Mexico video surveillance: safer life, productive business
Did you know that Mexico ranks 7th in the list of countries with the most UNESCO world heritage sites? It is indeed a beautiful country with ancient history. Still, among invaluable monuments it also inherited internal and external issues that are shaking its everyday life. Luckily, many of the issues are being worked on, and some can be solved with video surveillance. Let’s see it in more detail and learn if video surveillance can help fix the situation.
Historical land of drug barons, Mexico is to this day struggling with cartels’ influence. The drug trade conflict fuels rampant corruption and violence in Mexico, contributing to atrocities like assassinations of Mexican politicians, journalists, students and public servants, as well as tens of thousands of homicides and kidnapping cases in the country each year.
To realize the scale of the problem, here’s some data: reports state that 93.3% of violent crimes in Mexico are not reported to authorities, and only 5% of the those that are, are investigated and punished.
Smaller town businesses are frequently subject to extortion: forced to pay monthly “protection fees” to organized racket groups, or endure vandalization or robbery attacks from crime syndicates bribed by unscrupulous competitors.
In rural areas, lands are intimidated and often confiscated by gangs, and their former owners are driven to migrate elsewhere – usually, to a safe harbor to the next big city where they can hope they will be protected and won’t lose everything they own, again.
This results in overpopulation in large metropolises where the population growth rate is reported to amount to about 2 percent annually. Mexico City is already the world’s third largest city and further migration leads to inevitable acceleration of socially-derived problems. The housing problem due to overpopulation has reached monumental proportions: it is reported that nearly 75% of the population live in slums shacks, which at the very least raises some health concerns.
Unemployed or underemployed people who have just recently had a job and a place to stay, find themselves extremely poor and struggling for life, and if the crisis is not addressed, many nearly starving people eventually resort to criminal activities or attempts at illegal immigration to neighboring countries. Such uneasiness in society and social division often lead to rising incidents of theft and robberies, physical assaults, and overall communal crime. Property damage each year is said to reach millions of dollars.
Traffic also raises ample cause for concern, for the rich and for the poor equally. With such density of population, city traffic is doomed to become hazardous to life and limb. As per Texas Monthly claims, a traffic death is reported in the city of Mexico every 7 hours; an injury – every 40 minutes.
The socioeconomic challenges are coupled with environmental issues. Mexico is a large manufacturer and exporter of hardware and automotive goods, so the heavy industry alone could have made citizens that live nearby suffocate with emissions. Add 1.3 million automobiles to the equation, and you’ll have more than 4600 tons of waste spewed out into the air over the city each day. And that polluted air just stays hanging there due to the valley landscape.
Video surveillance has long ceased to be simply a recording unit used in gas stations to get robbery on tape, and use the grainy footage in attempts to find robbers after the incident.
Contemporary video surveillance intervenes tools for anti-intrusion security with modern-day intelligent mechanisms that can be used in automatization of mundane processes and optimization of business operations. Best of the class solutions thus comprise over 100 features, which, when combined, can cover thousands of use scenarios in nearly any verticals.
Video surveillance might not resolve housing or emission problems, but it might help eliminate issues – both on private and state level – that could have the snowball effect to eventually raise the living standards. Here are some examples:
‘Safe city’ projects are on the rise all around the world, from the UK to China. The program is designed to create a safer environment with a city-wide network of video surveillance cameras that are installed in road polls, municipal organizations, businesses or homes of neighborhood watch enthusiasts. Some cities, especially in the Middle East, even go as far as make CCTV an obligatory condition for opening a business. So far China has probably outdone all other countries with its all-in-one complex system that fuses AI-powered recognition of ‘prohibited’ behavior and gathering information about citizens from ever-present video cameras, geo tracking and social media, for which it’s even nicknamed a ‘State of surveillance’.
But even on a simpler level, video surveillance systems could help the police forces in the pursuit to make Mexican streets safer. City video surveillance cameras, installed in poles around the city, are equally good for pro-active monitoring of events and post-incident investigation. Live streams and records can provide situational awareness to law enforcement officers, allowing them to quickly react to suspicious objects or behavior, proactively prevent criminal activities, or at least investigate committed crimes effectively to be able to press charges against a criminal.
For example, Xeoma video surveillance software offers dozens of tools (called ‘modules’) that can be used in the ‘Safe City’ program:
• “Sound Events Detector” can be useful for detecting shooting or screaming on the street, and notify police department immediately.
• Xeoma’s “ANPR” module (license plate recognition) can detect stolen cars, recognize license plates of the cars that violated the law or simply track all license plates. This tool can be a part of a van surveillance kit that works with a police vehicle dash cam in real time.
• Likewise, the “Face Recognition” module powered by artificial intelligence can detect people, find their faces and compare them to any corresponding databases, all in a matter of seconds. Like it is the case with the license plate recognition, face recognition can be done on-the-go by police car dash cameras or even officers’ body-worn cameras to single out people that are missing, wanted, or registered offenders.
• City surveillance can help fight terrorism (or – ideally – deter it). Proactive video analytics can see through the constant flow of people to detect suspicious bags or luggage left unattended in public spaces (railway stations, airports, city squares, etc.).
• Another smart module “Face detector (Emotions)” can be used to detect negative emotions (anger, fear, etc.) in public places and notify police to possibly prevent a crime. Similar to this, tools like object detection can be trained to spot weapons or other hazardous objects in the area.
• The “Slip and Fall” module can be used to detect if someone’s fainted and fallen down in the camera view, and dispatch an ambulance or a nearby patrol to check on the fallen person.
In the war against crime the police could use any help there is, so affordable, durable, impartial and tireless video surveillance systems could be a game changer that will help make streets of Mexico safer.
Aerial drone surveillance is known to be an effective tool in many spheres, from farming to advertising.
Quick to engage, unnoticeable to a human eye, drones can be used for reconnaissance in special operations like busting a drug deal that usually happens in outskirts or abandoned carcasses of a plant. Drones are frequently used for drug trafficking over borders or into correctional facilities, so becoming familiar with FPV unmanned vehicles is a must to counter illegal smuggling of drugs in or out. Luckily, both live monitoring and smart recognition of specific events or objects is available in CCTV like Xeoma.
Traffic management and road safety are also a vital part of the ‘Safe city’ system. Luckily, many tasks of enforcing traffic rules and promoting safe driving habits can be automated with video surveillance systems. For example, video surveillance cameras that are overlooking roads and highways can be on the automated lookout for illegal parking, traffic rules violations like ignoring red light, lane crossing, overspeeding, etc. Besides, reports on violations can be automatically sent to state fining systems. Consistency with fining violations is key to eradication of irresponsible driving behavior. Even in conditions of extreme shortage of patrol vehicles, the CCTV can do that work and provide the necessary consistence. This, combined with LPR measures described above, can bring a new level of security even to little supervised roads.
Part of the drug problem in Mexico is that cartels often pay off judges, officers and politicians to overlook their atrocities, making the justice system not only underfunded and politicized, but also veined with corruption. Fighting bribery is a necessary step to battle the tight embrace between the criminals and police. In that respect, indoor video surveillance systems installed in state agencies and offices can be a deterrent for attempts at corruption, as well as gather video proof if a government official acts out of accord with regulations. The fear of punishment might lead to more officials opting out of helping drug barons and other crime syndicates. Modern-day video surveillance solutions like Xeoma have various tools for such indoor surveillance: multi-floor emaps, detectors of loitering or crowding, automated access tools as well as 24/7 video recording and camera tampering alerts.
Indoor video surveillance can be used in the private sector as well. Even the elite who managed to avoid poverty and unemployment are at risk: after all, any day they can fall victim to kidnapping, robbery, car theft or property intrusion and looting. Hiring body guards or employing video surveillance are two ways to fight these risks, the latter being less intrusive or expensive.
Indoor and on-premise security usually starts with intrusion detection, an omnipresent tool available in any CCTV. Smart algorithms can make sure that they detect is in fact a stranger, not a family member who had to go back because they forgot something, or a bird flying by, or leaves of your yard’s maple throwing shadows. A personal anti-burglar system can trigger when there are more people in sight than expected (for example, when a babysitter brings someone to your house to keep them company), if you are expecting a delivery but they step on territory they aren’t supposed to, if there is a car parking in your driveway while you’re not looking, etc.
Whether you want to see how your pets are getting along without you throughout the work day, track deliveries or keep an eye on your elderly, contemporary video surveillance like Xeoma has got the answer.
Dozens of reactions available – from mobile push notifications to custom reactions like VoIP call to rescue services – will make sure to engage required notifications about alarming events. Moreover, being reachable over the Internet, the CCTV system will let the owner peek in the cameras to see if everything is in order, too.
In business, where it is essential to keep up with the latest trends and technologies to stay relevant, it would be a miss to turn down the advancement that comes with video surveillance systems, especially those equipped with artificial intelligence. Contemporary video surveillance solutions are no longer a thing of lavishness. On the contrary, they can be used in businesses of various scale and various domains – from offices or retail outlets, productions or transportation units, to HoReCa or entertainment establishments.
AI-powered computer vision is a great way to increase security and safety levels, boost productivity and improve operational efficiency, as well as substitute human workers in mundane tasks like access control.
Businesses equipped with video surveillance systems face less burglaries or cashier frauds, while at the same time are able to gather essential statistical information about customers and their needs to meet their demands better. See for yourself what state-of-the-art systems can offer:
• Drone surveillance is a fast and cheap aid in farming. Mexico’s one of top exports is food produce including tomatoes, pepper and avocadoes. Besides, the symbol of Mexico is tequila that is famously made from blue agave plant, drown in bulk in vast plantations.
• Unique visitors calculator relies on the already mentioned Face Recognition algorithms and help estimate how many new customers visit the establishment in the selected time range.
• With live demographics analytics, a soft of a 24/7 census, a business owner can have valuable data on their clients’ age and gender to fit the assortment and/or services for a better fit to the tastes of dominating group, or to attract more of the omitted population.
• Live eye tracking can follow the movement of a human eye’s pupil and thus gather information on where the gaze of the visitors of the place of business is directed. This data can be used to estimate their level of engagement with promotional campaigns (for example, billboards or ads), see how noticeable changes of interior design are, or establish best placement for promoted items.
• Mexico is also an important exporter of cars, computers and petroleum which means lots of factories. Video surveillance in a plant or refinery can be a life-saver for apart from regular video security, it can perform analysis of the produce, detection of abnormal behavior, or remote acceptance in heavy machinery.
• The Emotions Recognition can show the unbiased truth if customers are satisfied with the service in an establishment, or if employees are happy and friendly there.
• Also, the Smoke and fire detector can detect either smoke or fire in an area – a waiting hall or offices.
• The sound recognition, that is used for detection of abnormal situations within the lines of Smart City complexes, can be repurposed in business as a part of anti-burglar or anti-robbery system. When Xeoma recognizes screams, gunshots, or simply a load sound (which is most useful in heavy machinery production), it can send custom notifications to notify authorized personnel or call the police.
• Banking and financial institutions can benefit from CCTV systems by remastering them into a hi-tech panic button as well.
Depending on the type of business and its needs, such solutions like Xeoma, packed with smart features, can provide custom modules to do exactly what is required, without having to over-spend for features that are not required.
It’s not a secret that technologies powered by artificial intelligence (like recognition of intrusion, faces, vehicles, emotions, abnormal and hazardous situations, etc.) are on the rise now due to their great potential and mind-blowing rate of evolution. As it is today, smart video surveillance can solve hundreds of tasks in hundreds of scenarios from fighting crime, aiding in business, to life-saving compliance with health and safety regulations in plants, proactive lookout for missing people or vehicles. The rise of video surveillance systems in Mexico will most probably continue to fight in the war on drugs, and the violence it ensues, to finally make the country and its citizens as prosperous as they so well deserve.
|Even if something that you need right now is not yet present in today’s AI solutions, you can request custom development of it. The new product will be an innovation for industries with similar needs, opening a market opportunity as well.
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January 24, 2023
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