So would you like to play "Spot the CCTV Camera?". Eagle eyed visitors may recognise the profusion of street furniture, surrounding a single heritage dome camera keeping watch over part  of Londons' prestigious Oxford Street shopping area.

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"Technical Section"
Doktor Jons

Guide to Closed Circuit TV (CCTV)

The unique "TRUSTED" National CCTV Improvement Campaign

What do Computers have in common with CCTV?

Not so long ago, there were essentially only two main reasons for using computers as part of a Closed Circuit Television system.

In larger control rooms, they were often used as an advanced interface for a touchscreen based control system, and (more generally) also as a relatively inexpensive means of building a low cost multiplexer. It's probably fair to say that in recent years, the scope for applying computer based technology has broadened somewhat.

Forensic Image Enhancement is and possibly always will be, a very specialist computer based technique, which continues to develop apace, albeit that the conversion to digital systems which in theory should dramatically improve picture quality, is actually creating a new series of problems for law enforcement officers challenged with recovering compressed images, where data has been irretrievably lost.

However, three of the main innovations for computer processing (which are loosely classed as "Video Analytics") are each creating varying degrees of interest, but for vastly different reasons.

Automatic Number Plate Recognion (ANPR),
Automatic Facial Recognition Systems (AFRS) and
Automatic Predictive Behaviour Analysis (APBA)
are all currently in differing stages of trial and development.

Automatic Number Plate Recognition has actually been around for quite a few years now, although, whereas it was previously considered a somewhat experimental technique, it is now firmly established and increasingly affordable, as an effective vehicle auditing system.

Although not 100% accurate by any means, this did not prevent its wholesale adoption as the backbone for Central Londons highly controversial traffic Congestion Charge Scheme. As an additional technique for rapidly identifying individual vehicles, there is no doubt that it has a useful role to play; but having said that, any suggestion that this technology should be deemed dependable in mission critical applications, is quite patently a nonsense.

With this in mind, they must not be considered alone, as being capable of identifying the presence of a known vehicle at a given point in time, beyond reasonable doubt.

There are already many well documented situations where 'cloned' vehicles have been able to avoid the system, and of course non standard vehicle registration plates, particularly those using different colours or type styles, cannot usually be read by the computer systems.

That said, the technology is becoming increasingly affordable, and whilst reliability is less than perfect, certainly achieving recognition levels in the low to mid 90% range, should be considered the norm.

Automatic Facial Recognition Systems (AFRS) >>>

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