and realises a significant loss to the economy, with the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) estimating it to cost the UK’s finances no less than 770 million every year. In light of this growing spate of criminality, the British Security Industry Association (BSIA) has published a guide to help property owners of varying types tackle the problem.

Metal thieves have a wide range of targets including rail and communications infrastructure, public utilities, metal piping and lead roofing on churches and schools (and even bronze plaques from war memorials). Stealing the metals for their extrinsic value, these opportunists are regularly finding new ways to source valuable materials and sell them on illegally. The BSIA s new guide serves to highlight just how much of an impact this crime is having across the UK and provides a variety of security solutions that could successfully discourage or catch these thieves.

Featuring real life success stories provided by member companies of the BSIA, the solutions outlined in the guide include physical security equipment, asset and property marking, CCTV, intruder alarm systems and access control. The guide includes a wide range of Case Studies showing how these different security solutions have helped protect properties or trace culprits ranging from protecting vacant properties to safeguarding drain covers and securing businesses and homes. Unacceptable criminality with significant consequences Metal theft is an unacceptable crime with significant consequences, and it’s important that we respond forcefully and in a timely manner to this serious threat, explained Geoff Knupfer, chairman of the BSIA s Asset and Property Marking Section.

Marking your property with a forensic coding solution can act as a successful deterrent to thieves and, if your property is stolen, the traceable nature of the solution can help return materials to their rightful owners and provide conclusive evidence in support of criminal prosecution. In 2011 the Government acknowledged the severity of this issue when the Home Office decided to establish a task force led by the British Transport Police with the help of a 5 million boost from the Treasury. However, it’s still extremely important that property owners implement their own security measures in order to affect positive change.

Metal theft can be detrimental to all types of infrastructures, and dealing with the repercussions can be costly and time consuming, warned David Frampton, chairman of the BSIA s Physical Security Equipment Section. Effective security measures, such as physical security, can offer peace of mind to the general public with property owners safe in the knowledge that their equipment is protected when left unattended. Download your copy of the guide Download the free BSIA guide to find out some of the most effective ways to safeguard your property.

BSIA members offer a reputable service and are inspected to high quality standards.

To locate a supplier near you visit the BSIA’s online company finder

CSL DualCom takes part in M2M webinar

CSL DualCom takes part in M2M webinar ‘Security on the Move’, smartphone technology and integration were the ‘hot topics’ of an M2M-focused webinar hosted by Vodafone and Marketforce just prior to Christmas. Hosted at the London Stock Exchange studios, professional experts from some of the UK s leading security providers were invited by Vodafone and Marketforce to take part in a live webinar discussing some of the most prominent challenges facing the M2M (Machine-to-Machine) security sector. The event was chaired by Lindley Gooden, former television presenter with Sky, ITV and BBC.

His participating guests included Peter Manolescue (M2M business development manager at Vodafone Global), Simon Banks (group managing director of CSL DualCom Holdings), Peter Houlis (managing director at 2020 Vision Systems) and Alan Blake, the marketing and sales director for SECOM UK. The panel discussed a range of topics based around the role of M2M within the security industry such as the arrival of IP products and Cloud technology to the CCTV sector and their suitability for other security applications. The integration and impact of smartphone technology and the ways in which it has influenced the demands of end users was another recurring theme, so too the concept of intelligent buildings .

The panel also faced a series of live questions which included their thoughts on improving communications between the industry and its customer base.

Register to watch an on-demand version of the webinar

Senate Reauthorizes Surveillance Law for Five More Years Without …

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Sen. Ron Wyden giving floor statement on FISA reauthorization

The United States Senate reauthorized a surveillance law that grants the government expanded authority to collec communications of foreign persons outside the US. It also is believed to permit the government to engage in dragnet surveillance of Americans communications.

The program under the FISA Amendments Act is shrouded in immense secrecy, with there being very little information on whether safeguards against eavesdropping on citizens communications are being followed by intelligence agencies like the National Security Agency (NSA).

Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon was one of a few senators1 who took to the floor yesterday and this morning to urge amendments be passed to the law. He highlighted how the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) would not give him a rough estimate of the number of phone calls and emails swept up in the interception of communications under this law.

He pointed out how it was impossible to know if any wholly domestic communications had been collected under the law because the ODNI declined to answer. He also recounted how NSA director Keith Alexander had exaggerated how the agency safeguards Americans privacy while conducting surveillance when he spoke at a major tech conference in July of this year.

Even more significant, Wyden warned against the fact that rulings by the FISA court, which reviews and approves of government requests to engage in surveillance, are completely secret.

The public has absolutely no idea what the court is actually saying, Wyden said. What it means is the country is in fact developing a secret body of law so Americans have no way of finding out how their laws and Constitution are being interpreted.

Sen.

Jeff Merkley of Oregon sponsored an amendment that would have required the rulings by the FISA court to be made public in some form. The Senate rejected the amendment yesterday evening.

Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont tried to advance an amendment that would change the sunset provision of the law from five years to three years, decreasing the amount of time inbetween reauthorizations.

This might have increased oversight for a law that most senators know very little about. Leahy s amendment was rejected by the Senate too.

Leading the charge for reauthorization without any reforms was Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein of California. In the tradition of Vice President Dick Cheney and other Bush neoconservatives, she blustered about how America remained under threat of a terrorist attack.

She read a list of terrorists, as if the law had helped lead to their arrests but never stated clearly that was what happened. She mentioned Najibullah Zazi, who attempted to blow up the subway in New York City. It was all aimed at disingenuously suggesting that adding these amendments would put America at risk of attacks.

Feinstein manufactured this idea that Wyden and others were trying to make public the names of people being subjected to NSA surveillance.

She suggested that what the senators trying to reform the law wanted to do is really destroy the program so that it would no longer be an intelligence tool available. Of course, there would be no reason to fear the collapse of the program if details on it were divulged if nothing abusive, illegal, or improper was being done under the guise of the law.

As The Guardian s Glenn Greenwald summarized2:

It s hard to put into words just how extreme was Feinstein s day-long fear-mongering tirade. I ve never seen a Congressional member argue so strongly against Executive Branch oversight as.

Sen Feinstein did today re the FISA law, said Micah Zenko3 of the Council on Foreign Relations. Referring to Feinstein s alternating denials and justifications for warrantless eavesdropping on Americans, the ACLU s Jameel Jaffer observed4: This FISA debate reminds of the torture debate circa 2004: We don t torture! And anyway, we have to torture, we don t have any choice.

On top of that, she was more than willing to shower praise on her colleague, Republican Sen.

Saxby Chambliss of Georgia, someone who had worked tirelessly with her over the past years to ensure the intelligence communities were able to engage in domestic surveillance on the people of the world in whatever manner they deemed necessary.

The debate which the leadership of the Senate reluctantly squeezed in for senators like Wyden again showed how much bipartisan consensus on national security matters exists among the political class and how languid and nonchalant they are when anyone warns about risks about civil liberties. In their mind, the FISA Amendments Act, passed in 2008, was proposed to provide safeguards and oversight and halt warrantless wiretapping that took place under the Bush administration and so there was no reason to go to the trouble of adding additional oversight now.

*

In a hearing on secret law in April 2008, then-Senator Russ Feingold of Wisconsin condemned5 this development in government:

The notion of secret law has been described in court opinions and law treatises as repugnant and an abomination. It is a basic tenet of democracy that the people have a right to know the law.

In keeping with this principle, the laws passed by Congress and the case law of our courts have historically been matters of public record. And when it became apparent in the middle of the 20th century that federal agencies were increasingly creating a body of non-public administrative law, Congress passed several statutes requiring this law to be made public, for the express purpose of preventing a regime of secret law.

He took particular issue with secret law being created by the FISA court because the court s interpretations of FISA law governs the government s ability in intelligence investigations to conduct wiretaps and search the homes of people in the United States. So, national security state lackeys like Feinstein or Chambliss are fully aware of the development of secret law in America and either do not want to believe it exists or pretend it does not exist to serve intelligence agencies.

Finally, to make it even more clear how divorced from the tradition of upholding and safeguarding civil liberties senators like Feinstein or Chambliss happen to be, it is worth revisiting Justice Louis D.

Brandeis dissenting opinion6 in the case of Olmstead v. United States, where Brandeis sought to define privacy rights under the Fourth and Fifth Amendments.

Written in 1928, it touched upon the evolution of technology and how phone calls deserved just as much protection from warrantless eavesdropping as mail deserved protection from warrantless intrusions. It also outlined the very human reasons why government should endeavor to protect people s privacy:

The makers of our Constitution undertook to secure conditions favorable to the pursuit of happiness.

They recognized the significance of man s spiritual nature, of his feelings, and of his intellect. They knew that only a part of the pain, pleasure and satisfactions of life are to be found in material things. They sought to protect Americans in their beliefs, their thoughts, their emotions and their sensations.

They conferred, as against the Government, the right to be let alone the most comprehensive of rights and the right most valued by civilized men. To protect that right, every unjustifiable intrusion by the Government upon the privacy of the individual, whatever the means employed, must be deemed a violation of the Fourth Amendment. And the use, as evidence in a criminal proceeding, of facts ascertained by such intrusion must be deemed a violation of the Fifth

Were Brandeis alive today and to talk of privacy with such candor, he would be smeared disingenuously by senators as wanting intelligence agencies to be hampered so the country might be attacked by terrorists again.

All that the senators urged the Senate to support were very modest reforms.

They required very little of the intelligence agencies, and in fact, each senator supporting amendments displayed great deference to national security matters.

Yet in the War on Terrorism, there can be no room for suggesting that intelligence agencies might be engaged in wholesale violations of Americans civil liberties.

So, in the same way that Republican senators have come to the aid of the Obama administration7 to ensure that the military s power to indefinitely detain and hold citizens suspected of providing substantial support for terrorism without charge or trial survives a lawsuit, Feinstein and GOP senators were all too willing to lead the charge and vigorously defend government surveillance powers no matter what the cost may be to civil liberties.

References

  1. ^ one of a few senators (dissenter.firedoglake.com)
  2. ^ summarized (www.guardian.co.uk)
  3. ^ said Micah Zenko (twitter.com)
  4. ^ observed (twitter.com)
  5. ^ condemned (dissenter.firedoglake.com)
  6. ^ dissenting opinion (www.fjc.gov)
  7. ^ come to the aid of the Obama administration (dissenter.firedoglake.com)

DPP launches consultation on prosecutions involving social media communications

DPP launches consultation on prosecutions involving social media communications The Director of Public Prosecutions, Keir Starmer QC, has today published interim guidelines setting out the approach prosecutors should take in cases involving comms sent via social media. The guidelines are designed to give clear advice to prosecutors and ensure a consistency of approach across the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) to these types of cases. Keir Starmer said: “These interim guidelines are intended to strike the right balance between freedom of expression and the need to uphold the criminal law. “They make a clear distinction between communications which amount to credible threats of violence, a targeted campaign of harassment against an individual or which breach court orders on the one hand, and other communications sent by social media, eg those that are grossly offensive, on the other. “The first group will be prosecuted robustly whereas the second group will only be prosecuted if they cross a high threshold.

A prosecution is unlikely to be in the public interest if the communication is swiftly removed, blocked, not intended for a wide audience or not obviously beyond what could conceivably be tolerable or acceptable in a diverse society which upholds and respects freedom of expression. “The interim guidelines thus protect the individual from threats or targeted harassment while protecting the expression of unpopular or unfashionable opinion about serious or trivial matters, or banter or humour, even if distasteful to some and painful to those subjected to it.” Response from ACPO and Victim Support ACPO’s lead on communications, chief constable Andy Trotter, commented: “This interim guidance sets out clear advice to police forces in England and Wales on handling complaints from the public relating to social media. It takes a common sense approach and will help support consistency from prosecutors and police. We welcome the opportunity for early consultation to take place between the CPS and the police before any action is taken in these cases.” The CEO of Victim Support, Javed Khan, explained: “Victims tell us that sustained and vindictive targeting on social media can leave long-lasting emotional and psychological scars, so we warmly welcome clarification on how prosecutors will deal with online threats or harassment.

The distinction between communications which constitute a credible threat and those which may merely cause offence is sorely needed. In particular, we welcome the guideline which makes a prosecution more likely if a victim is specifically targeted and this has a significant impact on them.” Khan concluded: “We will watch how the interim guidelines are used with interest and will respond to them in detail during the consultation period.” The interim guidelines do not change the law, but rather set out the approach prosecutors should follow when considering cases relating to communications sent via social media. The guidelines come into immediate effect, and are subject to a three-month public consultation which starts today.

Keir Starmer added: “We want the interim guidelines to be as fully informed as possible, which is why we held a series of roundtable discussions and meetings with Twitter, Facebook, Liberty and other stakeholders, police and regulators, victim groups, academics, journalists and bloggers, lawyers and sports organisations ahead of drafting them. I would now encourage everyone with an interest in this matter to give us their views by responding to the public consultation.” Initial assessment in focus As part of their initial assessment, prosecutors are now required to distinguish between: Communications which may constitute credible threats of violence Communications which may constitute harassment or stalking Communications which may amount to a breach of a court order Communications which do not fall into any of the above categories and fall to be considered separately (ie those which may be considered grossly offensive, indecent, obscene or false) Those offences falling within the first three categories should, in general, be prosecuted robustly under the relevant legislation, for example the Protection from Harassment Act (1997), where the test set out in the Code for Crown Prosecutors is satisfied. Cases which fall within the final category will be subject to a high threshold and, in many cases, a prosecution is unlikely to be in the public interest.

The high threshold Section 1 of the Malicious Communications Act 1988 and Section 127 of the Communications Act 2003 engage Article 10 of the European Convention of Human Rights. Therefore prosecutors are reminded that they must be interpreted consistently with the free speech principles in Article 10. Prosecutors are also reminded that what is prohibited under Section 1 of the Malicious Communications Act 1988 and Section 127 of the Communications Act 2003 is the sending of a communication that is grossly offensive.

They should only proceed with cases involving such an offence where they are satisfied that the communication in question is more than offensive, shocking or disturbing or satirical, iconoclastic or rude comment or the expression of unpopular or unfashionable opinion about serious or trivial matters, or banter or humour, even if distasteful to some or painful to those subjected to it. The public interest In line with the free speech principles in Article 10, no prosecution should be brought unless it can be shown on its own facts and merits to be both necessary and proportionate. A prosecution is unlikely to be both necessary and proportionate where: the suspect has swiftly taken action to remove the communication or expressed genuine remorse swift and effective action has been taken by others, for example service providers, to remove the communication in question or otherwise block access to it the communication was not intended for a wide audience, nor was that the obvious consequence of sending the communication (particularly where the intended audience did not include the victim or target of the communication in question) the content of the communication did not obviously go beyond what could conceivably be tolerable or acceptable in an open and diverse society which upholds and respects freedom of expression.

The age and maturity of suspect should be given significant weight, particularly if they are under the age of 18.

Children may not appreciate the potential harm and seriousness of their communications and, as such, prosecutions of children are rarely likely to be in the public interest.