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the web, rather than being directly wired to a recording mechanism. This has multiple advantages – one of them being fast response times. An IP-based system is normally triggered to only record when motion has been detected. So if an incident has occurred you can quickly rewind to the previous event. Plus the ‘video’ or recording can be watched remotely. Even from a smartphone. The second major benefit is that the actual video footage is stored on web based servers. So an attacker cannot simply pick up the system and walk away with it.

Such a surveillance system does depend on a link to the internet via a router – exactly the same kind of black box you have at home for your broadband internet connection. The surveillance cameras can also function wirelessly via a Wi-fi link to the router. As a major supplier of such web-based systems, Jabbakam has recently demonstrated that you don’t need a fixed line link to the web (hence there are no wires to be cut). The company recently supplied Anglian Water with a system that makes use of the Hughes IPoS (satellite) network to connect its remote Northamptonshire sites. As a deterrent to would-be attackers, in the case of a lone worker protection scheme it would be advisable of course to publicise the fact that the area is under wireless video surveillance via suitable signage.

The alternative to web- based surveillance is to employ a system


which works over one of the UK’s mobile phone (cellular) networks. A good example here is supplied by Guardian24 www., which is offered as an app that works on a BlackBerry smartphone, a Windows PDA, Mobile Phone or specialist device from the likes of Identicom, or SmartLinQ.

The Guardian24 service allows lone workers to log in and out of daily tasks, leaving details of their location and the expected duration of an

cellular signal which is not always available in remote locations. Frequently there is no such signal in a basement or in the heart of a building.

activity. If that activity overruns, Guardian24 will automatically call the worker to verify their safety. If the worker cannot be reached a nominated respondent will be notified informing him or her of the overrun activity. At this stage an agreed protocol will be followed to verify the user’s safety and location.

At any time a lone worker can press a dedicated

hot key on his or her mobile device to summon emergency assistance. Guardian24’s system provides the worker’s personal details; activity details and a live audio to the respondent. This emergency audio link can prove invaluable if there’s a need to notify the emergency services.

The catch to such system is that they require a good


We all know the common attitude to video surveillance is the fear that Big Brother is watching you. However, in the lone worker’s case, it is reassuring to know that Big Sis is constantly monitoring you. Better still, web-based surveillance is very cost effective to implement. For in-building usage, a specialist webcam is all that is required, for example. Plus a supplier like Jabbakam charges its users a monthly subscription fee for storing the video. There’s no need to purchase and maintain your own recording equipment. There’s almost no training required – the same cannot be said of even the simplest of mobile phone applications.

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