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Command and control
September 2008, Integrated Solutions

Elements of banking that call for special attention in terms of security include cash handling (counting, collection and delivery), effective perimeter security (access and egress), internal surveillance and reaction for the safety of customers and visitors and the remote monitoring and surveillance of ATMs.

The requirements of banks are very similar across the industry and it is clear that their operational structures demand at least three different and, to varying degrees, specialised security applications.

Security systems for cash handling and counting, perimeter and internal banking hall security and ATM security will not in themselves meet a typical bank’s overall security needs unless they can be accommodated within a central command and control system that provides a total view of all security aspects. The only way sophisticated crime will be prevented is by utilising more intelligent systems. Such systems will collate a lot of information, allow for intelligent analysis of the information and out of this data fusion process allow security personnel to effectively deal with the problem at hand.

Command and control is the key to success, playing a major role as the provider of a platform – in military terms the general’s operations room – to hold all the individual components together, present an overall situation and achieve the desired outcomes.

Protoclea’s ARGUS command and control platform ensures that advances in the development of video analytics, facial recognition, number plate recognition (ANPR), movement and behaviour change detection continue to reduce expensive manpower requirements while increasing the availability of realtime information upon which important security and crime prevention responses can be made.

Cash handling

In cash handling, movement and behaviour change detection is critical. The rapid hand movement of individuals sorting cash has to be monitored and movement out of the norm highlighted to operators or alarmed through video analytics. Typically such alarms would be the person trying to spirit away notes off the counter and into a pocket, replacing high value notes with low value notes, knocking notes under the counter and so on.

A most important requirement in the area of cash handling is the ability of the security system to handle an auditing process. The software managing the system must ensure that a proper auditing process can be successfully implemented and followed through every step. This means the system must be capable of tracking the cash and the bag numbers from the moment it arrives to the moment it leaves, with the objective of proving beyond doubt that all money entering and leaving the bank premises has not been tampered with during its stay.

The ARGUS command and control solution integrates CCTV surveillance with other systems such as access control, process trigger points and counting machines. An effective system relies on sound procedures and command and control ensures that the adherence to procedures is established and monitored. The sooner an event is detected or alarmed, the better the chance of recovery of the cash and successful prosecution.

Software management is a critical component of cash handling for all banks and the ARGUS command and control platform provides this management as well as multiple integration of perimeter security, access and egress, internal surveillance and reaction and remote monitoring and surveillance of ATMs.

Banking hall

The threat of armed robberies in banking halls by gangs can be greatly reduced through effective access and egress control and continual CCTV monitoring of people within the hall. New video analytic technologies monitor people behaviour, detecting and alerting operators to anything unusual such as running, lying down, aggressive movements, crowd gathering/dispersing and entry into prohibited areas. Broken windows, forced doors, jammed lifts, initiation of panic alarms, fire or smoke can also be detected.

Bringing all security elements together in the ARGUS command and control environment allows complete integration of all of the data obtained as well as two-way communication with external agencies and services such as police, fire department and emergency services, offering immense benefits.

The ARGUS command and control platform boosts the ability to pre-empt planned robbery because it collates images from cameras and sensors placed both inside and outside the bank, allowing preventative detection. This could include the identification of known criminals on entry to bank by using video analytic technologies such as automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) and facial recognition (FR).

ANPR technology is able to flag stolen cars by comparing number plates against stolen vehicle lists. Even if a false number plate is used it is highly unlikely the colour/make of the car will match. Detection of a car double parked outside the bank or driving slowly past the entrance for the third time immediately raises suspicions that can be confirmed with ANPR. There is no brighter red flag than a stolen vehicle with driver waiting in a car outside the main entrance. Similarly a car without number plates must also be considered suspect.

At the same time, law-abiding people in the banking hall probably do not want to see overwhelming or right-in-your-face security. The ARGUS command and control platform ensures subtle but effective security to detect, identify and wherever possible prevent the execution of any crime or emergency; and ultimately to identify and prosecute those committing or intending to commit the crime. Command and control also allows banks to share information of relevance to the banking industry.

ATM security

Banks are regularly losing vast sums of cash to criminals who blow up the terminals, grab the cash and drive off. Remote CCTV surveillance at ATMs channelled into a central command and control system using ANPR, video analytics and facial recognition provides early warning as well as gathering and interpreting visual intelligence. The ARGUS command and control system allows data gathered from different ATM localities to be compared and analysed. For example, if the same car with the same number plate is recorded near ATMs at four or five ATM localities on the same day it will raise a red flag.

Similarly, facial recognition technology would flag the same face captured on screen at multiple ATM localities on the same day. CCTV data recorded at ATMs that have been bombed will also provide images of the perpetrators for analysis and follow-up by the authorities.

If any element of the command and control system goes off-line or ceases to function, operators are made aware of this by a software program within the system that monitors all of the elements. Any malfunctions are automatically reported so that they can be quickly brought back online or into operation, taking banking security to a new level.

Dr Bennie Coetzer
Dr Bennie Coetzer

For more information contact Dr Bennie Coetzer, Protoclea Advanced Image Engineering, +27 (0)11 465 4312,

Supplied By: Protoclea Advanced Image Engineering
Tel: +27 11 100 0935
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