Guaranteed cellular detection

August 2014 Integrated Solutions, IT infrastructure

During 2012, members of the correctional fraternity in South Africa approached Eavesdropping Detection Solutions (EDS) to help them find a solution to detect contraband cellular telephones in the prison and custodial environment. They were looking for a ‘black box’ or an all-in-one solution. Unfortunately, such an easy solution does not exist. The only solution that comes close is the jamming of cellular communications inside the prison, but jamming is prohibited in South Africa and interferes with legitimate users in the same environment.

EDS conducted research and visited equipment manufacturers in the USA and UK to learn what they were doing and what equipment is available on the market. It seems that most equipment manufacturers were just focusing on one aspect of detection and were trying to promote their product as the ultimate solution. We quickly realised that there is not one equipment solution that can work under all circumstances. One thing led to another and towards the end of 2013 the company CellDetect was born with the exclusive aim to bring solutions to the correctional and custodial communities. CellDetect was officially launched at the IFSCE 2014 security exhibition in May 2014.

CellDetect designed a strategy and solution called The CellDetect Solution. The solution rests on a few pillars namely prevention, detection, localisation and neutralisation supported by intelligence (research), technical knowledge and training. The best equipment from five different global manufacturers are combined in the solution which will ensure that correctional and custodial personnel will have the advantage when applying The CellDetect Solution.

The foundation of the strategy rests on intelligence and research. The type of facility and its level of contact with the outside world drives The CellDetect Solution.

A facility that mainly hosts awaiting trial prisoners will focus their efforts on the prevention of cellular telephones coming into the facility by concentrating on the awaiting trial prisoners themselves when they return from their court appearances and the contact that they have while in the court and in transit to and from the courts.

There is specific equipment that is designed to help with the prevention of devices getting into facilities such as the SentryHound Cellular Detection Portal, the Mastiff body orifice scanning chair and the Manta Ray personal cell phone detection scanner. Recently a drone was used in Australia to fly drugs and a cell phone into a prison. The CellDetect Solution will soon include a Drone Detection System as part of its detection strategy.

A facility hosting prisoners serving life sentences who have very limited outside contact will focus their efforts on the wardens, correctional, support personnel and visitors who may have contact with these inmates from time to time.

Once a device makes its way into the prison environment there are basically two options to detect, locate and to neutralise it. The first is to conduct regular physical searches. This is sometimes like searching for a needle in a haystack. It is time consuming and without the right equipment not easy to do.

A more convenient way is to monitor the cellular radio frequencies for activities behind the prison walls. There are various pieces of equipment available depending on budget, etc. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages.

The CellDetect Solution for radio frequency monitoring and detection consists of a handheld portable spectrum analyser such as the Oscor Green SA (which acts as the RF cockpit), a passive GSM monitoring system such as the SearchLight GSM detector that provides real- time intelligence about the telephones, make, SIM cards, network and enables the operator to trace the cellular telephone to the cell from where it is operated. There are other portable handheld supporting detectors carried by the correctional services personnel while on duty and patrol such as the PocketHound, the WolfHound Pro and the Delta V RF detector.

With the above information and intelligence physical searches are conducted with the aid of a non-linear junction detector (NLJD) such as the Orion 2.4 NLJD which has been specifically designed for the correctional and custodial environments. The NLJD scans for electronic components and is an important aid to scan mattresses, walls, furniture and other hiding places for electronic components. The Orion 2.4 NLJD is so sensitive that it will even detect a hidden SIM card in a mattress, under a carpet, hidden in a chair or other furniture.

Focusing just on detecting and preventing cellular telephones alone could be a huge mistake. Wi-Fi based communication devices have been detected recently in a local maximum prison. Routers are getting smaller and more portable and are easy to hide. Some are now smaller than cellular telephones. The CellDetect Solution caters for such devices and the YellowJacket DF Wi-Fi Detector has been specifically designed to detect Wi-Fi based communications.

It also makes provision for Bluetooth operated devices. Recently 35 Bluetooth headsets were found in an Irish prison where jamming of the cellular frequencies are done to prevent cellular communications. The inmates have shifted away from GSM to making use of Bluetooth technology to communicate with each other and others.

Wi-Fi and Bluetooth operate on different frequencies than cellular based devices. The GSM jamming has no effect on Wi-Fi (2.4 GHz and 5 GHz) and Bluetooth (2.4 GHz)based devices.

All of these devices once in and operating within the prison environment presents a technical problem but the wardens and others supposed to prevent and detect these devises do not have any technical knowledge or nor do they receive any training. CellDetect has designed a three-day practical training course to provide basic technical knowledge to increase understanding as well as teaching the CellDetect strategy to deal with the prevention, detection, localisation and neutralisation of these devices.

For more information contact, CellDetect,+27 (0)12 664 3157, www.celldetect.co.za




Share this article:
Share via emailShare via LinkedInPrint this page



Further reading:

A customised solution for backup power
August 2019, Specialised Battery Systems , News, Integrated Solutions
Specialised Battery Systems designed and implemented a bespoke solution for Stallion Security Electronics to deploy at almost any site.

Read more...
Double dose of storage security
August 2019 , Products, IT infrastructure
The integration of InfiniBox and SafeNet KeySecure platforms brings data-at-rest encryption together with centralised logging, auditing capability.

Read more...
Augmented security with drones
August 2019, Drone Guards , Editor's Choice, Integrated Solutions
Drone Guards is moving into an untapped market of using drones to secure residential estates and other high-value assets such as mines, farms and commercial properties.

Read more...
10 things to consider when shopping for a VMS
August 2019, Genetec , CCTV, Surveillance & Remote Monitoring, Integrated Solutions
Today’s video management systems (VMS) provide a wide range of tools and capabilities that help make security personnel more efficient by allowing them to focus on what really matters.

Read more...
How far are we really at with artificial intelligence?
August 2019, Axis Communications SA , Editor's Choice, CCTV, Surveillance & Remote Monitoring, IT infrastructure, Residential Estate (Industry)
Justin Ludik unpacks exactly how far AI has come and what it potentially can do for society and more importantly, surveillance.

Read more...
Residential security – caveat emptor
August 2019, Stafix , Integrated Solutions, Security Services & Risk Management
When it comes to improving your property’s security, make sure you take all the options into account as you build a layered approach to keeping people safe and assets secured.

Read more...
End-to-end security solutions for residential estates
August 2019, Elvey Security Technologies , Integrated Solutions, Residential Estate (Industry), Products
While there are a multitude of security options available for residential estate body corporates, unfortunately the solutions are not always able to integrate seamlessly, resulting in a hotchpotch of disparate systems.

Read more...
Integrated residential estate surveillance
August 2019, Forbatt SA , Integrated Solutions, CCTV, Surveillance & Remote Monitoring, Residential Estate (Industry)
Integrated solutions bring the best-of-breed out of each technology to give personnel all the tools they need for access control management and security.

Read more...
From fog to foxes
August 2019, Axis Communications SA , Perimeter Security, Alarms & Intruder Detection, CCTV, Surveillance & Remote Monitoring, Integrated Solutions
What makes radar devices so valuable is the fact that they can provide a high range of accurate data while barely relying on external factors, such as weather or light.

Read more...
Communications management within your security platform
August 2019, Genetec , Integrated Solutions, Residential Estate (Industry)
In the physical security industry, communications management systems, such as intercom solutions, are becoming an integral part of developing effective and comprehensive security strategies.

Read more...