Terror-tracking CCTV for station

A year after an intelligent CCTV camera trial was announced by the then
Home Secretary Alistar Darling, the new installation developed by Agent
Vi, will be located at Clapham Junction Station.

Jul 12, 2007
By David Howell

The new CCTV cameras will have intelligent software that will enable them to identify any suspicious behaviour on the station. While most of the UK’s current CCTV camera network is ‘dumb’ in that they cannot process the information that they record, this new system is able to analyse what it is seeing. The developers believe that 20 per cent of the UK’s currently installed CCTV cameras could be linked to systems like the one at Clapham. Transport for London is also looking to install a similar system at Paddington Station.

Up until now there has been doubt about the effectiveness of smart CCTV cameras, but systems have improved rapidly over the last few years that now provide a useful addition to the network that will reach 12,000 cameras on the London Underground alone by 2010.

Similar systems are already in use on other public transport systems in Rome and New York. The Rome system for instance, is trained to look for suspicious behaviour such as someone leaving a bag unattended. The systems are certainly a welcome addition to the CCTV system, but the detection software that the systems are based on do find it difficult to detect unusual behaviour in a crowded places such as a station’s concourse. What is certain, however, is that the work being done to improve facial recognition systems that are coming online now, will have a knock-on effect and improve intelligent systems like these smart CCTV cameras.

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