Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

High-tech video surveillance to combat petty crime

Emerging technology that brings together video monitoring, cloud computing and high-speed internet promises to help fight petty crime.
High-tech video surveillance to combat petty crime
Petty crime in Europe is on the rise, fuelled by economic difficulties, higher unemployment rates and illegal immigration. Pickpocketing, bag snatching, muggings and holdups have created insecure urban areas, prompting a need for more effective solutions to combat this phenomenon.

The EU-funded P-REACT (Petty criminality diminution through search and analysis in multi-source video capturing and archiving platform) project worked on developing new video capturing and archiving solutions to protect busy areas and small businesses. It developed a cost-effective system that combines video cameras with the internet and cloud computing to advance situational awareness and incident classification.

To achieve its aims the project team designed a visual analytics framework that can diagnose incidents at an early stage, using sophisticated offline multimodal visualisation technology that can facilitate decision-making. The low-cost technology with local intelligence and real-time alert categorisation exploits a relatively new cloud-based service known as Video Surveillance as a Service (VSaaS). It also employs semantic-technologies to rapidly sift through video archive sources enabling the P-REACT software to forecast, detect and prevent future petty crimes.

Importantly, the system considers all legal and ethical aspects, including privacy issues. It is scalable, modular and can be integrated with other networks or systems with the overall aim of effectively pre-empting petty crime.

The solution has proven its success after several demonstrations and trial runs, leading to the development of a viable prototype. While further evaluation is needed before the technology is commercialized, the project partners and several related companies have expressed strong interest in taking it to market. If this happens, the promise of a safer urban environment that discourages crime could become a welcome reality for Europeans.

Related information




video surveillance, petty crime, P-REACT, cloud computing, VASaaS
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