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Dealing with the human and financial cost of trespassers on UK’s rail network…

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The number of deaths on the UK’s railways reached an all-time high of 332 last year despite a record-breaking eighth consecutive year without a fatal accident involving trains, according to safety figures. The shocking statistic points to the perpetual problem of rail trespassing, something National Rail says it is tackling through awareness programmes.

Not including the tragic human cost, the stats also reveal trespassing costs the rail networks millions of pounds a year due to graffiti, litter, fly-tipping and vandalism to fences, signs and tracks. Clearly, the issue is a constant thorn in the side of the UK’s rail industry. The problem is further exacerbated by the notoriously ineffective communication between network cameras, analytics software and network recorders.

Companies like Panasonic are innovating to help the rail industry, using fixed visual cameras as well as thermal cameras. Equipped with a ‘visual zone intrusion’ detection and loitering recognition, the cameras are able to create a picture of a trespasser’s behaviour and can also provide a recorded audible warning to those pinpointed as trespassing. Alerts are raised so that station staff can take appropriate action.

It is hoped with further cooperation between the rail and security technology industries, the staggering number of lives lost on British railways will begin to decline in the very near future.

It’s time to properly regulate the use of drones in security…

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For all the pros associated with the commercial and practical uses of drones – or UAVs – there have been a lot of cons to weigh up in recent months in terms of public perception. Drones have offered a huge technological leap in surveillance for security personnel but without adhering to the correct guidelines and regulations, organisations could be getting themselves into hot water.

Examples just last year – including unrest during a Serbia v. Albania football match involving a drone and unidentified UAVs flying over seven French nuclear plants – highlight how unfettered usage can damage the reputation of an otherwise extremely useful tool. And considering strict restrictions on drone usage, to which security firms are bound do exist, questions have to be asked if not all of them stick to the rules.

That being said, with the correct enforcement of these regulations and a better public image, the use of drones could and should become an integral part of security operations. Indeed, more than £14 million was allocated by the government earlier this year to create a new drone police force across the UK. Clearly, with the right ‘PR’ campaign, there is no reason why the number of operational drones in the UK and across Europe cannot continue to rise exponentially.

‘Project Pink Panthers’ and the cost of tackling the jewellery theft threat…

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They’re renowned as the most prolific jewellery thieves of all time. Having pulled off some of the most daring heists in criminal history in cities the world over – including London, Tokyo and Dubai — the Pink Panthers are thought to be behind diamond thefts worth nearly £350 million. Needless to say, the gang has now become a high-profile target for law enforcement agencies across the globe and the capture and charging of any Pink Panther member is regularly headline news.

This month, INTERPOL hosted its latest gathering of international law enforcement agents in Montenegro as part of its ‘Project Pink Panthers’, which was launched back in 2007. The combining of international police forces and building a database of DNA, fingerprints and photos has enabled law enforcement agencies to successfully identify, locate and arrest hundreds of suspected Pink Panthers members.

Of course, not all gangs are as sophisticated as the Panthers but the onus is still on all jewellery stores to protect themselves as best they can; security is something which costs the UK jewellery industry an estimated £210 million a year. From forensic gel to smoke screen technology, from indestructible doors to intensive staff training — introducing security systems and procedures goes a long way to enabling jewellers to reduce the number of violent crimes currently affecting the industry.

Talk Talk victim of latest high profile cyber attack

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Business leaders have called for urgent action to tackle cyber-crime after an attack on Talk Talk, which saw millions of its customers’ accounts and personal details compromised.  Despite a number of the company’s customers reporting their bank accounts targeting, currently it is understood no losses have so far deemed directly attributable to the attack on the phone and broadband services provider.
UK security officials suggest the attack on TalkTalk was likely to have been perpetrated by a criminal organisation using techniques that were readily available among hackers, raising questions about the sophistication of TalkTalk’s digital defences.
Consumers attention soon turned to the public handling of the event, following the company’s refusal to waive early-exit charges for those who wished to end contacts early following the attack. Former home office minister Hazel Blears said the TalkTalk data breach was “a wake-up call”. She said it should prompt a debate about whether further regulation was needed “because this is probably the biggest threat to our economy”.
This incident is the third time this year that Talk Talk has been targeted by hackers. Google and McAfee estimate there are 2,000 cyber attacks every day around the world, costing the global economy about £300bn a year.