“What would normally take an hour and a half to two hours to review, now takes five to six minutes. Long term, the more we use it, the more efficient our time is going to be.”
The City of Ipswich is home to over 215,000 residents, spanning twelve suburbs. Driven to become Australia’s most livable and prosperous city, the Ipswich City Council has been embracing new technologies, such as video analytics. In 1994, the city started installing security cameras; but, with the passing of time, the city council sought additional ways to leverage their video surveillance beyond public safety. Implemented by the city in 2014, BriefCam’s Video Content Analytics platform has enabled the city to become smarter, supporting law enforcement, optimizing municipal operations and transforming the city’s video into actionable intelligence for the benefit of the city council, residents and business owners.
Smoothly integrated directly into the city’s Genetec VMS, BriefCam was able to provide immediate value to the City of Ipswich. Initially, the technology was used to effectively and efficiently locate missing children. When people started going missing at a large swimming lagoon, the city used BriefCam’s video analytics to accelerate their searches, enabling operators to filter video objects based on attributes, such as clothing color. With BriefCam, the city has been able to quickly pinpoint people and objects of interest and, ultimately, reunite missing children with their families.
The city quickly realized that this technology would have other powerful uses: They began using the same search functions to locate stolen vehicles, filtering objects based on vehicle descriptions to quickly isolate targets and provide critical intelligence to the police. According to Larry Waite, Ipswich Safe City and Corporate Security Manager, “BriefCam’s intuitive technology allows us to do fast reviews and provide intelligence to police, so they can further their investigations and operations.”
Beyond criminal investigations and emergency response, the City of Ipswich relies on BriefCam to streamline municipal activities. When planning local events, the city leverages BriefCam for traffic optimization in the affected areas. Understanding usual traffic volumes and considering how the expected crowd will impact the overall traffic in the area, the city can predictively prepare for increased crowding on event day. The city uses this information to proactively issue parking permits ahead of mass events. Knowing whether parking in the area will be adequate, the city
can also prevent congestion by proactively redirecting vehicles to alternative parking areas. Maintaining a safe and pleasant atmosphere helps the city encourage visitors to return and partake in more city activities.
Having recently upgraded to a newer version of BriefCam, the city and local “police are very excited about the new capabilities for making investigation time even quicker,” notes Larry Waite. While there are legal restrictions regulating the use of face recognition, the city is eager to leverage this capability to accelerate finding missing children. By simply adding an image of the missing child, the city can run a quick search, isolate potential matches in video, and recover the missing child.
The city also plans to start using BriefCam for investigating cases where there is a known suspect or – in the case of a stolen vehicle – a specific object that can be identified. In these cases, the city plans to configure alerts to be notified when people or object matches are detected on pathways monitored by video. BriefCam’s alerting system will enable operators to immediately assess and confirm the match, so that responders can be deployed immediately to apprehend the suspect or recover the stolen property.
According to Larry Waite, with BriefCam “what would normally take an hour and a half to two hours to review, now takes five to six minutes. Long term,
the more we use it, the more efficient our time is going to be.” By aggregating video data over time, BriefCam helps users uncover trends and patterns, visualizing the information in easily congestible data analytics dashboards. Looking ahead, the City of Ipswich is excited to take advantage of these capabilities and to share this intelligence with local businesses, to continue enhancing quality of life and driving economic prosperity in the city.