The eeriest thing about visiting London is knowing you are being photographed 300 times per day yet still have a higher chance than all civilized countries except fellow UK member Scotland of being a victim of violent crime.
The solution? More targeted surveillance private business, less intrusion on honest people by governments, according to Scyron, a security and surveillance services company. They have released an 'intelligent, incident-based surveillance system' to the private sector. It follows successful deployments at 48 UK police forces, transforming the efficiency with which they gather surveillance evidence against criminals and analyse surveillance/CCTV videos - in some cases reducing the time it takes to analyse a 24 hour tape from one week to less than three hours.
They say their technology is saving police forces millions of dollars while removing the need for blanket surveillance of law-abiding people. If all UK surveillance footage was analyzed manually, Scryon claims the estimated cost would be nearly $2 billion per annum while automating the process saves more than 90% of that cost.
Scyron believes the use of its technology in the private sector has positive implications for protecting civil liberties.
"There are over 4.2 million CCTV cameras in the UK making us the most spied upon country in the world," said Scyron CEO, Mike Wilks. "Collectively, they record around 35 billion hours of footage. Analysing footage of everyday people going about their business costs tax payers millions of pounds every year. What our technology does best is to sort the wheat from the chaff by helping target the criminals."
Scyron's technology uses a sophisticated 'intelligent' algorithm that triggers a surveillance/CCTV camera to record specific events or be used retrospectively on a video tape to capture specific incidents. For example, it may be set to capture only people lingering longer than a specific time, such as five seconds at a known haunt for drug dealers while ignoring passers by. Alternatively, it can be set to trigger an alarm if people approach a perimeter fence, while ignoring animals or unusual light anomalies.
The technology was developed by former University of Birmingham scientists based at the company's headquarters and labs at the University of Birmingham Research Park and their aim is to build Scyron's market share in the UK and overseas.
Former Chief Inspector of Constabulary and Chief Constable of West Midlands Police, Lord Dear commented, "With an intelligent approach to surveillance, I foresee a significant market for private security companies, transport, defence, and indeed any businesses wanting to protect high-value assets. But also I see massive potential for CCTV, liberating the operator so that not every screen needs to be watched."