Game-Changer: AI Surveillance and Remote Guarding
Parking companies turn to new security technologies in guard shortage
With unemployment at a record low of 3.6 percent, parking facilities are facing a security problem: they can’t find enough security guards, regardless of whether they recruit directly, or via a guard company.
“On average, I would say nearly all guarding companies are struggling to recruit new resources and are probably 10-20 percent short of the resources they require, said Vijay Sharma, a Senior Vice President at Remote Guarding company Edgeworth Security.
Computer vision is transforming video surveillance capabilities, essentially enabling cameras to “see” what is occurring.
The inability to recruit guards is a significant issue for parking companies, particularly those in urban areas that are also seeing an uptick in crime. According to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report (UCR), parking lots are the third most common location for violent crime, as well as the location for 10 percent of all crimes, including property and vehicle theft, kidnapping, and sexual assault. A lack of ample security impacts the facility’s usage, safety, and even their liability.
But is recruiting more guards really the best solution?
“On-premises guards have been protecting parking facilities across the nation for decades, and yet, their physical presence has not always been able to move the needle on crime in all that time,” Sharma points out. “Conversely, we’re helping parking companies leverage their security infrastructure to enable AI Surveillance and Remote Guarding to improve security, and over a relatively short time, vastly reduce costs.”
The solution is working for both parking vendors and guarding companies. Sharma states, “We push to solve guard company security concerns, so they can meet contractual obligations for staffing. We have forged strong partnerships with physical guarding companies, and we are accelerating the evolution of the guarding industry to provide complete and successful security solutions for parking.”
Computer Vision: The Cornerstone of AI Surveillance
But computer vision is transforming video surveillance capabilities, essentially enabling cameras to “see” what is occurring. Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning in the cloud provide the brain, or the ability to analyze the footage in seconds and send an alert. Unaided by humans, a cloud-based AI surveillance platform can recognize individual human faces with higher accuracy than a human can, read license plates, and detect makes/models of cars, or objects such as weapons. The systems also enable customizable alerts, so security knows when an event is occurring and can conduct rapid searches for culprits or their cars as they traverse the facility.
Cloud-based AI surveillance platforms offer additional advantages to owners of multiple facilities enabling a scalable, unified view of all their locations, access via a laptop or mobile phone, the ability to multicast and, of course, unlimited storage.
“Every on-premises guard you hire can only see what’s in front of them. If they are on the wrong level, or even if they are in front of a bank of monitors, they have to get to where the crime is happening. Cloud-based AI puts unblinking eyes everywhere you have cameras within a facility. It’ll never get tired, never go on a bathroom break.” Sharma explains.
But some lots and garages, particularly in urban areas, face constant issues that require human intervention, and there’s still a guard shortage.
“That’s where Remote Guarding comes in,” Sharma explains.
Remote Guarding for End-to-End Security
With cloud-based AI surveillance, a monitoring station can log directly into a client’s camera feeds, utilize a remote guarding platform, and receive all customized alerts on behalf of their clients. At least one cloud-based AI surveillance provider even offers a platform specifically for monitoring – no need for a separate platform, license, or password required to delay the process.
Sharma explains, “We receive alerts for people loitering in the stairwells, we can see if someone is walking up the ramp, the analytics alert us immediately to all suspicious behavior – and our trained agents immediately switch to the live feed with full situational awareness. They review the subject on screen because perhaps they’re just taking a call on their cell. But if the subject exhibits certain behaviors, we leverage Voice Down.” The term ‘Voice Down’ is a reference to an agent activating a mic on the platform and informing the individual they are being watched and recorded over a 110+ decibel speaker.
Sharma finishes, “With remote guarding, over 90 percent of situations are resolved by Voice Down. The few that remain are apprehended in 99.9 percent of cases. It’s that effective.”
The end-to-end solution has another major benefit for customers: they can reduce or, in some cases, eliminate the need for live guards on-premises and reduce nighttime security costs by as much as 60-70 percent, or by 40-60 percent if they want 24-hour monitoring.
The guard shortage, combined with a recent uptick in crime, has significantly increased the interest in AI Surveillance and Remote Guarding. Sharma admits, “We’re inundated. “Everyone is always talking about the future of security. I think the future is here, right now. And it’s AI Surveillance combined with Remote Guarding.”
Kathleen Hannon is Director of Communications at Cloudastructure, Inc. as well as a published author and freelance writer. Contact Kathleen at email@example.com