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Shenzhen Uses ‘Video + Big Data’ for Safer City

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Shenzhen Uses ‘Video + Big Data’ for Safer City

By Li Shihua, Chief of the Video Police Division, Shenzhen Municipal Public Security Bureau

Video + Big Data: Especially Useful for Public Safety

Video technologies now play a bigger role in assuring public safety. The following describes a real-world example of how such video implementations make Shenzhen a safer city.

Three years ago, a high-profile home break-in, robbery, and murder incident occurred in Shenzhen. Many high-level law enforcement organizations recognized the importance of the case and urged responsible police departments to quickly solve this crime. The case investigation personnel then reviewed related video feeds and quickly identified the suspect — a man in his thirties wearing a black T-shirt and blue jeans. Then, by using the video relay function, investigators followed the subject leaving in a red taxi from the front of a nearby shopping mall. Subsequently, the team fully leveraged video along with Big Data analytics technologies to uncover that the suspect had taken the taxi to an intercity passenger station.

In order not to be detected and tracked, the suspect did not use any mobile phone or other communication devices. Therefore, it was impossible to quickly determine information about the suspect. However, the case investigation personnel did not give up and continued to find more clues. After meticulous investigation, a break in the case occurred at the intercity passenger station. The suspect used a fake ID card when purchasing a ticket and relevant insurance. Although his information was false, the case investigation personnel could continue to follow this information.

The suspect was confident enough. He fled to another province and continued to use the fake ID card to check into a hotel. According to China’s existing policing requirements, the hotel must archive and upload information about all guests. Through such clues, the case investigative personnel caught this suspect sleeping in that hotel.

To solve this case, the police used Big Data and video analysis technologies as well as other high-technology, intelligent criminal investigation methods. These technologies and methods now have become commonplace for investigating and solving similar crimes. The video surveillance system plays an even more important role in routine police work. At present, more than 50 percent of cases have related video clues. Video and IT applications contribute to over 70 percent of clues for major and important cases. All these investigative techniques could not even be imagined in the past.

Perfect Ending: Shenzhen Video Surveillance System Phase 3

According to the influential agency Shenzhen News, Shenzhen’s police departments started to build a video surveillance system in 2006. To date, Shenzhen has implemented three phases of this system, including the deployment of approximately 60,000 level-1 cameras and 1.3 million level-2 and level-3 cameras.

With these gradual upgrades to the municipal video surveillance system and the completion of Phase 1 through Phase 3, public safety in Shenzhen has improved significantly. According to statistics, the number of cases in Shenzhen have decreased over the last nine years, and even have decreased by 25 percent this year, while the solved major and important case rates keep increasing. Currently, about 60 percent of criminal cases are solved with the help of video surveillance recorded by the installed cameras.

Objectively, the security of Shenzhen is improving due to a variety of reasons, such as: Decision-making support from the executive layer, intensity of reform, teamwork, and other ICT enhancements. Another important reason is attributed to the Shenzhen video surveillance system.

After completion of the construction of Phase 2 of the video surveillance system during Shenzhen Universiade 2011, Shenzhen has improved its reputation across the nation. For the current activities during Phase 3 of this project, Shenzhen focuses on platform and ecosystem construction. This eliminates the traditional scattered storage systems and helps implement an overall Safe City Solution.

For Phase 3, Shenzhen Municipal Public Security Bureau selected Huawei, a leading global ICT solutions provider with comprehensive strengths, as a core partner. The reason that Huawei was included at this phase was because Shenzhen Municipal Public Security Bureau interconnected with over 50 vendors in Phase 2, consuming a lot of time and energy for communications and coordination. During Phase 3 of the construction, Shenzhen Municipal Public Security Bureau quickly streamlined all resources and conducted joint development based on Huawei’s ‘Platform + Ecosystem’ strategy. Although the project was under a rather tight schedule, Huawei completed the task ahead of time and even constructed a unified resource platform.

A dedicated video network was constructed across the entire city of Shenzhen during Phase 3. This involved huge investments and large service changes. Almost all key service systems constructed in Phase 2 were migrated during Phase 3 of this project. The following describes some key technology improvements:

• The Optical Transport Module (OTM) is used for transmission. This module ensures optimal bandwidth usage.

• Huawei’s high-end 100G devices are selected as computer numerically controlled devices. Shenzhen is the first to use such high-end devices among governments and enterprise sectors.

• Data is now stored in a centrally designed architecture. This transforms the original distributed storage system. To ensure storage security and stability, two data centers are built. The two centers use dual-ring links. The switching speed from one node to another reaches 100 Gbit/s, ensuring high line speeds and improved security.

Video Cloud Solution Unleashes Maximum User Benefits

In simple terms, the architecture of the video surveillance system in Phase 3 is completely different from that of Phase 2. Additionally, nearly all hardware devices now use Huawei products and solutions. This helps resolve the heterogeneous platform issues and creates a unified platform.

Based on this, Shenzhen is also expanding its video surveillance system ecosystem and developing diversified applications such as facial recognition and license plate recognition. Judging from the development trends of the video surveillance system, Shenzhen needs to implement a hierarchical video surveillance system, establish a hardware infrastructure platform, and streamline all computing, storage, and network resources. In particular, network resources are a key element for ensuring synchronized video storage.

Shenzhen is now organizing Phase 4 of this project. One of the objectives is to create a video cloud solution. Cloud technologies will be a further advantage and must be service-oriented to unleash the maximum advantages of video. Through open Application Programming Interfaces, or APIs, the video cloud will provide App-style mobile services. Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology will also be integrated during this process. Undoubtedly, future-proof computing must integrate with central and edge computing that places even higher requirements on the central computing capabilities. This will be also the priority of Phase 4 construction.

Video applications will go beyond ensuring public safety and extend to serve the needs of more sectors, playing a bigger role in safeguarding people’s everyday lives, city management, and other areas. How to implement networking, expansion, and applications will be also the priorities of Phase 4 construction. One thing is inevitable: A video cloud solution featuring wide area coverage, full networking, large-scale centralization, and high intelligence will also continue to improve business strategies, protect lives, and lower investment costs.

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