Smart surveillance can make our homes safer

Issue 2/3 2023 Surveillance, Residential Estate (Industry)


Marcel Bruyns.

Our high crime rate is a reality that no South African can ignore. According to the Governance, Public Safety and Justice Survey1, 983 000 households in South Africa experienced housebreaking incidences during 2021 and 2022. Another 155 000 households experienced home robberies in that same period. While South Africa grapples with crime, estate security is an increasingly pressing concern for homeowners and property managers. To combat this, new approaches are needed to safeguard our homes and ourselves, and a promising solution lies in the latest smart surveillance technologies.

Over the last decade, South Africa’s private security industry has gradually been adopting more advanced security technologies to safeguard private properties and neighbourhoods, making it easier and more effective to detect and respond to threats. From network cameras with motion sensors, to sophisticated video analytics that use artificial intelligence (AI), smart surveillance technologies offer new ways for us to identify and respond to potential threats. However, what does the smart surveillance landscape look like today and how can it help create safer communities?

When time is of the essence

Real-time monitoring is crucial in the fight against crime because, when an incident occurs, time is of the essence. With the help of network cameras, estate security personnel can monitor real-time video feeds, track activity patterns, and receive alerts when something suspicious is detected. This is a significant improvement from traditional security measures (such as security guards overseeing conventional CCTV cameras), which often rely on post-incident analysis to identify and respond retroactively to security breaches.

Response times by local law enforcement in South Africa is notoriously slow2, which is where real-time monitoring can prove invaluable. Smart surveillance can dramatically improve communication and coordination between homeowners, estate security personnel, and local law enforcement. Network-based cameras providing real-time updates on potential security breaches, for example, can automatically alert estate security for faster response times. A few minutes’ difference in response times can prevent crime and save lives.

The advent of analytics

Video analytics is a lot better at finding potential security risks than older methods like manual monitoring, because of advances in AI. By automatically analysing the data collected by cameras and sensors, advanced video analytics can identify suspicious behaviour, track movements, and alert security personnel to various kinds of threats. This can enhance the effectiveness of estate security and reduce the time and resources needed to monitor an estate around the clock.

By integrating advanced video analytics into estate security systems with analytics-ready network cameras, property managers can take advantage of far more advanced monitoring techniques to enhance estate security. It is also, however, important to ensure that personal data is safeguarded. Privacy masking on cameras is a valuable tool for achieving this. By masking specific areas of the camera's field of view, stakeholders can ensure that sensitive information is not captured.

Smarter access control

Technologies such as facial recognition, biometric access, motion sensors, and geofencing are increasingly used in South Africa to improve access control and trigger alerts when certain areas are accessed. Facial recognition technology, for example, can help identify individuals who are not authorised to access a particular area, triggering an alert and enabling estate security personnel to investigate.

Geofencing is used more and more to help estate security staff find possible security breaches, as it creates virtual boundaries around a particular area, triggering alerts when an individual enters it. Access control is a critical component of estate security, and the latest smart technologies provide sophisticated layers to prevent unauthorised access.

Towards a safer South Africa

The adoption of smart surveillance technology can help South Africans stay safer. With advanced features such as real-time monitoring, remote access, and sophisticated analytics, smart surveillance technology can provide homeowners and estate managers with the tools they need to secure their homes and communities.

With real-time monitoring, enhanced access control, and advanced video analytics, homeowners can enjoy greater peace of mind knowing their properties and families are protected. Ultimately, the future of estate security in South Africa lies in adopting smart surveillance technology. With the right technology in place, we can work towards creating a safer future.

1 https://www.statssa.gov.za/?page_id=1854&PPN=P0341&SCH=73307

2 https://businesstech.co.za/news/lifestyle/157259/how-long-it-takes-the-police-to-respond-to-emergencies-in-south-africa/


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