The Security Week That Was: A Recap - July 23-29, 2005

July 29, 2005
SIW Editor Geoff Kohl gives a weekly surveillance of news shaping your profession

If there ever was a test case to prove the value of CCTV, it might have been this past week in the U.K., where police have been reviewing thousands of hours of footage, and have had the luck and skill to bring in over a dozen suspects believed to have been involved in the July 23 bombings.

It was in February that we published a story about what was at the time a fairly scandalous report in the CCTV community that surveillance doesn't deter crime. It brought up a lot of questions around the U.K. and the U.S. about the value of the surveillance systems being installed. After all, they weren't cheap and did come with privacy issues.

I think that now, five months later, there's no question about the value of the CCTV systems installed across the U.K., and which are now appearing in major U.S. cities like Chicago, Baltimore, New Orleans and others. Jack Gin, the founder of Extreme CCTV, a company which makes night vision surveillance technologies among other things, wrote in with a column on the value of CCTV. Gin's column discusses the need for surveillance and security versus the needs of privacy. It's something we're all thinking about these days as we see the stark images of young suicide bombers from the London CCTV systems. Check out Gin's column here.

Also this week:

Asa Hutchinson made the news when he joined GVI's board of directors. Big news from the manufacturers side also involved partnerships from Panasonic and Milestone and Diebold and Hirsch. In the world of installed sales, New York-based security dealer S-Tron and Honeywell were part of the filming of an episode of "It Takes a Thief." If you're not in the NYC Tri-state area, you might as well lower your hopes of appearing on the show -- they don't tend to leave that area. But if you're heading to N.Y. for ISC East you can see a keynote from the show. Gloomy earnings came from Japan this week for many companies that are involved in security, but before you think the industry has softened, remember that much of these companies' bottom lines comes from the consumer electronics sector, which is always a highly competitive, fad-driven marketplace. Keep your bets on their staying power.

Across the pond, Austrian officials broke the back of a criminal operation that had been targeting financial centers. The group had been blowing up ATMs to steal money, but a lucky break on a stolen car and a CCTV image capture has helped crush their operations. Want more? The details are in the story. It followed closely to our news that California bankers were reporting a new scam that saw criminals attaching a video/photo device to ATMs to record card details when it was used at an ATM.

Finally, a look at our most read stories of the week: