In a wide-ranging discussion, Nick and Gavin talk about the major escalation of problems on the high street brought about by the pandemic. This is a must-watch for CCTV installers and retailers who need a solution to reduce their losses and help shopworker moral
DVS, one of the UK’s leading CCTV camera and components distributors, will become the first UK distributor to provide a facial recognition crime deterrent solution to their installer and reseller network.
The use of facial recognition as a deterrent to stop shop theft and violence in retail stores is rapidly gaining acceptance. The Facewatch system has been successfully tested across a range of retailers over the last 18 months. With demand increasing making Facewatch available via the established UK reseller channel will ensure the product, training and support is provided at the very highest level and a rapid roll out can be achieved.
Facewatch, which is sold as a licenced product is GDPR compliant and the uploaded criminal data is the responsibility of Facewatch under a data-sharing agreement has been signed by the user. Facewatch will be available to ‘approved’ installers who have been trained on both the practical setup of the cameras and aspects of managing and running the system.
Gavin Dunleavy, Commercial Director, DVS Ltd
“Facial recognition is being discussed within businesses and the wider world by those who understand that the best technologies can deter and prevent crime. Facewatch is the leading facial recognition solution with a focus on the retail sector and other verticals alike. With GDPR compliance and privacy controls built into the system the solution becomes powerful and legally deployable. Facewatch combines simple CCTV hardware with a secure cloud-based software solution, so accredited training and support is of the utmost importance for our installers to deliver this incredible solution. We will be running training from our HQ initially then across the UK with a plan to have trained and accredited strategic partners in place throughout 2020.”
DVS Company Background
A fast-paced and energetic organisation, DVS has embraced innovative technological advances in the industry and are now one of the industry’s most proficient distributors of IP CCTV products. Formed in 2003, DVS has quickly established itself as one of Europe’s most successful multi-brand distributors of electronic surveillance products. This has been built on significant investment into our superb sales and technical teams, and a state-of-the-art demonstration and training facility located at DVS HQ. Professional and proficient staff, with a fantastic working environment, ensures that customers and suppliers alike always receive a positive impression.
Nick Fisher, CEO, Facewatch Ltd
“DVS are a perfect partner for us. They have a highly technical team; they are used to working with the very latest CCTV technology and have a great team on the road and at their HQ offering sales and technical support. Facewatch is a sophisticated SAAS (software as a service) product that requires training and support and DVS have a well-established training team who will work with us to establish a network of approved Facewatch installers. Facewatch is supplied on licence and therefore creates a new recurring income stream for installers who will provide lifelong technical, product management and training support to their customers. We are very excited to announce DVS as our channel partner.”
Facewatch company background:
Facewatch have been providing crime prevention solutions to the retail industry for over 10 years. The business was started by Simon Gordon owner of London’s oldest wine bar on the Embankment in London. The Winebar was a target for pickpockets and bag thieves and he wanted to provide a relaxed and safe environment for his customers. Being technology-minded and working with the local police he launched the first-ever online crime reporting system including CCTV footage. This led to the launch of the first facial recognition solution in 2017, enabling retailers to deter habitual criminals who were shoplifting, abusing staff or causing criminal damage.
Today the Facewatch system provides a GDPR compliant solution that is easy to install, can be used and managed by small stores and is scalable for use by large retail groups due to its unique cloud-based servers and using Intel® NUC mini PCs. Data is managed securely by Facewatch. Facewatch doesn’t store information about the general public, just those for whom their retailer subscribers have uploaded confirmed evidence of criminal activity. If a facial image is not matched to a relevant watch list the algorithmic data is instantly deleted.
Figure 1. Facewatch matches faces against known offenders within seconds of them entering a business
Facewatch solution overview:
Facewatch uses the software-as-a-service technology model, making advanced facial recognition affordable for even small businesses. The company’s watchlist lives on the cloud. It’s a centralized, managed database of biometric data corresponding to the faces of people who are reasonably suspected of having shoplifted or committed other crimes at businesses that subscribe to the service .
The hardware to run Facewatch is simple to deploy. It includes a standard HD CCTV camera and Intel® NUC, a mini-PC that is only 4×4 inches in size and consumes very little power. Its performance enables it to play and record video at 4K Ultra HD clarity, making it ideal for a facial recognition system. The cameras—placed at store entrances—send an image to an on-site NUC loaded with software that converts the image to an algorithm. The algorithm is compared to those in the Facewatch relevant watchlist for that property and if there is a match an alert—along with an accuracy reading—is sent to the retailer’s smartphone or other device, warning it that a known criminal on the watchlist has entered its business.
To add a shoplifter to the watchlist takes only six key presses and about 20 seconds, making it easy for store or security staff, and it doesn’t interfere with their normal duties. “They simply follow a dropdown menu, the time and date are automated, tick the box, the whole thing’s designed to be simple but highly secure and includes a confirmatory legal statement confirming that the information is accurate.” said Nick Fisher, CEO of Facewatch.
The solution does not retain any personal data on anyone not on the watchlist. “If no match is discovered, the image is deleted in 0.3 seconds” Fisher said, “and the entire process—from the moment a known shoplifter comes through the door, to the instant the retailer gets an alert—takes less than two seconds.”
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