Maximize Your Video Surveillance Database

Sept. 18, 2019
How video content analytics software can transform your video into a searchable, actionable, and quantifiable asset

In today’s data-driven world, intelligence is becoming ever more critical for public safety, and innovative technologies are emerging to enable greater access to and analysis of larger quantities of data. Advances in artificial intelligence have made it possible to more efficiently and effectively harness previously unutilized data captured by digital sensors, and, thereby, empower organizations to granularly identify patterns, pinpoint critical details and develop processes for driving increased productivity. 

Most law enforcement agencies are still uncovering the full extent to which artificial intelligence-driven solutions can enhance existing infrastructure and accelerate their officers’ day-to-day work: For instance, video surveillance is used in many cities and businesses to monitor activity and extract evidence for ongoing investigations. With groundbreaking video content analysis technology, existing video resources can drive proactive and productive policing, accelerating the review of video, the time-to-target in post-event investigations, and proactive response to developing situations, all while providing deeper data insights into trends. From small, local municipalities and police forces to international investigation and intelligence agencies, law enforcement can maximize their existing video investments with video content analytics software, leveraging video intelligence in a more strategic way to transform video into a searchable, actionable and quantifiable asset.

Revolutionize policing with video content analysis

While video surveillance has become a standard law enforcement resource for supporting investigations, providing evidence and enabling active monitoring, it should come as no surprise that video footage has always been easier to collect than to review: Striking the balance between dedicating time and manpower to extracting video evidence and allocating resources to other investigation activities remains a challenge for law enforcement.

Video content analytics technology empowers law enforcement by streamlining video review: Based on artificial intelligence and deep learning techniques, video intelligence software analyzes video to detect all the people and objects that appear. Once identified, the video objects are extracted, classified and stored as searchable metadata. When investigating an incident, the law enforcement officer can process the video evidence available and then search and filter the video based on suspect descriptions and leads. For instance, an investigator looking for a red car sighted leaving the scene of a bank robbery, can analyze the CCTV camera footage and isolate all appearances of the cars that meet witness descriptions.

The intelligence derived from video can also be used to drive proactive responses to emergencies and threats. Law enforcement teams can configure rule-based alerts that trigger a call to action when certain people, objects or behaviors are recognized. Following the above example, the police could set an alert for red cars detected at other local bank branches or—where face recognition is permitted and deployed—configure face matching alerts to monitor closely for appearances of specific suspect individuals. This could help police apprehend or closely track a suspect to proactively prevent future bank robberies in the area.

Over time, as video metadata is aggregated and analyzed, it can be used by the police and local government to identify trends, inefficiencies and violations, and empower these agencies to proactively problem solve and optimize their operations, based on data-driven planning.

Accelerate and advance investigations

A crime scene can span a significant amount of time and space, and within that expanse, multiple cameras can record the area from many different angles. Having the full picture of the scene across the entirety of the event is critical for driving the investigation, but not always practically achievable. Traditionally, the leader of the investigation would have to prioritize how many officers to devote to the review of video, which video to watch and how much time to allocate.

With video investigation software – even in situations when there is not a known suspect or when there isn’t yet enough information to identify a suspect – investigators can quickly establish what transpired, by filtering video to isolate relevant details. As a result, the same amount, or even fewer, video investigators can comb through more footage more quickly and productively.

Enhance situational awareness and real-time response

The ability to detect, quickly understand and respond to situations is critical even before an incident takes place: law enforcement already relies on live video monitoring for public safety, but dedicating personnel to actively watch video feeds usually is not an efficient or failsafe method for uncovering suspicious details and identifying potential threats. Video content analysis is a game changer for Smart Cities and law enforcement, preventing and curtailing the impact of dangerous incidents by streamlining real-time responder deployment.

Utilizing deep learning techniques, video analytics technology is trained to recognize patterns and detect anomalies. By configuring the software to trigger alerts for behaviors that may warrant their response, law enforcement and security agencies can more effectively manage access control, prevent trespassing and monitor loitering and crowding. For instance, if a surveilled area is considered sensitive, police can define alerts so that a call to action is triggered any time an object enters or dwells in that area, deploying officers to intercede as necessary.

Transform the city with big data optimization

Beyond security concerns, maintaining a safe city is critical for ensuring a city’s ongoing population and economic growth. When law enforcement is responsive and effective, cities retain satisfied residents, attract visitors – who drive local business – and draw new commercial opportunities. While video intelligence empowers law enforcement and drives public safety, it also enables cities to transform video data into quantitative insights for applications beyond post-event investigations and real-time response: Video data can be leveraged to drive Smart City transformation through efficient municipal and security operations, transportation optimization and urban planning.

For instance, at intersections where a left turn is illegal, video intelligence software can be used to track how often illegal turns occur and when they tend to take place. When directional path data and trends are visualized in reports and dashboards, it becomes easier to understand and identify illegal behaviors. Based on actual data, traffic police can be stationed to deter violations or respond when they occur, preventing potential accidents and effectively enforcing local laws. More significantly, this data can be leveraged for urban planning and identifying the infrastructure necessary to prevent these violations or accidents in the future: The city could determine that more traffic lights or crosswalks are needed, and then use traffic heat maps to understand where the infrastructure would be most effective. From updating traffic light schedules, improving public transportation options or implementing plans for local bike lanes to incentivize alternatives to driving, the intelligence a city can derive from video can have significant long-term impact for public safety and beyond.

Today, law enforcement relies on video surveillance, but by complementing existing integrations with video content analytics, the city can maximize its investments in video and drive both safety and efficiency. Most notably – as public safety is increased and city operations are streamlined – it becomes possible for law enforcement and local governments to rededicate the time and resources conserved: Instead of devoting the majority of their time to proactive crime prevention and post-event investigation, police can focus their attention on programs that promote their community’s economic growth, attract new businesses and offer an improved quality of life.  

About the Author

Stephanie Weagle | Chief Marketing Officer, BriefCam

Stephanie Weagle leads BriefCam’s global marketing initiatives and accelerates market adoption of its industry-leading video analytics solutions. Before joining BriefCam, Stephanie was Vice President of Marketing for Corero Network Security, where she led global marketing for the company’s cyber-threat mitigation product portfolio. Previously, Stephanie held senior marketing roles at Lionbridge Technologies and Novell, Inc.

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