Private Investigator Profiles

Private Investigators

Whether from a Business or Private client aspect, clients have often been down a long road before talking to us. Consequently we are open about who we are and, while confidentiality and discretion are of paramount importance will not betray the trust you place in us

Some of our Investigators are profiled below. Please feel free to contact us at any time with the confidence that we will not judge, but will listen to your issue and suggest a plan to resolve it, whether it is a corporate problem, a personal issue, or legal need

We feel it helps for you to be able to put a face to a name, especially when dealing with sensitive annd confidential issues.

All of our people are decent and respectful; on the occasions that someone is involved with us who is not this way, they do not last long


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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.

Watch: Installer World debuts with Tool Zone, Trade Counter and Engineers of Tomorrow competition

IFSEC 2017 IFSEC International this year launched an area dedicated to the needs of installers of fire and security technologies. Sponsored by RISCO, Installer World brought together manufacturers and distributors, the Tool Zone, workwear, the Engineers of Tomorrow competition, recruitment consultants and a networking bar. In the Tool Zone (big thanks to its exclusive partner, Anglia Tools), visitors sampled a wide range of hand and power tools and took advantage of exclusive discounts and special offers.

VanTainer also provided racking and storage systems. Check out our video review of Installer World below. 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.

Click here to Download now

TDSi agrees distribution deal with Anixter

Vendor news Anixter has joined Norbain, ADI, Pro-Vision, Advanced Access and Midwich in agreeing to distribute TDSi s security solutions. Although some customers may be surprised by how many different suppliers provide our products, we only sell indirectly, so TDSi completely relies upon its channel partnerships to grow our market share and drive our success, says TDSi distribution channel manager Andy Cross, who joined the Poole-based company late last year with a remit to strengthen and forge new distribution partnerships. This is even more evident as physical security systems become further integrated with all other parts of the IT and business systems networks.

About the need to broaden TDSi s reach across verticals and geographically he adds: It would be impossible for TDSi alone to reach this many different customers, let alone offer the infrastructure to supply the many types of end user that benefit from using our systems. Such partnerships reflect a growing demand among customers for procuring fully integrated solutions from a single supplier. Naturally integrated security systems such as access control, CCTV and intruder alarms combine well to offer powerful and complete protection solutions. At the same time, increasingly this technology is becoming closely associated with other IT and business systems purchases. Buyers are looking to improve their ROI by ensuring all their purchases can be sourced together, with the assurance they can be fully integrated easily. Established in 1982, UK-headquartered company TDSi develops access control systems, biometric readers, security management software and IP CCTV video management software. UK Channel Partner of the Year North In other TDSi news, ABCA has been named UK Partner of the Year North at the integrated security specialist s annual Partner Awards. ABCA s managing director, Philip Miller, was presented with the award by TDSi channel partner manager Neil Hughes. I am delighted and proud to accept this award on behalf of the entire team at ABCA, said Miller.

We work very closely with TDSi to ensure our customers receive the best security solutions. We specify TDSi products because they offer outstanding quality of service and value for money, which helps us provide our clients with very attractive levels of ROI in a highly competitive market. We very much look forward to continuing and growing our highly successful partnership. Neil Hughes, said: ABCA has continuously proven and demonstrated the highest levels of technical expertise, market awareness and professionalism which makes it an ideal TDSi partner. With a highly keen interest in the market, ABCA has grown its business with TDSi significantly throughout the last 12 months, with a stand-out project for access control in seven schools in South Yorkshire. This award is richly deserved and we are proud to be forging a continued partnership of success. Established in 1986, ABCA Systems provides specialist electrical systems for large public-sector organisations and private residential home owners.

With the slogan One Call, We do it all ABCA installs multi-disciplined, fully integrated systems and surveys, designs, quotes, installs and maintains them without the need of multiple contractors for multiple systems.

MOBOTIX completes Mx6 6MP camera series with new indoor models

product launch MOBOTIX has added new indoor models c26, i26, p26 and v26 to the Mx6 6MP camera line. The German surveillance brand says it marks the completion of the Mx6 series, which it launched earlier in the year. The Mx6 series is a major departure for MOBOTIX as it accommodates the video compression industry standard H.264 for the first time.

Features (across all four models) Processor delivers up to twice as many images per second, at the same resolution, as previous models Video data simultaneously offered in three formats (MxPEG, MJPEG and H.264), as well as a range of resolutions RTSP/multicast enhances flexibility Intelligent motion detection within camera affords spare capacity for additional software applications Available with more powerful CPU H.264 encoder New processor architecture has boosted frame rate and capacity to capture rapid movement Video stream can be displayed on multiple clients simultaneously without compromising frame rate H.264 compression standard format available on MOBOTIX cameras for the first time Users can toggle between high image quality with MxPEG and where video transmission and camera integration is problematic the lower quality industry standard Basic ONVIF functions offered 6-megapixel moonlight sensors Low light performance of > 1 Lux How the models compare c26 is the smallest and lightest MOBOTIX 360 camera yet: 12cm diameter and 200 grams weight. Therefore effective for rapid ceiling mounting in suspended ceilings i26 is also compact and discrete, so suited to corresponding wall mounting. Tilt angle of 15 means the camera can get the kind of complete coverage that would otherwise need four cameras p26 offers flexibility during installation thanks to manual swivel and tilt functions. And 90 lens means total room coverage can be achieved from a corner position v26 is the first vandalism-proof indoor camera to offer all MOBOTIX functions. On-wall audio set and vandalism sets provide robust protection. Mobotix says We will continue to remain true to our decentralized concept storing maximum intelligence in a camera and thereby offer solutions that go above and beyond traditional applications, said MOBOTIX CTO Dr Oliver Gabel. At the same time, we are open to generally used technologies such as H.264 and participation in standard forums such as ONVIF. We do not consider these two parts of our approach to be in conflict with each other; instead, they help our range prepare for the future and stay solution-oriented. About MOBOTIX MOBOTIX was founded in Germany in 1999.

The German IP camera and software specialists has made a name for itself developing the first decentralised IP camera and supplying the Mount Everest webcam. Contrary to popular perception as a hardware provider, the company sees itself as a software specialist with in-house hardware development of digital, high-resolution and network-based video security. It produces complete systems using a single source. 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.

Click here to Download now

NSI launches Women in Security Awards

IFseC 2017 The National Security Inspectorate (NSI), with its stand in IFSEC s new feature destination, Installer World, welcomed a record number of service providers and launched this year s Women in Security Awards with a drinks reception. During the expo NSI experts shared their knowledge by taking part in seminars. Tony Weeks, head of technical services took part in a panel discussion on current trends and the future of the security industry.

Clare Crump, auditor, presented with Tony Porter, surveillance camera commissioner, on the Surveillance Camera Code of Practice and good operational practice. Chris Hayes, operations manager, provided guidance on how to choose a competent fire risk assessor. NSI is the official host of this year s Women in Security Awards ceremony taking place on the evening of 14 September on the Harmony cruise boat of Bateaux London. Una Riley, the Awards founder, discussed how they continue to play an important role within the security industry. Roy Cooper, publisher of Professional Security magazine and organiser of the Awards, encouraged industry representatives to nominate colleagues who have gone above and beyond their role to make a significant contribution to the industry. The Engineers of Tomorrow competition is another key feature of IFSEC. NSI has been a stakeholder since it began nearly 20 years ago. The competition demonstrated the skills and talent of apprentices and young engineers. NSI auditors Gary Hurst and Bill Baillie provided adjudicator support to oversee the competitors.

NSI chief executive Richard Jenkins presented the heat winners prizes at the end of the first day to Corrie Stewart and Martin Hannaway, both studying at New College Lanarkshire. Three NSI Gold approved company presentations took place on the stand with all three companies receiving recognition for their transition to the latest 2015 edition of ISO 9001. The companies are Eclipse (IP) Ltd in Dumfermline, Stanley Security Solutions in Swindon and Pyrotec Services in Abingdon. 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.

Click here to Download now

Genetec announces product line-up

IFSEC 2017 During IFSEC in June, Genetec will be exhibiting Security Center 5.6, with new HTML5 web client, as well as previewing access control-as-a-service and new applications for retail and law enforcement. Montreal-based Genetec, which provides open architecture security and public safety solutions, will be at stand F500 at IFSEC taking place at ExCeL in London from 20-22 June. On its stand the company will demonstrate and preview its latest technologies that help integrators as well as end-users protect, improve and implement security measures within their environments.

Genetec will demonstrate Security Center 5.6, the latest version of the company s unified, open architecture IP security platform. Visitors will also be able to learn about Genetec Retail Sense, an analytics application for retail marketing and operations, as well as Genetec Clearance, which is a collaborative case management offering for law enforcement and security professionals. In addition a wide range of supported video, access control, and storage hardware and software systems from the Genetec ecosystem of partners will also be demonstrated. Synergis Genetec plans to offer a preview of its upcoming Synergis access-control-as-a-service, which can minimise reliance on corporate IT, eliminating the need for servers on premises and other costly IT equipment. Connected to Microsoft Azure, the technology can be deployed quickly and readily and can also be scaled as companies grow, providing maximum security for customer data. Genetec will also sponsor a new, speaking series called Borders & Infrastructure Theatre, to address the specific needs for managing large-scale multi-stakeholder security issues, like border control, critical national infrastructure, law enforcement and transport security. Andrew Elvish, vice president of marketing at Genetec says: Visitors to our stand at IFSEC this year will see that despite the extraordinary technology on display, Genetec s focus remains squarely on protecting the everyday. This latest version of Security Center includes advanced authentication, authorisation and encryption standards plus a new HTML5 web client with an enhanced mapping interface, new access control and video device integrations, as well as the ability to use number plates as access control credentials with the new AutoVu SharpV camera. Genetec recently released the latest version of off-street parking enforcement software Free-Flow.

The company has also been confirmed as sponsor of the Borders & Infrastructure Expo, which makes its debut within IFSEC this year. Check out the latest solutions from Genetec at IFSEC International, 20-22 June 2017, London ExCeL. You can find Genetec on stand F500.

Get your free badge now. Visit Europe s only large-scale security event in 2017 Taking place in London, 20 22 June 2017, IFSEC International gives you exclusive hands-on access to over 10,000 security solutions, live product demonstrations, and networking with over 27,000 security professionals. Covering every aspect of security, from access control and video surveillance to smart buildings, cyber, border control and so much more.

Time is running out, register now to avoid missing out

Top trends in security tech to expect in 2017

Top Trends In Security Tech To Expect In 2017

The shops are super busy and, depending on which hemisphere you live in, it s either time to turn on the central heating or break out the shorts and shades. But it s also time to look ahead to 2017 and wonder what it might have in store for us. On a global level the world is going through turbulent times, with conflicts, political uncertainty, an ongoing refugee crisis and a somewhat fragile economic recovery from the most recent financial downturn.

At the same time, technological developments continue unabated, with high-speed networks, big data and deep learning moving beyond that initial phase of just being marketing buzzwords to enabling new and improved security offerings. Similarly, we expect the so-called internet of things to be much less of a novelty and become part of the fabric of our daily lives. However, that means manufacturers of internet-enabled devices will have to step up and take much more responsibility for the level of default security they ship with. All of these factors are likely to fuel demand for increased security, both physical and online. The security industry will continue its trend of offering more specific solutions to particular problems, rather than one-size fits all hardware/software Security as a service (SaaS) As many other technologies have done, we expect customers will stop looking at physical security as simply being a collection of hardware and software connected to a network. Instead, we think they will start to see their security as a service remote and professionally hosting and monitoring of video transmitted from the customer s premise. Whether by themselves, or more likely by sector-specific specialists who can not only take away the burden of managing the complex systems involved, but also reduce the costs of keeping those systems up to date and secure. This will not only free up internal resources which could be better focused elsewhere, but also improve the service level of the security system, enable better device management, and strengthen cyber security processes. On the topic of cyber security, we see an increased use of tools and practices that make network video a less vulnerable to attacks.

In general, wider use of pre- and post-installation tools (such as Axis Site Designer, for example) will help in ongoing monitoring and maintenance of systems. embedded content Integrated solutions The security industry will continue its trend of offering more specific solutions to particular problems, rather than one-size fits all hardware/software. In the end, customers aren t looking to buy a camera, or a video management system (VMS) what they really want is to reduce shoplifting, or make sure only certain people can access the cash office, or keep track of potential threats in an airport. Although the word solutions gets bandied around by technology companies a lot, for once this really is the most apt term. The convergence of hardware and software as well as pre-installation and post installation tools as mentioned above, into end-to-end solutions will be able to address specific security problems. They will consist of high-performance cameras, storage and access controls tightly integrated with video management and analytics tools. This approach will be easier for customers to purchase, install and implement, while offering a great return on their investment. We expect to see 2017 as the year when these new camera capabilities are combined with real-time analytics to address several security challenges, including facial recognition, forensic analysis and perimeter protection More analytics As part of this, we see that while high quality video footage is a core feature of modern security cameras, ultimately that information needs to be assessed and analyzed before a decision can be made to respond to its content. The recent advances in camera technologies, such as thermal imaging and enhanced low-light capabilities have been significant steps forward.

But in the end, they just generate more footage that needs to be watched/reviewed. So, much like how tools have been developed to sift through the huge pools of numerical/text data that is being captured every day, the security industry has been working hard on video analytics software that can work in real time to help professionals make informed decisions. We expect to see 2017 as the year when these new camera capabilities are combined with real-time analytics to address several security challenges, including facial recognition, forensic analysis and perimeter protection. embedded content Deep learning With all this data being gathered, we are seeing deep learning technologies coming to the fore. These use pattern recognition software to learn about different kinds of behaviours as seen through the multitude of security cameras installed around the world. Techniques involving deep learning and artificial intelligence will see broader utilization within the security industry. The benefits are that although all customers are different, the environments and locations they are based in tend to fall into the same general categories, with people exhibiting the same general behaviours. Once those behaviours have been learned the patterns that underlie them can be shared, enabling the system to flag up when something unexpected occurs. We see this as only the beginning and a very exciting space to keep an eye on.

2017 should be the year when security cameras work hand in glove with intelligent doors, intercoms and speakers, both locally and remotely Beyond video However, we know that physical security doesn t just involve surveillance of people/places/objects. It is also about physical access control, one and two-way communication and managing emergency situations and often managing this from a significant distance. So, to extend the concept of integration even further, 2017 should be the year when security cameras work hand in glove with intelligent doors, intercoms and speakers, both locally and remotely.

That means one simple system that can manage them all, in real time enabling customers to see, hear and talk to the people in/near their buildings. Cyber security As mentioned above, the internet of things has evolved from buzzword status to mainstream reality, but not without its challenges. While we still think the idea of millions of IP-enabled devices is an exciting prospect for the future, 2016 gave us a sobering reminder of the pitfalls of not properly securing all those internet-connected fridges, DVRs and unfortunately security cameras. Given that most of those devices are just plugged in and switched on by customers, it is down to manufacturers to take responsibility to ensure they are secure out of the box. Axis has always taken its customers security seriously, but we will hopefully see 2017 as the year when all manufacturers make this a priority. We will continue to strengthen our existing offerings and make it easier for our customers to keep their networks and devices secure. We think the internet of things should be about better security, and more efficient businesses, organisations and cities thanks to smart cameras, door stations and audio equipment with network connectivity.

Next year will add more smarts to those devices, while also enabling customers to focus on what they do best and allowing security specialists to improve the services they provide.

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.

Number of responsible persons educated in life-safety maintenance obligations soars, study reveals

Number Of  Responsible Persons  Educated In Life-safety Maintenance Obligations Soars, Study Reveals

Fire-safety systems The number of building owners and managers who are unaware of legal requirements surrounding life-safety system maintenance has more than halved, research has revealed. Conducted by Hochiki Europe the study, which polled hundreds of responsible persons as building owners and managers are known under the UK s Fire Safety Order from across Europe, found that 22% admitted to being completely unfamiliar with their legal obligations in this regard less than half the figure 46% posted 12 months before. But it wasn t all good news from the study (the key findings of which are detailed in the infographic below).

Hochiki Europe, one of the world s biggest life-safety solutions manufacturers, also discovered a jump in the number of installers admitting to using an out of date fire detection logbook, from 30% in 2015 to 40% this year. The number failing to have an up to date emergency lighting logbook fell further still, from 67% in 2015 to 48% this year. The false alarm problem, meanwhile, improved only marginally, with the number of building owners and managers reporting false alarms dropping om 29% to 28%. The top five fire maintenance issues encountered by installers in 2016 are: Change of building/room use without correctly altering the fire system (50%) Inadequate logbook records (44%) The original installer didn t install the best system for the environment (40%) Detectors need cleaning (33%) Detectors need replacing (27%) And the top five emergency lighting maintenance issues encountered by installers are: Broken/faulty lamps (44%) Inadequate logbook records (42%) Inadequate emergency lighting signage (39%) Batteries not charged in emergency lighting units (35%) Inadequate lux levels (25%) Our annual study shows a marked improvement in both understanding and meeting maintenance requirements among building owners and managers, said Tracy Kirk, general manager of sales and marketing for Hochiki Europe. This suggests that, as an industry, our efforts to educate and train those responsible for maintaining life safety systems is proving successful. That said, we acknowledge there are still some serious gaps to continue addressing, and while these are encouraging results we cannot be complacent. Ensuring the legal requirement for keeping up to date logbooks is met, the correct system is in place and reducing false alarms are all vital to keep people safe. We will continue to provide training and information that can help our installers educate even more building managers and owners on the importance of life safety maintenance and the correct ways to carry out this. Free download covering legal requirements for responsible persons under the FSO, courtesy of the IOSH, BIFM and USHA approved UK provider of health, safety and environmental information.

Key features: A full breakdown of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 The key actions when dealing with fire precautions & protection A complete guide to maintaining procedures and requirements within your organisation.

Download now

2016 has been a boom year for state snooping laws here s how to fight back

2016 Has Been A Boom Year For State Snooping Laws   Here  S How To Fight Back

In 2016 internet privacy has experienced a string of shocks and abuses around the world starting with the Polish law that loosened spying restrictions for police and ending the year with the UK s controversial Investigatory Powers Bill, Rule 41 in the US and the TOR network s blocking in Belarus. Restricting internet privacy and interfering with people s lives by mass surveillance techniques brings fear to the society and dramatically increases the likelihood of criminal activity by giving new easy tools to access people s data not only to governments, but to whoever is able to hack, intercept or otherwise manipulate the new surveillance systems. Below is our review of the year in online privacy, and some suggestions about how people can protect themselves online.

In Germany , the new data retention act requires public telecommunication and internet providers to retain various call detail records (CDRs). These include phone numbers, the date and time of phone calls and texts, the content of text messages, and for mobile calls the locations of call participants. In addition, Internet providers are required to store user metadata such as IP addresses, port numbers, and the date and time of Internet access. Poland s law expands government access to digital data and loosens restrictions on police spying. Collected metadata will be kept for up to twoyears. One doesn t have to be an official suspect to be placed under surveillance for up to 18 months. In addition, the person being monitored will not be informed about it, compromising the protection of journalists sources and deterring potential whistleblowers. On 7 July, Russian president Vladimir Putin signed into Russian law several bills designed to help the government take measures against dissent online and demand unprecedented levels of data retention from the country s telecom companies. For instance, the legislation warrants tougher sentencing for online commentary deemed as an incitement to hatred or a violation of human dignity.

Such convictions now carry a minimum prison sentence of two years. The law requires service providers to monitor and store all calls, texts, chats and web browsing activity. The retained data can be accessed by several government agencies without a warrant. The UK s Investigatory Powers Act received the royal assent on 29 November, opening up the gate for a disturbingly intrusive surveillance system. Among other things, the so-called Snoopers Charter gives the state the ability to indiscriminately hack, intercept, record, and monitor the communications and Internet use of all of the UK population. The entire browsing history of every resident of the UK will be stored for one year. Almost 50 police forces and government departments, ranging from the Metropolitan Police Service and GCHQ to the Food Standards Agency are authorized to access the data In the US , a new amendment to the Rule 41 of the US Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure quietly went into effect on 1 December. It allows the FBI to secretly use malware to hack into thousands of computers with one warrant. There is no need to identify specific computers to be searched.

That means FBI can hack into as many computers as they wish, whether their owners are suspected of some criminal activity or not. New surveillance laws have also been passed and/or enacted in Belarus, China, Turkey, Ethiopia and elsewhere this year. For detailed information, visit our extensive coverage on those laws in our recent ‘2016 Privacy Review blog post. Dangers of surveillance states Citizen control and surveillance, especially suspicionless surveillance, whether physical or digital, has not proved to be an effective way to control criminal activity history tells us it has always turned out to be counter-productive, endangering lives and causing fear and insecurity. For example, when the government opens a backdoor to citizen s data, it means that this backdoor could potentially be used by anyone else, and can fall into the hands of hackers. Once the information is in the wrong hands, it can be used to steal people s identities and rob them of their bank accounts, for example. Data can also get misplaced, systems can crash and everyone can get endangered. Solution There are solutions to bypass some of these restrictive laws, the most reliable being a VPN service . A VPN sends your data through a securely encrypted tunnel before accessing the Internet this protects any sensitive information about your location by hiding your IP address.

Connecting through a VPN tunnel hides your online activity from your Internet service provider (ISP). The only information visible to the ISP is that you are connected to a VPN server, while all other information is encrypted by the VPN s protocol. This prevents ISPs from collecting potentially sensitive data and passing it onto any third parties. It s also important to use a VPN service that does not store activity records to ensure your data is not logged and forwarded to any agencies. NordVPN has a strict no-log policy and could not supply any information on your online activities even if requested. Besides VPNs, it s also crucial to use anti-spyware software, to make sure to use a Firewall, not to install unapproved programs on the computer that might contain bugs, and to be generally vigilant about the kind of information one shares and opens online. 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.