In the drive to create a more proactive security system, many estates spend money on technology and processes that are supposed to give them an advantage over the criminal element. That may include solutions such as scanning driver’s licences at the gate and recording vehicle number plates, through to registering all contractors that work onsite.
But what use is having a number plate on record when you don’t know what the driver and passengers may be planning once inside the estate? Would it not be useful to know that a particular vehicle is stolen, or even if it is just on a ‘suspicious vehicle’ database? Hi-Tech Security Solutions spoke to Dave Rampersad, director of sales and marketing at SNIPR to find out more about what information can prove useful to improve the security of an estate.
When asked what options there are for estates which want to be more proactive about their internal security, not ignoring the current focus on privacy and the Protection of Personal Information Act (PoPIA), Rampersad says there are a few viable options to consider in the residential estate environment.
“Specifically for internal security, I think it is imperative that a clear, concise record of all vehicles and pedestrians who enter and exit are captured electronically. This can be done in a very methodical manner without infringing on privacy, provided the correct steps are followed for controlling access to a private property.
“SNIPR South Africa offers two products which are currently deployed at over 80 residential estates nationally, amongst other vertical markets like retail, commercial, agricultural etc. The first is SNIPR (ANPR) automatic number plate recognition cameras which are live-linked to law enforcement databases and provide an early warning alert to security companies (within five seconds) about stolen vehicle and vehicles wanted for all sorts of crimes or investigations across South Africa.
“Secondly, we have Gatebook, a first-of-its-kind electronic visitor management system scanner capturing the driver’s information along with vehicle make, model, colour, VIN and engine number, and registration number. What makes this product unique is that it decodes the licence disc and runs a check against SNIPR, then pushes an alert to the control room if it is deemed suspicious or if it warrants more attention.”
To ensure the privacy and security of the information collected, SNIPR does not provide all estate security personnel with full access to the system. “In order to maintain privacy and compliance standards, a manager or senior security officer will have full access rights to interrogate information for investigations etc., and will be able to export reports according to the client’s requirements – this can be done onsite or remotely via a cloud-based login.”
SNIPR (ANPR) records number plates passing through a pre-determined area. As noted, it is connected to the law enforcement database of suspicious vehicles as well as many others. These sources can be existing databases of vehicles, live camera feeds, handheld devices and so forth.
Once a number plate is received by the SNIPR server, it is compared to the plates on file and on the other databases. If it turns out to be a suspicious vehicle, the security teams at estates can be prompted to take the relevant action. Rampersad explains that because the feed is live, the action is immediate and a vehicle with a number plate that raises an alarm can be prevented from entering an estate.
He adds that SNIPR can be used with different cameras and surveillance systems; it does not require users to buy special equipment. It can also be used with a management system that provides step-by-step instructions on what process must be followed by the security team when a suspicious number plate is recognised.
“Adding our solutions to a residential estate will tremendously strengthen the intelligence of the security team by giving them access to information on suspicious vehicles in real time, which was previously impossible, thus putting the control back into their hands and giving them the element of surprise on criminals.”
As an example, early in 2019, in one month, the company assisted in recovering over R11 million worth of vehicles that were stolen or used in some crime (over 70 vehicles), assisted with 15 arrests and got 3 firearms off the streets. “We have traceable sources with some of the largest residential estates where security managers have improved their crime statistics and their overall proactive security operations.”
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