Can I take a knife-shaped banana on the flight?

The TSA s bizarre, brilliant Instagram account

Airport security Who said security had to be an unremittingly earnest business? Few scenarios in modern life are fraught with more tension and frustration than airport customs (does anyone else feel nervous even though they re carrying nothing illegal?). However, the Transport Security Administration, a US body created in response to the 9/11 terror attacks, has shown it has a sense of humour via its Instagram account.

Racking up 1,320 posts and 795,000 followers, the TSA account features tongue-in-cheek requests sent in by the public, an array of confiscated weaponary and some weird and wonderful items that landed in lost property. From a knife-nana and nun-chuks to an abandoned Grim Reaper and 61 firearms seized in one week across all US airports, it s phenomenal what airport security staff find in the course of their day. Below we ve picked out some of the funniest/most shocking posts but you can check out the account itself here . Live WWI grenades Knife-nana Is it a gun or a camera? Just a week s work My, oh my Banana-based weapons are a running theme it seems Cattle prod Who has the Grim Reaper come for? Post-apocalyptic bullet-adorned mask Mummified head of Jeremy Bentham Gun mug (or mug gun?) Nun-chucks Free Download: Securing the UK s borders. Getting national security and Brexit right first time is crucial , we do not want to get this wrong.

This report considers the implications of leaving the EU for the management of the UK s borders and making it as easy as possible for international business to thrive and legitimate movement to occur in a post-Brexit UK.

Click here to download now Related Topics Deep-learning algorithms, biometric passports and anti-drone technology helping to drive airport revolution HD cameras to replace control tower in ground-breaking revamp at London City Airport Aviation laptop ban the threat is real and requires new response

People of interest were known weeks before terrorist incidents but data was part of an unsearched, unstructured archive

Dell EMC develops hybrid cloud and big-data solutions built on converged infrastructure, servers, storage and cybersecurity technologies for enterprise customers. Graham Porter, the company s business development director EMEA for surveillance and security, recently spoke to our US-based media partner SecuritySolutionsWatch about the need to finesse access to archived video, the challenge of managing data from multiple sources and meeting the storage needs of critical national infrastructure among many other topics. Thank you for joining us today, Graham.

It s truly an honor to speak with a former member of the Royal Navy and co-creator of the SaaS solution incorporating cloud solutions for public sector and major enterprise customers. Before discussing recent trends and developments, please elaborate for us about your background. Graham Porter: In security, a mixed background appears helpful. Originally an electrical engineer, I was tasked with management of HM Trident submarine fleet electronic security originally to cover a G8 security conference, but thereafter to modernise the systems and processes around securing the naval base which housed the GB atomic weapons arsenal and associated accessories. For 7 years plus I worked with Cisco as part of their emerging technology team, based in London. Prior to that, I attach a BIO for your further interest. In our recent chat with Ken Mills, General Manager, Dell EMC, Surveillance and Security we talked about how Dell EMC is today #1 In Everything, All in 1 Place and making the world safer. Your thoughts, Graham, on this topic? Read the full interview on Free Download: Securing the UK s borders.

Getting national security and Brexit right first time is crucial , we do not want to get this wrong.

This report considers the implications of leaving the EU for the management of the UK s borders and making it as easy as possible for international business to thrive and legitimate movement to occur in a post-Brexit UK.

Click here to download now Related Topics Dell EMC Q&A: Customers don t want vendors pointing the finger at each other when there s a problem; they want integrated support Dell EMC Q&A: open platforms, body-worn cameras and end-to-end security solutions Dell and Milestone announce global VMS platform partnership at IFSEC 2016

If only our prisons really were like hotels: How Crown immunity is hobbling efforts to improve fire safety in the HMS Prison Service

In June 2014 Peter Kimberley, the owner of the New Kimberley Hotel in Blackpool, was jailed for 18 months and ordered to pay 5,243 in costs after being found guilty of 15 breaches of fire safety regulations. His 90 room hotel, when inspected by Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service, was found to have fire exits blocked with combustible material, fire doors were locked shut, and there was insufficient water available to fight fires. The New Kimberley Hotel, described in court as a death trap , was shut down.

But Mr Kimberley wasn t a bad chap just an unlucky one in his choice of career. If instead of being a hotelier Mr Kimberley had been the Governor of a prison where exactly the same, and worse, fire safety failures had been discovered, he would not have even been arrested. Certainly he could never have been charged, tried, convicted and sent to his own jail because every prison in England and Wales is immune from prosecution when it comes to fire safety. All prisons are Crown property, and as all criminal charges in England and Wales are brought on behalf of the Crown, the Crown cannot prosecute itself. All that the relevant authorities can do is issue Non-Compliance notices and Crown Enforcement Notices. But they cannot prosecute them. Crown immunity is a nifty bit of legal footwork that allows the Crown to commit exactly the same type of offences with impunity, that see others like Mr Kimberley packed off to prison. If only our prisons really were the hotels many ill-informed people wrongly believe them to be. How did this start?

I have been the editor of The Prisons Handbook for England and Wales for over 20 years and yet the issue of fire safety in our prisons had never really crossed my mind until one awful day six weeks ago. Largely I think it was because fire safety is not mentioned in any inspection report from HM Inspectorate of Prisons (HMIP) despite the fact that one of its four Healthy Prisons tests specifically refers to Safety indeed the new Expectations document that comes out next month, on which all prison inspections are based, doesn t even mention the word fire once. There has never been a Parliamentary inquiry into fire safety in prisons I can find, and until 2006, after the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 came into force, there were no fire regulations covering prisons at all none. And then, on 14 June this year, for me Grenfell Tower changed everything. The horrific towering inferno that we all watched on our televisions as fire took hold of the cladding and destroyed the building in what seemed like seconds, is a scene I will never forget it was at that point the prison penny dropped: our prisons have cladding; what if ? Grenfell prisons I contacted Peter Clarke, HM Chief Inspector of Prisons, and asked him whether in light of Grenfell HMIP had taken any action to inspect fire safety in our prisons? The Chief Inspector replied saying simply that fire safety in prisons was not his bag. Inspecting prisons for fire safety he said was the remit of a little-known independent statutory Inspectorate: the Crown Properties Fire Inspection Group (CPFIG) a part of the Home Office. As an independent inspectorate I searched online for CPFIG prison fire inspection reports; there were none.

When I contacted CPFIG a spokesman told me: due to regulations we work within we are not allowed to publish our reports online. I submitted a Freedom of Information request to CPFIG and within 14 days the 19 prison Fire Safety reports on prisons produced by CPFIG in the year to June 2017 all arrived and I began to read. What I found was deeply troubling.

100% fire-safety failure rate Of the 19 CPFIG inspections in the year to June 2017, every single one had failed statutory fire safety tests and all were issued with legal notices: the full list is at the bottom of this page. CPFIG found failures such as: The fire risk assessment had not identified all the measures which are required to achieve an acceptable level of risk for prison staff, prisoners, contractors & visitors. The Personal Emergency Evacuation Plan (PEEPs) did not set out suitable and sufficient individual plans for the evacuation of people with disabilities and had not been reviewed when evacuation needs had changed. Ignition sources were found too close to combustible materials. The ventilation ductwork shared by cells does not provide the necessary protection against the spread of fire and fire gases from cell to cell. The existing smoke control arrangements for enclosed landing areas, corridor approaches are inadequate to prevent smoke spread to other cells in the event of a cell fire. The number of trained prison response staff members available was not always sufficient to implement the cell fire response plan effectively. There were insufficient contingency staff during night state to undertake the evacuation of other cells Corridor approach areas contained an excessive level of combustible material. Emergency doors were secured in a manner which prevents them from being easily and immediately opened by any person who may require to use them in an emergency.

The smoke control arrangements did not ensure that the conditions outside the cell door would remain tenable for prison staff to undertake the cell fire response plan. The arrangements did not ensure that lock-back doors would be released in the event of fire. Evacuation routes were not sufficiently protected against the ingress of fire and smoke. Oh and in case you think these are examples of failures CPFIG found across the prison estate in the last 12 months, let me tell you they re not. This is just a very limited list of failures (running to 18 pages) that they found in just ONE prison (Bristol) they found similar or greater failings in every single prison they inspected in the year to June 2017. Flipping into self-destruct Unlike Grenfell, where its Management Organisation were said to have treated fire safety concerns with contempt, I have not found any evidence to suggest that prison governors are doing the same. On the contrary CPFIG told me that that when serious defects in fire safety are pointed out to prisons they always find a positive response and a willingness to correct them it is the prison finding the resources to do so that is the problem, and a question of how things could ever have been allowed to reach the unlawful fire state they were found to be in, that often goes unanswered. Our prisons are in crisis, as the Prison Governors Association (PGA) made quite clear in a blistering attack on Government policy in 1st August 2017. This is all the more important because the PGA, unlike the Prison Officers Association (POA), is not known for its public attacks on government; usually they just get on with the job.

Make no mistake, the PGA and its critical assessment is absolutely spot on, and I have told them so too. Our prisons are now in real danger of flipping into self-destruct. We have lost 7000 frontline staff in the last five years, many of them the most experienced of all who left under the Voluntary Early Redundancy Scheme (VERS) and, as a result, we have seen a haemorrhaging of vital custodial skills from our prisons that I suspect will take well over a decade to replace. True, staff numbers are increasing, but only 75 officers have been added in the last year, and as the PGA make clear they are often the wrong sort of person to do the job a problem caused by the fact recruitment rests with the Ministry of Justice, while training rests with the Prison Service; that is completely irrational in my view and that of the PGA. As staff numbers have fallen, the prison population has increased, and budgets have been savaged. It is in this atmosphere, where Governors becomes locked each day in a desperate scramble to make the staff available pegs fit the operational holes , that fire safety becomes less of a priority than it should be. Enforcement notices All the prisons inspected by CPFIG in the year to June 2017 were issued with Non-Compliance Notices, followed by 28 day warning notices, and CPFIG even issued Crown Enforcement Notices so serious were the defects they found in four prisons (Featherstone, Rochester, Pentonville and Wealstun which was actually served with three of them). But what s the point, given every prison enjoys immunity from prosecution? Immunity that was not enjoyed, and rightly, by Mr Kimberley, nor by any other commercial buildings, non-domestic and multi-occupancy premises in England and Wales which are subject to inspection and susceptible to prosecution, fines and imprisonment.

The shocking reality is that fire safety in our prisons is just not taken seriously. Prison service instructions Section 4.44 of Prison Service Instruction 11/2015 on the subject of fire safety mandates that the Governing Governor must ensure that prisoners are provided with information on the local arrangements for dealing with fire and that this should normally be done during the prisoner induction process. However, Prison Service Instruction 07/2017, issued just eight weeks earlier, and which covers the induction process doesn t mention the word fire once; even today it has still not been revised to take account of PSI 11/2015. Inadequate monitoring What makes this worse, given that many failings identified by CPFIG in their statutory notices were due to inadequate monitoring , is that every prison has an Independent Monitoring Board (IMB), a statutory watchdog appointed by the Secretary of State for Justice (SOSJ) whose job it is to monitor what happens in our prisons and report to the SOSJ their concerns. Did the IMB report to the SOSJ the service by CPFIG of Non-Compliance Notices, 28-day warning letters or Crown Enforcement Notices about fire safety failings in their prisons? Did they monitor how, and if, the identified fire safety defects set out in the Notice were put right? When I compared the IMB Annual Reports of those prisons served with CPFIG Non-Compliance notices within the year in which CPFIG notices were issued, only one prison, Pentonville, made mention of it in its Annual Report (page 15) the others seemingly airbrushed these legal documents out of existence. Or did they? Were all IMBs even told at all?

Not made aware of the report At HMP Portland one IMB Member on its Board, who I asked in a public twitter exchange with me on 1st August 2017 if her Board had reported the CPFIG non-compliance notice to the SOSJ said: It s an extremely good question, and a good example of us sometimes not knowing what we don t know. Not made aware of Report How are IMBs expected to monitor what happens in our prisons if they are given a sanitized version of reality by the prison itself? Governors must be mandated by Prison Service Instruction to copy all such statutory notices to their IMB on the date on which they are received; come on, its pretty basic stuff. And what of HM Prisons Inspectorate why did they not pick up these dangerous fire safety failures when inspecting these prisons? The answer is sadly a simple one: they never looked and they should have done. Had they done so they would not have issued the completely misleading report on HMP Coldingley that they did after their inspection there on 3rd March 2017. In that report the Chief Inspector of Prisons, Peter Clarke, wrote that when Coldingley was judged against the test for safety: Outcomes for prisoners were reasonably good against this healthy prison test. But that simply wasn t true. Just 26 days after Peter Clarke s Inspection gave Coldingley a reasonably good safety rating, CPFIG came knocking on the prison s gate and they could not have disagreed more when it came to fire safety .

They declared that when it came to fire safety HMP Coldingley was so dangerous they served the prison with a Statutory Non-Compliance Notice, giving them 28 days to correct the fire safety defects or they would issue a Crown Enforcement Notice. CPFIG Inspection found failings, among other things, that included: The procedure is not always followed for removing cigarette lighters and matches from prisoners in Segregation who appear to be at increased risk of self-harming through fire. Normal and/or emergency lighting doesn t provide sufficient illumination to implement the Cell Fire Response plan including the removal of a prisoner from the cell. The measures to reduce the spread of fire and smoke were inadequate. There was insufficient evidence available to demonstrate the effectiveness of the smoke control arrangements for E wing after it was confirmed to have extraction only. The generic cell fire response plan was not suitable for the circumstances in which prisoners are not locked in their cells (night san). The training package delivered to staff does not provide sufficient practical instruction on the use of Inundation equipment. An insufficient number of prison staff members working in residential wings were in date with their training in Respiratory Protective Equipment (RPE) wearing. The number of trained prison response staff members available was not always sufficient to implement the cell fire response plan effectively.

The fire safety measures were not always being tested and maintained in good condition and effective working order. How on earth, less than a month earlier, could HMIP describe this as a safe prison a question I have asked the Chief Inspector? Enough is enough. Fundamental Inspectorate reform It is clear to me that the way we inspect and monitor our prisons is in need of fundamental reform. It currently consists of a series of ad hoc and separate statutory inspectorates, acting alone or scattered across government departments. The Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspects healthcare in prisons, Ofsted inspects training and skills, CPFIG inspects fire safety, IMBs report to the SoSJ, and HM Prisons Inspectorate itself which reports to parliament. We need is to bring them altogether, under one roof, and ensure the right hand knows what the left hand is doing. Currently CPFIG is part of the Home Office, HMIP are part of the Ministry of Justice, as are the IMB, the CQC and Ofsted are stand-alone inspectorates. As a consequence there is inevitable confusion between them as to what is actually going on.

A joined-up inspectorate As Basil Fawlty would say to state the bleedin obvious , what we need is a joined up prisons inspectorate. We we only need one Prisons Inspectorate with experts across the disciplines. Grenfell changed everything and yet in our prisons it changed nothing. Yesterday, 4th August 2017, there were 86,353 people locked up in our prisons (leaving room for just about 750 more before full operational capacity is reached). On top of that we have (March 2017) 32,561 staff and hundreds of thousands of people who visit each year the prison workforce statistics for the quarter to June 2017 has been pulled, it is being revised and the new publication date is confirmed for 17th August 2017. According to a Parliamentary Written Answer in March 2017 there were 2,580 fires in our prisons last year, that s almost 50 blazes every week. True, many of these are minor but the fridge-fire in the 4 th floor flat that seemingly caused the Grenfell disaster was minor when it started, but it still took the lives of around 80 people, devastated the lives of countless others and destroyed the entire building. So what should we do? Firstly we must have a Justice Secretary in David Lidington MP who will jump on this and ensure every CPFIG notice is acted on immediately, also that all IMBs are told of these Notices and that his Prisons Minister is copied in to all such reports and advised in writing by the Governing Governor when the defects have been rectified we have nothing like that at the moment although I m delighted to say that Richard Burgon, the Shadow Justice Secretary, has written to the Justice Secretary demand this.

Secondly we must have a joined-up system of Independent Inspectorates the current system is demonstrably not working. Until we have that in place, HMIP must take with them on inspections CPFIG Inspectors to report on fire safety and its hardly a novel point. Lord Ramsbotham, HM Chief Inspector of Prisons between 1995 and 2001, told me that on prison inspections he conducted: We always took a civil engineer, who looked at fire precautions. He once prevented HMP Canterbury from blowing up, because he found that the boiler had been installed the wrong way round! Thirdly, CPFIG must publish all its fire safety reports online any independent Regulator worthy of the name Independent needs to be seen and heard. Finally, but of equal importance, we must ensure that no one is above the law. The Crown Immunity from Prosecution for breaches of fire safety legislation that currently applies to prison Governors must be removed, responsibility for it then shifted from Governors to HMPPS, and the offences for which the Crown prosecutes, fines and imprisons people like Mr Kimberley, should be made to apply equally to everyone.

Full list of non-compliance notices HMP Bristol Non-Compliant Notice HMP Coldingley Non-Compliant 28 day letter HMP Featherstone Non-Compliant 28 day letter HMP Featherstone Enforcement Notice HMP Garth Non-Compliant Audit Response HMP Gartree Non-Compliant 28 Day Letter HMP Hewell Non-Compliant Report HMP Kirkham Non-Compliant Report HMP Lewes Non-Compliant Notice HMP Lincoln Non-Compliant 28 DayLetter HMP Lindholme Non-Compliant Audit Response HMP Lowdham Grange Non-Compliant Notice HMP Moorland Non-Compliant Notice HMP Northumberland Non-Compliant Report HMP Pentonville Enforcement Notice HMP Portland Non-Compliant Notice HMP Risley Non-Compliant Notice HMP Rochester Enforcement Notice HMP Wealstun Non-Compliant 28 day letter HMP Wealstun Enforcement Notice1 HMP Wealstun Enforcement Notice2 HMP Wealstun Enforcement Notice3 HMP Woodhill Non-Compliant NON-28 day Notice Prison Service Instruction 11/2015 Fire Safety Prison Service Instruction 07/2015 Induction FOIA Response From CPFIG Parliamentary Answer March 2017 on Fires in Prisons Prison Fire Safety Inspections Summary (Compiled by Niamh McIntyre) CPFIG Fire Safety Expectations Prisons This article was originally published on You can follow Mark Leech on @PrisonsorgUK on Twitter.

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Watch: Highlights from the Drone Zone 2017

IFseC 2017 The Drone Zone returned to IFSEC International in 2017 for the second time. Drones have applications in perimeter surveillance, intruder alerts, mobile CCTV, emergency communications networks, facilities surveillance, criminal tool prosecution, fire scene investigations and drone detection. Watch our highlights video from the Drone Zone, which took place within Borders & Infrastructure Expo at London ExCeL between 20-22 June 2017.

embedded content Free Download: Securing UK borders: An examination of the implications of leaving the EU for UK border management. Recent tragic events in Manchester and London have, among other things, underscored the importance to national security of getting Brexit right. This report considers the implications of leaving the EU for the management of the UK s borders and making it as easy as possible for international business to thrive and legitimate movement to occur in a post-Brexit UK.

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Architect says sprinkler installation at Glasgow Hospital was used as an excuse to flout other buildings standards

Cost-cutting Credit: George Allison under CC BY-SA 4.0 An architect who helped design Scotland s largest hospital has warned that corners were cut in the construction of the 14-storey complex in the name of keeping down costs. Robert Menzies, now retired from his role at BMJ Architects, believes the installation of a sprinkler system in Glasgow s Queen Elizabeth University Hospital has been used as an excuse for flouting other building standards. He says the complex, which includes a children s hospital, adult hospital and laboratory, lacks exit stairways and exceeds size limits on fire compartments, while a hose-reel for firefighters is too short and some fire doors open in the wrong direction.

Insulation panels used in Grenfell tower are also fitted to the hospital, although the health board has insisted they are safe. Menzies drew up the hospital s exemplar design which sets criteria that firms bidding for construction projects must meet as senior healthcare architect at BMJ. He says the construction contract was given to London-based Brookfield Multiplex in defiance of architects recommendations that a bid from Balfour Beatty be accepted on the basis of cost , he suspects. They ve then made the stairs the minimum width possible. Surely you d want to make them wider to compensate for not having enough stairways in the first place? Robert Menzies, BMJ Architect We thought we would provide a monitoring role right through to completion of the actual build, in terms of where this is compliant and where it s not, so we were surprised to be told we were no longer required, Menzies told the Glasgow Evening Times. I had read the winning bidder s fire strategy and it concerned me a lot. It was almost like they the health board didn t want us around asking questions. It was very odd.

Lack of stairways On the lack of stairways he said: They are supposed to provide three stairways minimum as an emergency escape route if there are more than 100 people per storey. In the adult tower, there are 112 patients per floor but only two stairways. They are only slightly over, but that s just the patients there are also staff and visitors. They ve then made the stairs the minimum width possible. Surely you d want to make them wider to compensate for not having enough stairways in the first place? At least one fire compartment was too big in the original designs, says Menzies at least for the limit prescribed in Scotland, set at 1500sq, whereas it did meet the 2,000sq metre limit set in England. Pointing to the high failure rate of sprinklers in US hospitals 20% of which have had fires where sprinklers failed Menzies told the Glasgow Evening Times that an over-reliance on sprinklers was foolish. If you re putting sprinklers in and you re saying a fire will never occur as a consequence, then why do you need escape stairs? Why do you need anything?

But what happens when the sprinkler system fails? They re not 100%. A spokesman for NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde did not dispute the veracity of Menzies claims, but pointed out that all buildings in the hospital complex were certified as compliant with Scottish fire safety and building standards by Glasgow City Council in 2015. Health Facilities Scotland also endorsed the hospital s fire strategy, he said. He said: It is important that everyone working in and coming to these world class facilities for healthcare know that we take fire safety extremely seriously and that there are heat/smoke detection and early warning fire alarm systems combined with automatic fire suppression sprinkler systems fitted in all areas. The hospitals are further protected by designated fire-fighting and fire evacuation lifts, as well as multiple fire escape stairwells. A spokeswoman for Brookfield Multiplex said: The final design met all the requirements of the building regulations and was signed off progressively through construction by Glasgow City Council s building control office.

Construction consultancy firm Currie & Brown has been appointed to verify the hospitals construction and certification process following the Grenfell blaze.

Home automation: A beginner s guide

Home automation has come a long way since the 1960s when British racing driver Stirling Moss fitted his newly built House of the Future in London s Mayfair with the latest gadgets. The extension of commercial heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) controls into the residential market alongside smart lighting and security solutions has since revolutionised the way home owners interact with domestic systems and appliances using an expanding combination of hardware, communication protocols and electronic interfaces. Certainly use of devices such as IP cameras for domestic surveillance systems, motion detection hardware, door opening sensors and remote controls have surged, though from a low base.

The ubiquity of wireless networks using Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and to a lesser extent ZigBee and Z-Wave in the home has also helped, providing the communications channel that devices, sensors and back end software systems need to transmit, store and analyse the information being collected. Security is the biggest are of demand amongst smart home users, with sales of connected cameras and remotely controlled door and window locks driving much of that usage. But the volume and diversity of deployments and applications is diverse, including connected white goods appliances (fridges, cookers, washing machines etc) alongside audio devices and entertainment hubs, lighting and heating controls, pet and baby monitors, and even products designed to automate the watering and monitoring of plant growth. Developments elsewhere may also have a galvanising affect, particularly the growth of the Internet of Things (IoT) which is forecast to connect over devices by 2020. This vast network of interlinked monitors, sensors, computers, controllers, switches and other industrial and consumer gadgets will collect and analyse information from systems as diverse as manufacturing, retail, transportation, automotive and agriculture. The considerable efforts being put into driving the IoT market by the likes of Cisco, Intel, IBM, Microsoft and other heavyweight information communications technology (ICT) companies will inevitably help to push home automation systems (a form of consumer IoT) into the spotlight. Barriers to adoption But while there is a strong feeling that the home automation industry stands on the brink of mass market adoption, significant barriers to its further development remain. The lack of interoperability between so many different devices, protocols, networks and applications continues to undermine user confidence, for example. Home owners also find systems difficult to use, a problem exacerbated by those incompatibility issues and a general lack of familiarity with home automation in general.

Though they have steadily fallen in price, home automation devices remain expensive and are likely to remain so until their popularity reaches a tipping point that will persuade large scale manufacturers to drive down costs further by producing equipment in higher volumes. Long device replacement cycles push suppliers to charge a premium for current deployments and make it difficult for them to build profitable businesses based on recurring revenue streams one reason why many seek to push consumers into managed services contracts wherever possible. Housebuilders are building smart heating controls and thermostats into new homes designed to give residents greater control over their energy costs, but retrofits on older properties remain more difficult and expensive and a thriving DIY market makes it difficult for professional installers to compete. The potential for cyber security breaches to cause disruption is finally starting to be recognised, if not necessarily addressed. But the biggest barrier is the technological fragmentation of the smart home ecosystem that involves so many different types of devices, networks and software systems, and needs them all to work together to deliver value to the house owner. Market adoption rates One analyst firm has gone so far as to predict that sales of home automation hardware, software and services will exceed US$78bn by 2022, with more conservative estimates forecasting US$20.78bn by 2020. As ever with analyst forecasts, there can be discrepancies of definition that tend to skew the numbers one way or another however, though research firm Gartner has predicted that the average home could contain as many as 500 smart devices by 2022. Much of that turnover will continue to be driven by the larger population base of the US and China, followed by Japan ahead of Europe and the UK which are collectively yet to show the same levels of enthusiasm. Figures from Statista suggest that the number of smart homes in the US will grow from 4.6m households in 2015 to 24.5m by 2020 for example, compared to 400,000 growing to 3.3m in Japan and 300,000 increasing to 2.1m in China over the same period.

Statista calculates Germany to be the single largest European market, with 300,000 smart homes last year growing to 2.4m by 2020 compared to 200,000 in the UK increasing to 1.5m in the same period. Key players Research published by CBInsights earlier this year suggests that a lot of venture capitalist funding is going into home automation start-ups such as Nest Labs. These now fight for market share alongside established industrial automation companies which have moved into the home automation space (Honeywell International, GE, Legrand, Siemens, ABB, and United Technologies Corporation, for example) but also home automation specialists such as Crestron Electronics, Savant and Control4. Technology giants such as Samsung, Google and Amazon are also coming to the fore, having spied parallel opportunities for mobile apps, devices and operating systems alongside information processing platforms that they can exploit. Flagship home automation products to date include the Nest smart home thermostats and cameras, Sonos music systems, GE s Z-Wave components and Samsung SmartThings Hub. Amazon s Echo and Google s Home voice activated smarthubs are also driving usage by delivering Internet connected, multimedia gadgets that can also be used to control smart thermostats and other devices. 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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The international league table of cybersecurity: How cyber-safe is your country?

infographic The infographic below details the countries that are the most and least safe in terms of vulnerability to cyber-attack. Full of fascinating comparisons, the visual gives league tables for the countries with the highest and lowest rates of malware infection; the highest number of users attacked with ransomware; the most targeted countries for web app attack traffic; the highest percentage of global DDoS attacks; those most affected by cyber espionage; and many more Thank you to for letting us use this infographic. is a consumer advice resource that helps consumers make better decisions when they subscribe to tech services such as VPNs, antivirus and security products.

Source: Free Download: the Cyber Security Crashcourse This report contains 40 slides packed with insight into the trends shaping the industry and how you can protect yourself.

Eric Hansleman from 451 Research presents a rapid-fire overview of cyber security.

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Chubb launches traffic monitoring system for smart motorways

product launch Chubb Systems has launched a surveillance camera solution designed for the growing number of smart motorways around the UK road network. The Television Out Station (TVOS) is an all-weather traffic monitoring system. Sectors/verticals The TVOS is designed specifically for smart motorways, which uses enforces variable speed limits and hard shoulder running at busy times in order to boost capacity.

A raft of UK motorways have been converted to smart status and several more are currently being redeveloped to the same end. The TVOS meets specific technical specifications set out by Highways England inits road investment strategy. Chubb Systems was awarded a position on Lot 2 (Traffic Monitoring and Traffic Enforcement Cameras) of the Crown Commercial Services/Highways England Traffic Management Technology 2 Framework agreement and Lot 15 , the framework s product catalogue. Features Comprises long-range, high-resolution camera with optical zoom and back-light compensation; infrared array with 500m range; and television base unit (TVBU) Delivers images in ultra-low and zero-light conditions Provides regional control centres (RCC) with images to monitor traffic flow and motorway incidents as well as protect highways workforce Possesses physical and cybersecurity accreditation Remote maintenance service for software upgrades and alterations VBU connects relevant cameras to National Roads Telecommunication System, which connects to relevant RCCs Chubb Systems says With emphasis being placed on providing improved technology to the UK s highways, we can deliver a product and service that matches expectations and offers excellent value for money, said Dave Dunnagan, sales director at Chubb Systems. Alongside the TVOS camera head s technological benefits are significant cost reductions. Capital costs are reduced with no special brackets needed to hold the camera head in place. The unit s ongoing costs are minimal as power consumption has been significantly reduced. About Chubb Chubb is a truly heritage brand, having been founded by the inventor of the first patent detector lock in 1818. Acquired for 622m by United Technologies Corporation in 2003, Chubb now provides security and fire-safety solutions as part of UTC Climate, Controls & Security.

The company offers an extensive range of products and services, including fire-risk assessments, alarm monitoring and security audits, among many others. 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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False alarms: The fake news of the control room

Functioning democracies are based on the ability of well-informed public to shape its views and cast its vote accordingly. However, when the public cannot discern between genuine facts and alternative facts (AKA fake news), it undermines the foundation of our democracies. To fill this gap Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales recently introduced the WikiTRIBUNE, a website where news stories are backed by a community checking and rechecking all facts geared to be a source for verified evidence-based journalism.

The situation in the control room is analogous. These unwanted alerts are the fake news of the security industry. They clutter the view of the operators and limit their ability to understand the situation at hand and make an informed decision on how to respond. But can they be filtered out to leave only actionable intelligence about real incidents, as the WikiTRIBUNE does? As new sensors and systems have been diligently invested in, with the intention of improving the ability to prevent, detect and respond to incidents, an unwanted consequence has been a sharp uplift in false alarms. There has been evidence to suggest that US forces are losing as much as 6.5 million man hours to false alarms In fact, it has been suggested that false alarms can consume 90% of a control room operator s shift and that comes at considerable cost, far above and beyond the operator s time (although the impact should not be underestimated). In the extreme, closing a platform in a rail station, shutting an airport terminal, or evacuating a bank, for example, can see costs rises to millions in the blink of an eye. To illustrate the extent of this problem, we worked with a large European bank that was having to deal with a massive 19,000 false alarms each year. To place this in context, the cost of every resulting police dispatch was $50.

This issue of false alerts is also having a significant impact on police resources, with estimates of annual costs reaching $1.8bn (in the US) for their response. With police resources stretched, as a result of budget tightening and the global threat level, which remains high, it is an unwanted and wholly unnecessary distraction. In fact, there has been evidence to suggest that police forces (again in the US) are losing as much as 6.5 million man hours to false alarms. Root-cause analysis A root-cause analysis to determine the scale of false alarms in your organisation is imperative, but the critical factor in beginning to reduce them is to understand what is triggering them and this can throw up some surprises. Is there an issue with the location of a sensor? Has the right piece of kit been specified for its specific use? Has it been installed correctly? Is there a reliability issue with a certain vendor over another? Crucially, this isn t a one-off exercise.

It needs to be an ongoing, ingrained programme of monitoring to ensure operators are presented with actionable intelligence that is combined with a best-practice-driven response to every incident: situation management. It is not to suggest that it is possible to eradicate all false alarms, but it is a realistic expectation to drastically reduce the volume and frequency of them. In turn this helps operators to filter the noise and focus on the meaningful aspects of their job. The aforementioned European bank was able to reduce its false alarms to 1,200 per annum. It has achieved this through the use of its situation management (otherwise known as PSIM) system to correlate information and provide video confirmation of alarms in real time. By integrating all data feeds coming in to the control room and presenting a single operating picture, a situation management system provides situational awareness that in turn enables operators to be far more confident in being decisive about what is false, what is fact and how to best respond. Jon Denial is executive director at JPMorgan Chase and is quoted as saying: Filtering false alarms and focusing on the important information gives us real-time situational awareness. With an ever-increasing array of sensors and systems being made available to control rooms, the issue of false alarms is not abating. If anything, it is only going to get worse if it goes unchecked.

The time has come to filter out the fake news in the control room. 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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