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Written By
Basit Karim

07 th December 2007


This is in reference to the ongoing incidents at banks and other organizations where security guards, guarding the premises are involved in theft and robberies. Primarily the guards monitor security and the technology augments them in providing secured operations. However, there is a burning question being asked today: “Who Will Guard the Guards?”

The core problems of these incidents are:

• Lack of security professionals designing and implementing electronic security for banks and other high target areas.

• Management is not interested to invest in proper CCTV or other effective security system.

• Banks consider installing CCTV as a formality for insurance cover and the instructions given to them by Government Authorities. They typically spend money in low performing ineffective Asian or Chinese made systems without due consideration for the risk it may cause to life and property both of their own and their customers if the purchased security systems fail to perform their primary task.

• Mostly, buyers of the electronic security products on behalf of banks or organizations do not posses sufficient knowledge base or the latest technology options. Their buying decisions heavily tilt towards the cheapest solution which disregards the enormous consequences and the over all cost which always exceed many folds over the life of the equipment.

• Lack of technical support and equipment servicing. Due to the complexity of the PC type systems as compare to “purpose built” systems which are easy to use, the servicing and maintenance support for these low cost PC type systems is almost non-existent. It is particularly more prevalent when these cheap systems are purchased through non professional shopkeepers with no back up support and once the system is shut down which they typically do, no one bothers to restart the system and the result is absence of security and waste of investment .

• No concept of remote centralized monitoring and the knowledge of alarms transmitted to the CMS (Central Monitoring Station) as soon as a branch system shuts down or an unusual activity occurs at the protected area of the bank during working or non working hours.

Is there recourse in this new scenario? Yes there is!

• CCTV recordings to be effective in detecting and investigating crime must be fit for the purpose and must be remotely monitored to prevent and detect intrusion.

• Ensuring that the digital CCTV system is capable of meeting the potential evidential quality of the picture, this will help the investigators to act quickly.

• While buying a CCTV system the buyer should specify and know the requirement, should know the management requirement of what they want to see and where.

• Management must hire security professionals or consultants to work out their requirements and implement fool proof system and should not give the buying responsibility to the person use to buy stationary & office equipments for the organization.

• Purchases should be made from an established & authentic dealer with a professional team of engineers & technicians who can install the system and then give complete back up support.

• Should not buy the system from the make shift shopkeepers with a team of temporary installers, it is like giving key of your security to the strangers.

• A system operator should be available and must act as soon as the alarms are raised at the central monitoring station (Appointment of Handicap people specially the people on wheel chairs are best for this job, this will not only help these people to get employed but will also fulfill the government requirement to employee 2% handicap people out of the total work force).

• The system should be operated and the data should be stored and monitored at a secured & remote location.

• The system should be capable of transmitting live video immediately at the alarm center through an IP network.

• Alarm notification via E-mail and SMS.

• Hidden cameras to be installed not to appear on the existing network but can be viewed at the remote location.

• System should be web based and the manager at the CMS through a protected password can configure & make the system adjustments without a site visit.

Due to the current modernization and development in I.T, the dream of remotely access devices, pop up screens and raising alarms at remote locations are actually possible at a very low cost, the only thing which is becoming cheap day by day in this world is communication and one should avail this blessing.

Now is the time to understand the needs of security in this growing terrorist world and stop the intruders and burglars by catching them red handed by utilizing the latest technology, the management of banks and organizations have to come up with proper planning & budgeting to coup with this ongoing problem.

| Surveillance Approach in Pakistan!!! |

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