Our intelligent police car is ready to visit Paris after 2 years

Time is passing way too fast and we cannot believe that it will have been already 2 years since we visited Milipol Paris, the leading event for safety and homeland security. Milipol Paris is a place where exhibitors can strengthen their business relationships and showcase their latest innovations to the main leaders and purchasers in the security sector, therefore we cannot miss it this year.

Mosy will be exhibiting at the Milipol Paris for the third time. In 2017, this event welcomed 29,939 visitors from 151 countries and organizers are promising growing numbers this year.

Within the last two years we have been tuning and extending our portfolio of products and services, so it would be our pleasure to meet some of you face to face and show you all the innovative solutions we have created for you. Come and visit our stand number 5 K 067, we are looking forward to seeing you there.

And if you still hesitate if to come or not come to Paris, read some reasons why to visit this event. See you in Paris.

Mosy team.

Police car cameras can do more than just record video

police camerasA few decades ago, when video cameras resembled cannons based on their shape and size, few people could imagine that high-quality video recording devices would one day be commonly used in cars as parking assistants or evidence recorders in the event of accidents.

However, in recent years, cameras have become popular not only with ordinary drivers. Video recordings also help to increase the transparency of police work, investigate incidents detected during police checks or other interventions, document traffic offenses, and assist in police training.

Limits of video

One of the reasons why the idea of installing cameras in police vehicles is so appealing is because most single-purpose video recording systems are relatively quick and easy to install in vehicles. It is a simple product consisting of a camera, control panel, and a video recording storage. As such, it does not require any integration with the vehicle or other systems.

However, due to their simple architecture, possible uses for such camera systems are limited. Most of them allow the recording to only be played back on the display inside the vehicle or downloaded to an external device for further examination or archiving, with no possibility for a more sophisticated reverse lookup.

Of course, for some police units this limited functionality may be all they need right now. However, camera systems and other technologies specifically designed for rescue services presently offer much greater potential.

Cameras for smart cars

More sophisticated solutions, even in their basic versions, are fitted with multiple cameras that not only increase the viewing angle for the recording of events around the motorized patrol, but can also recognize the license plates of passing cars and check them against databases in real time.

The video in such equipped police vehicles may include, for example, information about the bluelights and siren activation, the time and location of a license plate recognition, speeding (if the patrol is equipped with a radar) and various manually entered notes or tags for easier follow-up video recording sorting or searching. Thus, the video recording often becomes a useful source of information when collecting evidence. Being connected with the control centre, advanced solutions also allow the operator to see the exact location of the patrol and view the image from the camera in real time.

What is important is that in such equipped vehicles a sophisticated camera system is an essential, but not the only, technology that brings more to police work. Smart police cars also include a system for patrol-to-patrol and patrol-to-control centre messaging, as well as centrally managed database of various tips on working practices, or interpretation of laws allowing police officers to browse necessary information while in the field.

Another convenient feature that makes police work easier is automated reporting, because at the there is always a record of where each unit went and when, where and how many people and vehicles they checked during duty. The benefit of that is reduced paperwork and also potential criminal investigations at a later date.

Looking to the future

Given the availability of the technology and the digitalisation of everything around us, cameras should be an essential, but by no means the only part, of a technology solution for modern police vehicles.

Another reason why it is worth  considering the enhanced functionality provided by intelligent police vehicle technologies, as opposed to a single-purpose camera system, is that  simple cameras are difficult if not impossible to extend with new functionality later on.

Can ANPR cameras be discreetly hidden?

On the roof or inside the vehicle? Both options of the ANPR camera placement have their pros and cons.

When it comes to innovation, in many countries police tend to be the followers rather than the pioneers. However, in recent years we have seen a remarkable increase of digitalization in the law enforcement. One of the most evident examples of the ever-increasing use of technology by the police is vehicles fitted with roof cameras, the numbers of which have been growing throughout Europe.

Automatic Number (License) Plate Reading (ANPR or ALPR) cameras, able to recognize number plates of passing vehicles, have proven to be one of the most useful modern technologies, helping to clarify car thefts and other crimes.

Technical limitations

The technology consists of two parts. The first is a camera fitted with an infrared illuminator to improve visibility at twilight and night, and the second is a software capable of “reading” the number plates from the captured image.

Conventional ANPR cameras are manufactured with an integrated infrared (IR) light.  They have almost exclusively been installed on car roofs.  If mounted inside the vehicle interior, a large part of the light spectrum is reflected or absorbed by the thermal glass.

However, apart from technical difficulties, some police representatives would appreciate, for various reasons, if the ANPR system could be installed inside the car interior. Some are concerned that the camera may get damaged or dirty, and others would like to also equip unmarked vehicles with the technology.

In the interior with no compromise

MOSY always listens to customer requirements and analyses how it can customize its solutions to meet specific needs. That is why MOSY responded to its clients’ desires and extended its portfolio to include an ANPR system that can be built into a police car interior.

The principle of the solution is that the infrared illumination is separated from the actual camera. In this case, the light-emitting diodes are fitted to the front end of the vehicle, thus avoiding undesired reflection or absorption of a part of the light spectrum. This allows the ANPR camera to be placed in the vehicle interior without compromising the accuracy of the number plate recognition compared to exterior camera solutions. This also eliminates any concerns about potential effects of IR radiation on human health.

Solutions based on needs and desires

Of course, installation inside the car is more discreet and the hardware is better protected against possible mechanical damage and exposure to the elements. On the other hand, it also has its limits. Although in terms of license plate recognition accuracy, it is a fully adequate alternative to exterior ANPRs, it is not suitable for all scenarios.

For example, if there is a need to use the camera system to scan both sides of the road, or possibly all around the police vehicle, which is useful, for instance, when checking vehicles at car parks. In such cases, the installation of the interior solution is problematic due to limited options for the IR illumination and side cameras positioning.

The interior ANPR is therefore not a substitute, but rather an alternative to traditional exterior camera systems. Contact our specialist for a consultation and a proposal of an optimal solution for your specific needs and requirements.

What if all police cars were able to measure the speed on the road?

Around 25,000 people lose their lives and another 135,000 get seriously injured on European roads every year. There are a several factors which contribute to accidents: carelessness due to using mobile phones, eating while driving, alcohol and drugs, and poor road conditions. However, driving too fast is the single most frequent cause of car accidents, especially serious ones.

In the United States, this is the second most common reason for road accidents, and in the United Kingdom, according to the data from the Department for Transport, 60% of fatal car crashes in 2015 were attributable to speeding. Several studies have confirmed that an increase in the average speed by 1 km/h increases the accident rate by 1 to 5.5%, depending on whether it is a motorway, an urban road, or a rural road.

The European Commission has ambitious goals for reducing road accident mortality. Within this decade they want to reduce the number of fatal car crashes by one half. And although from 2013 to 2017 only a 3% reduction was achieved, the European Commission has equally bold plans for the next decade as well.

If we are to get even close to achieving such ambitious goals, a whole range of different measures will need to be implemented. As it turns out, one of the most effective measures is more intensive and widespread speed checking. Despite some critical voices arguing that there are more effective tools available, several studies have confirmed that radars have a positive impact on drivers’ behavior and road safety.

For example, a study by the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) estimated that in the United Kingdom in the period between 1992 to 2016, static camera radars reduced the number of accidents in their vicinity by 17 to 39% and casualties by as much as 58 to 68%. The authors of the research concluded that adding one thousand radars to British roads would save 190 lives and prevent 1130 accidents and 330 serious injuries a year. Data analyses from South Korea and from the English countryside have lead to similar conclusions.

What could be considered as a weakness of some of the studies assessing the effects of radars on road safety is that they focus only on selected road sections where they are installed. In other words, due to knowing about a radar’s location or due to speed measurement warning signs, drivers slow down but then speed up again later.

The question is how to make drivers respect speed limits more consistently. One of the options could be the more widespread use of mobile radars in police vehicles. If drivers unconsciously take their foot off the gas as soon as they see a police car, it is assumed that most of them would drive more responsibly if they knew that every such car is able to measure their speed. Today, only a fraction of motorized patrols are equipped with radars, especially because of their high price ranging around 30,000 euros.

Fortunately, advances in technology are rapid and are opening doors for the police to find more effective solutions. Today’s modern motorized patrols are equipped with a number of technologies that streamline their work, including automatic license plate recognition (ALPR) and cameras able to record and stream video.

These technologies form the basis of a relatively simple and cost-effective way of equipping police vehicles with the speed measurement capability. If we are able to recognize a license plate and take a shot of a vehicle as proof, then all we need to do is add a radar sensor. The cost of adding such a functionality to a modern smart vehicle could be about half the cost of today’s mobile car radars.

How would road accident and mortality statistics change if every police car had a radar? We can only speculate on the exact figures, but it is clear that the more widespread use of radars would play a key role in the effort to reduce the number of road accidents and hence serious or fatal injuries on European roads. Considering the promising possibilities of the technology allowing the police to make their work more effective, it would be a pity to equip vehicles with relatively expensive and single purpose radars if they could handle much more than just speed measurement and thus deliver much greater added value.

Smart police? It is not a joke.

Much has changed in the police over the past decades. For instance, their mission is not only to enforce law, but also to actively serve the community and maintain general order. Despite all the major and minor changes, police patrols perform more or less the same activities and duties as twenty or thirty years ago. The difference being that today their work can be much more effective than in the past.

Looking back

Imagine a working day of a police officer back in the 1980s. Probably the tool they used the most was a notepad. During the morning briefing, they took notes of their tasks for the day, the area they were assigned to, people they were supposed to check or bring to the police station for interviewing, and so on. In addition to the work assignments, they also received on paper a list of wanted persons or a current list and description of stolen vehicles.

Whether they patrolled on foot or in a police car, the only technological gadget that the police officers of the 1980s had available was a radio. When they wanted to check the identity or records of a person, they had to contact the dispatch centre operator, who often had to search for the information in huge paper card-index files.

Such queries were both time consuming and incomplete, since it did not allow the physical appearance of the person to be checked. The patrol coordination was also ineffective. The operator at the dispatch centre did not have a detailed overview of the current positions of individual units. All the information from citizens’ reports had to be interpreted orally, which sometimes led to misunderstandings and inaccuracies.

Police armed with the technology

Let’s now move three decades forward and compare how police work can look today with the use of current technology. Modern day police officers no longer need notepads, because all the information they need is on their tablets.

And importantly, information flows both ways. Every police officer has working instructions as well as an overview of the current situation and reports available electronically. At the same time, the dispatch centre is constantly informed about the whereabouts and possibly also about the current activities of each patrol.

The information flow and coordination is much faster than in the past. When a citizen calls the 112 emergency number, the system automatically fills in some information about the caller and the operator can immediately send all the information to the nearest patrol, including any multimedia content that people tend to send to the integrated rescue system.

Digitalization has also significantly improved one of the most typical police activities: person authentication. All the police officers have to do is to hold the document against a special scanner able to read contact chip and RFID chip cards as well as the MRZ (Machine Readable Zone) used in ID cards, and the system automatically searches all relevant connected databases.

As a result, the police officer immediately has all the information available about the person in the police databases, including the database of persons wanted in the Schengen area. Today, every police officer can have a simplified form of such a reader on their ordinary mobile phones.

The smart eye of a police car

One of the most beneficial technologies for the police is the mobile equipment of motorized units for automatic license plate recognition  (ALPR), which is able to capture the license plates of passing cars and check them against multiple databases. With this technology, motorized patrols are “working” even when they are only moving from one place to another. This helps them increase the theft detection rate and do things like more effectively identify fleeing vehicles.

Of course, digitalization and the connection to various databases also make day-to-day road traffic checks more effective. By simply entering the license plate number into their mobile phones, police officers can immediately find out all the information about the vehicle available in the police records.

Another useful feature of such a smart police car is its ability to record and stream video from the built-in camera to the dispatch centre. The operator can thus see what is happening in front of the vehicle in real time, and the camera records can also be used as evidence when checking if police conduct was in accordance with the law.

Less bureaucracy, more performance

Unlike in the past, in today’s modern police forces using advanced technologies, officers do not have to fill out reports after their shift. The system tracks and records a police officer’s movement, the time, the location, and number of people and license plates checked throughout their duty. The benefit of such automatic reporting is not only reduced paperwork but also the potential for additional criminal investigations in which a wealth of information can be retrieved and processed ex post.

These examples of modern tools and new ways of working demonstrate that the technologies of today provide law enforcement agencies with possibilities that would not so long ago have been unimaginable or considered science fiction. At the same time, technologies can make the police operations much more effective, because they speed up and automate many activities and improve awareness and coordination.

Learn more about how the smart technologies of today can improve public safety.

 

WE ARE AGAIN ATTENDING SECURITY&POLICING EXHIBITION IN THE UK AFTER 2 YEARS

The Security and Policing Home Office Event 2019 will take place in Farnborough International Exhibition and Conference Centre from 5th to 7th March 2019

According to the organizers, it is the premier platform for the relevant UK suppliers to showcase the very latest equipment, training, and support for police services, Government departments, organizations and agencies from the UK and overseas. Based on event survey feedback from 2018:

  • 97% of visitors related to their overall experience as good or excellent
  • 95% of visitors gained valuable knowledge
  • 92% of visitors highly rated the quality of exhibiting companies
  • 95% of visitors are likely to recommend Security and Policing to colleagues

MOSY team is again one of the exhibitors. We are excited to present our professional solution for public safety and how we have moved forward in the last 2 years. Would you like to book a meeting with us directly at the event? If so, please contact us via email at info@mosysolutions.com.

Do you plan to visit some security and policing exhibitions in 2019?

If so, we help you to choose.

Would you like to visit any international security and policing exhibitions in 2019? Download our list of the most interesting exhibitions focused on security and policing in 2019. This year we prepared for you the list of the biggest exhibitions from all over the world. Hopefully, we will see each other at one of these events.

Mosy team

Get more agile. Get Mosy.

Check all the benefits MOSY brings you to be more agile.

Because MOSY:

  • Uses automatic scanning of all vehicles and automatic detection of vehicles with invalid technical and emission inspection, including a database of stolen vehicles.
  • Records videos around vehicles continuously and archives them for future analysis.
  • In case of law violation assigns penalties automatically and auto-fills data in the fine record.
  • Saves police response time thanks to fast emergency navigation and swift assignment of the incident police patrol.

Therefore, get more agile. Get MOSY.

Get more agile. Get Mosy.Enlarge image on click.

Let’s put a mobile phone in the pockets of every police officer

Today, identity verification is accessible to police more than ever before.

Verifying of documents and identities of citizens on the roads or in the streets has always been relatively difficult and time consuming for the police. Even though over time, security and law enforcement authorities in many countries have built several national and international databases of wanted persons or various other records (such as lost documents), for in-field police officers in most countries it is difficult to access this data.

To check a person, police officers usually have to contact the dispatch centre. They report the name along with some other identifying data and then they wait for the dispatcher to screen multiple, often isolated, databases. Sometimes, dispatchers are busy with more important tasks other than routine checks, other times they do not hear clearly due to communication problems or, for various other reasons, they do not provide complete information to the police officer.

Solution number one

That is why at the beginning of the decade some countries naturally started fitting their police vehicles with modern technologies to make the police work more effective. New integrated systems included special scanners able to read smart cards with contact chips, but also so-called MRZ (Machine Readable Zone) used on ID cards, or RFID chips used in passports.

In such a vehicle, all police officers have to do is to hold the document against the scanner and the system would automatically search all relevant connected databases for any entries. This way the patrol can immediately see whether or not the person is wanted, but also other information such as the history of their past traffic offenses.

Fast accessibility and comprehensiveness of the obtained information proved to be a great added value for the police. However, the systems integrated into vehicles are quite sophisticated – in addition to scanners, they also include cameras and Automatic License Number Plate Recognition (ALPR) technologies. They cannot be simply used as handheld devices and that is why the motorised patrols do not have much flexibility in identity checks, let alone foot patrols who cannot use the document checks at all.

Light version

Due to the above, several countries wanted to introduce a “lightweight” mobile version of such a system. Paving the road to such solutions are mobile phones – conventional or fitted with various readers. Even though they do not provide such convenience as the vehicle-mounted systems, the lower mid-range smartphones of today have good enough cameras and high enough processing power for the police to access important databases from virtually anywhere.

While the cost of deploying a mobile identity verification system is significantly decreasing, its usability is ever increasing, because literally, every police officer may now carry a mobile phone in their pocket.

Multiple input options

MOSY, a global pioneer in deploying solutions for streamlining the work of rescue services and security agencies, provides multiple options for data entry through mobile phones.

The simplest, but also the least convenient is the manual entry (typing) of the identification data of the person to be checked into the smartphone. The second, more sophisticated and more convenient method, which is presently the most sought after solution, is scanning the identity document using the phone’s camera. A police officer simply holds the document in front of the mobile phone and automatically retrieves information from all connected databases – similar to QR code reading.

The third method offered as part of the MOSY’s portfolio is to read the document by an external reader that can be connected to a conventional smartphone. The so-called Read*Box of approximately the size of two cigarette packs can read smart cards with contact chips, RFID chips or MR zones.

Of course, implementation of the in-field identity verification system also creates prerequisites for biometric-based identification of persons, for example using fingerprints. With today’s technology, there is no problem implementing such a solution. However, for the system to be effective, a sufficiently large database of biometric data is required. This is something that presently most countries do not have.

3 differences distinguishing professional from amateur ALPR systems

What do you need to know before choosing a mobile system for license plate recognition?

Mosy - ANPRAccording to statistics of the International Association of Chiefs of Police, up to 70% of serious crime is somehow related to motor vehicles. It is not just car thefts but also their use in committing crimes. Analyzes and statistics show that license plate recognition systems help not only in locating stolen vehicles, but also in searching for missing persons and investigation of kidnappings or robberies.

In spite of critics pointing out to the risks of privacy violations, the automatic license plate recognition (ALPR) market is growing by more than 10 percent each year and is expected to reach 4.25 billion by 2023.  This is more than double compared to 2016.

Automatic license plate recognition systems are also used to check if parking or toll has been paid, or to allow access to certain zones. However, growing the most  are so-called mobile ALPR systems becoming the standard technology of police cars around the world.

However, not every system can meet the demanding requirements of the police. License plate recognition in garages of shopping centers where cameras are not exposed to bad weather and the car always stops in front of them is relatively easy. It is much more difficult to recognize license plates from a moving vehicle, especially if the other vehicles are moving, too. In this scenario, conditions are constantly changing. Be it the speed of movement, light intensity (day, night, public lighting, lighting from other vehicles, etc.) or weather, they all significantly affect visibility.

Here are three differences distinguishing professional from amateur ALPR systems

1. The right type of shutter and infrared backlighting

Vehicle-mounted cameras used for mobile license plate recognition have the so-called global shutter preventing image distortion and infrared illumination allowing them to operate at twilight or at night.

However, you shouldn’t have unrealistic expectations. Even with specialized cameras, you will not achieve a 95 percent success rate, because license plates may be extremely dirty, or visibility in the bad weather may be so low that the system simply can not read the license plate.

Also, remember that for the best results the camera should be mounted on the car’s exterior rather than inside the cabin. Otherwise, the glass absorbs much of the infrared light and the recognition efficiency drops sharply.

2. Focused on a selected spot

Specialized mobile ALPR cameras focus only on what really matters. They do not try to capture wide-angle shots because that would record too many unnecessary pixels. To analyze excessive data volumes would be inefficient, if not absolutely impossible. On the contrary, for optimum result, the camera must be fixed to scan one or no more than two lanes and capture images only at a distance of 12 to 15 meters.

The aim is to focus only on areas in which vehicle license plates are located. So, it’s far from the truth that you can process just about any passing car video with an ALPR software and think that the system would identify license plates. You will probably achieve some success, but it’s going to be far from a professional solution.

3. Integration with the environment

Today, there are quite many ALPR vendors, but most of them only sell a license plate recognition software alone or in a package with a camera. However, such a solution usually does not satisfy more demanding requirements of law enforcement or security agencies.

Some companies are developing comprehensive solutions for intelligent police cars. ALPR is one of the key elements of such solutions, but they also integrate other useful technologies. They are able to automatically check the recognized license plates against various databases (such as a stolen or uninsured vehicles database, or check the toll payment), track the position of a police vehicle, improve communication with the head office and also record video for purposes other than ALPR.

An experienced vendor is able to provide a complete platform in which various technological systems of the police car communicate with each other and function flawlessly to ensure automatic updates and ultimately higher police work efficiency and thus higher citizen safety.

Get more efficient. Get Mosy.

Check all the benefits MOSY brings you to be more efficient.

Because MOSY:

  • Uses GPS navigation with specialized emergency routing
  • Dispatches police patrol faster thanks to the incident management
  • Reduces paperwork and assigns daily tasks more efficiently
  • Monitors location and status of all police patrols for their better communication and collaboration

Therefore, get more efficient. Get MOSY.

Mosy_Get_More_Efficient

Vision for policing in the future

Mission of the police has not changed for decades –  to maintain law and order, to protect property and to investigate crimes. If the police is to meet community needs and achieve their goals, the service must continue to adapt to the modern policing environment. The increasing use of technology has changed the way people act in everyday life. Technology is present in every aspect of life, in everything we do. Those police forces, which will be able to adopt and integrate new technologies into their operations, will become the police forces of the future.

HOW TO PREPARE FOR THE FUTURE

Police forces often experience pressure on public finance. Across the world, their budgets are being cut, often significantly more than in other government departments. This fact brings a question how to deliver the best possible services and also what services will be necessary in the future. The answer is clear – streamlining current resources and capabilities. This should be done by following three principal steps – engaging communities, empowering police officers and optimizing the way of work.

CLOSER TO PEOPLE

Successful policing requires public’s cooperation and involvement, as police alone cannot win the fight against crime and disorder. Police should use a wide range of contact channels that enable interaction with citizens in the modern and cost-effective way. The public should have an opportunity to report crime or share relevant information via text, email and social media. It would also be helpful for sharing pictures and videos of crimes or any other relevant information. Digital policing will make it easier for people to contact the police wherever they are, whenever they need.

MODERN POLICE OFFICER

A modern police officer is expected to have skills to deal with wide range of scenarios and incidents. This should be supported by modern police education system focusing more on police specialists. To keep our cities and citizens safe, police officers should be armed with modern technology tools –  technology which enables them to fulfill their role to the best of their abilities. Officers in the street need real-time information and supervisors back in headquarters need to know what is going on in each location and operation in real time. Equipping police officers with special mobile technology allows them to spend more time in their community rather than the office. Gathering comprehensive information about victims, offenders and locations quickly from mobile technology is crucial for making decisions about effective police response.

DIGITAL POLICING

The development of technology has led to significant advances in policing, for example DNA, Automatic Number Plate Recognition and a searchable Police National Databases, however, the police have had difficulties to adapt to a change. New technologies increase the opportunity for evidence collection. Almost every crime now has a digital footprint. Digital forensics and investigation can no longer be the exclusive preservation of high-tech crime units. Frontline officers need basic skills in digital evidence collection and preservation. Introducing an integrated information management approach that automates manual work processes and optimizes departments and resources could lead to more efficient police services, and allow police officers to operate from different locations.

Mobile technologies bring a new sense of immediacy and accuracy to intelligence gathering that can further empower officers. Sharing information interactively at the crime scene enables real-time analysis and investigation and, most importantly, it captures information about the suspect while it is fresh in the minds of victims and witnesses. Police officers equipped with a special mobile application can complete their ‘paperwork’ directly from the crime scene. This approach would enable police forces to significantly increase their visibility, improve the reputation of its officers and would also help building the public’s trust.

Police forces also should consider equipping its officers with body cameras to provide them with more evidence of incidents and to protect them from false claims.

The police should also think about the development of real-time crime centers. These centers seek to capitalize on CCTV and other available data to enable a fast-time police response to emerging crime patterns and street crimes in progress. Predictive software is used to identify what crime is most likely to be committed, where and when. This data should be available to police officers via their mobile device, ensuring that every opportunity to arrest suspect can be seized.

The future of policing depends on world class training, modern technologies, international cooperation and the ability of police management to improve the efficiency of police services.

Radovan Kyselica