Author Topic: Why don't surveillance cameras call the cops when a robbery is in progress?  (Read 9643 times)

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Offline JoeN

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I ask this jokingly, but with a real purpose.  When will machine vision become advanced enough that this is a possibility?  Surely it is not that far off now that we have self-driving cars and "IoT", right?  There could be a standard where local police departments allow video feeds over the Internet, all they need to do is supply their IP address (or addresses) to local parties and those parties can provide a push-feed to that IP address (or addresses).  The feed could be full time or part time.  The feed could have a priority.  So there could be an "alarm" feed where the sender pushes it with a warning that a possible burglary or robbery is in progress if the machine vision algorithm determines it is the case or a robbery button is pushed.  The cops can then look at it and make a judgment call.  The security camera, if sufficiently advanced, could zoom it to try to get identifying marks as well as closeups of the face, hands, tattoos, logos on clothes and shoes, etc., and other very high resolution images that could be used to match to apprehended suspects.  Right now, most security footage I see it very poor, and the camera can't call the cops because it is stupid. 

Is there a product here?

« Last Edit: May 03, 2017, 11:39:29 pm by JoeN »
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Online james_s

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You can already get systems where an alarm will trigger actual humans to monitor the situation, they will do audio at least and I'd guess video capable systems are available by now, for a monthly fee of course. I think it will be a long time before an automated system can reliably call the police to report an intrusion. It doesn't take many false alarms before the cops get really fed up with you.
 

Offline ataradov

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That's what security companies are for. You are assuming that PDs have staff to watch all those videos, they don't. They barely have enough resources to respond to things that are getting reported, they don't need more work.

And even with real security companies - 3-4 false alarms in a row in a short amount of time, and your next alarm gets lower priority than kitty stuck on a tree.
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Offline JoeN

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You can already get systems where an alarm will trigger actual humans to monitor the situation, they will do audio at least and I'd guess video capable systems are available by now, for a monthly fee of course. I think it will be a long time before an automated system can reliably call the police to report an intrusion. It doesn't take many false alarms before the cops get really fed up with you.

I think a working system would be more like "something odd is going on here, please take a look at it" rather than "alarm" with automatic dispatch.  There are always people manning 911, having them look over some video feeds doesn't seem to me to be asking too much of them.  With Internet and WiFi everywhere now, I think a standard could be made for this sort of video feed really easily that would allow a sender (convenience store, someone on vacation, etc.) and receiver (local police) to set up communications with maybe as few parameters as the receiver supplying an IP address.  I would think the cops would love this, maybe for the wrong reasons, but because it gives them potentially a lot of free cameras around a city to help them track down suspects.

3-4 false alarms in a row in a short amount of time, and your next alarm gets lower priority than kitty stuck on a tree.

I am making maybe the naive assumption here that the algorithms are debugged and generally reliable prior to this being deployed.
« Last Edit: May 04, 2017, 12:20:09 am by JoeN »
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Online xrunner

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That's what security companies are for. You are assuming that PDs have staff to watch all those videos, they don't. They barely have enough resources to respond to things that are getting reported, they don't need more work.

Yep, they don't have the personal to monitor and respond to video feeds. How many feeds are there going to be hundreds ... thousands? Not going to happen.  ???

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Offline JoeN

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That's what security companies are for. You are assuming that PDs have staff to watch all those videos, they don't. They barely have enough resources to respond to things that are getting reported, they don't need more work.

Yep, they don't have the personal to monitor and respond to video feeds. How many feeds are there going to be hundreds ... thousands? Not going to happen.  ???

Like I said, the point is that the algorithm is smart enough not to pass it on unless someone with the intelligence of a 6 year old or so thought there was a robbery in progress.  So, there are not going to be hundreds or thousands of feeds.  Other than that extreme hyperbole, good point.   :palm:
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Online james_s

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I think you'd find that 911 operators are generally pretty heavily loaded, they're not sitting around looking for something to do between calls. They certainly don't have time to monitor security feeds, as someone else said, that's what security system companies are for. They are paid monthly by those who want the service, they can have the necessary staff to monitor feeds from any triggered alarms, that's what they're there for.

There are dozens of break-ins going on across the country at pretty much any given moment, and many, many more false alarms.
 

Offline ataradov

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Like I said, the point is that the algorithm is smart enough not to pass it on
Even regular people in security companies send a lot of questionable reports to the police. I don't see AI being any better.

PS: I listen to a local police radio as a background. The amount of crappy reporting they have to deal with is astounding. There are security companies that fail to articulate where in the building the camera is located.
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Offline JoeN

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These are not feeds that need to be monitored.  They are feeds that come in when the algorithm, for example, notices extremely unusual situations, for example, masked men with guns in a convenience store.  How hard is this to understand?  It's a huge machine vision algorithm challenge, I understand that, but won't it be doable soon?
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Online xrunner

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Like I said, the point is that the algorithm ...

Algorithm? What algorithm is going to recognize a robbery? I can understand a vision recognition system that could notice when people are moving in a room, but how does it know it's a robbery? You're talking about AI, the kind we just don't have yet.  :-//

All you really have then is a basic alarm system that notifies {somebody} when the room is occupied because it sees motion. That sort of thing has been around for years - it's called an alarm system.

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Offline ataradov

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but won't it be doable soon?
Nope. By my estimation more than half of the outside security cameras in downtown San Jose are disabled. Every time something happens police go to the store owners, and cameras are either disabled, or recording to some locked up box with no easy access. Store owners are too cheap to install expensive equipment. They are covered by insurance, even if they install bare minimum, and that's what they do.
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Offline Richard Crowley

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  • There are places where systems can call the police. But they require annual permits which can be revoked for excessive false-alarms.
  • Most police departments won't take automatic alarms because they can't handle the volume of false alarms.
      That is why most alarms are connected to monitoring companies who decide what is real enough to call the authorities.
  • There is an alarm company in the US who claim a very high success rate because they use real-time audio monitoring to hear what is actually happening (vs. simply triggering a sensor)
  • Facebook is reported to be hiring 3000 humans to monitor live videos to prevent publicizing crime and violence.
 

Offline stj

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the camera's arent there to protect you, they are there to watch you because the government fears you.
let a small crowd form infront of a camera and see how fast you get a response!
 

Offline X

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I can speak from having experience in this field, albeit in Australia. A number of commercial alarm systems exist here which can capture video and send it off to a control location.

A camera's motion detect is unreliable for "sounding an alarm", due to noise from CMOS sensors (particularly noisy in the dark) and moving leaves/wind/etc, and the main purpose of the motion detect on cameras is to avoid recording static scenes. There are cameras which do come with PIRs built into them, but network latency makes them unreliable.

On sites where such security is an issue, the cameras are accompanied with a PIR. The camera has motion detect for the purposes of saving valuable HDD space, while the PIR is there to activate when a someone moves in front of it. The panel can then pull a picture from the camera and send the images to the control room or the client.

I've not seen any (in Oz at least) that calls police directly, they'll often call the monitoring centre first, who will then call the client or contracted security (guard) company to ask if they want the police to be called.
« Last Edit: May 04, 2017, 02:26:11 am by X »
 

Offline Len

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Algorithms!


 
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Offline JoeN

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Algorithm? What algorithm is going to recognize a robbery?

Hence my initial caveat - "When will machine vision become advanced enough that this is a possibility?"  I know I didn't put that in the headline, it wouldn't fit.

Algorithm? What algorithm is going to drive a car reliably?

I am actually surprised there are so many naysayers on this particular forum.  It's coming.  It may not come as fast as we (or Arthur C. Clarke) expected, but these things are coming.
« Last Edit: May 04, 2017, 05:21:08 am by JoeN »
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Offline X

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I ask this jokingly, but with a real purpose.  When will machine vision become advanced enough that this is a possibility?  Surely it is not that far off now that we have self-driving cars and "IoT", right?
Self driving cars = more accidents.. As for "IoT", well around 80% of all "IoT" devices are junky and useless. Just because something is "IoT" or "smart" or "self-driving" etc, doesn't mean it is useful, and certainly doesn't mean it should be there. The only reason for creating these devices is money and marketing. Nobody in their right mind actually needs them.

There could be a standard where local police departments allow video feeds over the Internet, all they need to do is supply their IP address (or addresses) to local parties and those parties can provide a push-feed to that IP address (or addresses).  The feed could be full time or part time.  The feed could have a priority.  So there could be an "alarm" feed where the sender pushes it with a warning that a possible burglary or robbery is in progress if the machine vision algorithm determines it is the case or a robbery button is pushed.  The cops can then look at it and make a judgment call.
This sort of thing is great on paper, but unrealistic in practice, and the consequences for a false alarm increase significantly.

The security camera, if sufficiently advanced, could zoom it to try to get identifying marks as well as closeups of the face, hands, tattoos, logos on clothes and shoes, etc., and other very high resolution images that could be used to match to apprehended suspects.  Right now, most security footage I see it very poor, and the camera can't call the cops because it is stupid.
Even the most advanced alarms will false-alarm once in a while. I worked on a top-notch installation, high quality cameras and a name-brand alarm system, where the PIRs were being triggered in a regular pattern, which worried the owners as it looked like someone was loitering around waiting for an opportunity to rob the place. Looking through CCTV footage proved difficult due to the noisy picture (night, low illumination) but after enough time, we found that the perimeter PIRs were being triggered in a regular pattern by an energized kangaroo loitering about in the distance (sufficient enough to be difficult to catch on the cameras in most cases). IIRC, some sensitivity adjustments were made, but the roo was ruthless. The issue sort of stopped on its own.
« Last Edit: May 04, 2017, 05:52:24 am by X »
 

Offline Jeroen3

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I don't know. Such things have been fantasized about.

But in the real worlds, such intelligent automatic security system would be more expensive than the stores and banks can afford.
Obviously, you can protect your local gas station with the budget of an an air force base, but that a bit out of proportion don't you think?
 

Offline Brumby

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Hence my initial caveat - "When will machine vision become advanced enough that this is a possibility?"

I noticed this from the outset.  The question was never about the present - it was about the future.

So the question is: WHEN?
 

Offline X

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I don't think we're going to get to "cameras calling the cops" at this stage, and certainly not in the future, but the potential is certainly there. There are high-res cameras (30MP and above) and video analytics packages from companies like Avigilon and iOmniscient, which can either learn what specific behaviours mean, or can be taught to "suspect" activity based on behaviours. These have applications in very large-scale environments at this stage, because each unit costs AU$15000 plus.

I personally have not used anything from iOmniscient, and I have only played around with demonstrations of one of Avigilon's cameras (a 30MP 6fps model), but given enough processing power, and given enough time, this will be very well refined. I don't think the cost is due to the actual manufacturing and materials, but rather the R&D, and in order to sell really new tech, you need to have a high profit margin to pay off the R&D costs.

So the answer to when is when the tech is accessible enough to increase the demand.
« Last Edit: May 04, 2017, 07:21:28 am by X »
 
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Offline Kilrah

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Algorithm? What algorithm is going to drive a car reliably?
I am actually surprised there are so many naysayers on this particular forum.  It's coming.  It may not come as fast as we (or Arthur C. Clarke) expected, but these things are coming.

Well I guess you should invest into and start working on the development of this then.

IMO it will take more than 10 years until something like this could work semi reliably. Good luck making the difference between a robber breaking in the main door and me coming in in the middle of winter with a thick coat and hat covering my face just as much as a robber would do. Maybe you can differentiate by the robber moving further in the house than me stopping in the hall and drop the heavy clothes, but then the day where I go straight across the whole flat to the kitchen in order to drop whatever heavy stuff I'm carrying you'll be triggering a false alarm.
You can then use my phone's presence to authenticate me, but then I might have forgotten it in the car or have turned wifi/BT off for some reason or they might just not connect becasue we all know the reliability of this. So you need to recognise the car. The whole thing will grow to be highly complicated and way too expensive for anyone to buy into. When things become complicated they become prone to failure too. And when word gets out of how it works the robbers will know they just have to steal your car first to get in without issues.
 

Offline CJay

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I'm not convinced we will ever see fully automatic systems that can more reliably detect a robbery in progress faster than a cashier, seems to me that if there's a human factor involved then that's going to be far more reliable unless there's some element of extreme violence involved to prevent them pushing an alarm button.

I can see the potential need in a fully automated environment but there are better and simpler ways to detect robbery of an ATM or vending machine for instance.
 

Offline NivagSwerdna

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If the system can reliably identify intruders then logically it should just activate the machine gun. (castle law)

No need for the cops

 ;)
 

Offline amyk

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Hence my initial caveat - "When will machine vision become advanced enough that this is a possibility?"

I noticed this from the outset.  The question was never about the present - it was about the future.

So the question is: WHEN?
I hope never. Pervasive surveillance is creepy enough as it is already. :-\
 

Online xrunner

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Hence my initial caveat - "When will machine vision become advanced enough that this is a possibility?"  I know I didn't put that in the headline, it wouldn't fit.



I am actually surprised there are so many naysayers on this particular forum.  It's coming.  It may not come as fast as we (or Arthur C. Clarke) expected, but these things are coming.

Your thread title -

Why don't surveillance cameras call the cops when a robbery is in progress?

I answered it - because the technology doesn't exist for a machine to analyze a moving scene to tell if a human being is committing a robbery. It simply does not exist NOW.

In the future - OF COURSE!

I believe it will exist someday and I hope it will exist someday. But right now it doesn't. Come on JoeN!

Quote
Algorithm? What algorithm is going to drive a car reliably?

I don't know. I don't write self-driving car software.

I don't think that's the exact question you really wanted to ask me though ... what you need to do is think about the questions you are asking a little bit longer and write the questions a little bit clearer.  :-//
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