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Improving police mobile surveillance and response with real-time video over cellular

June 20, 2024 — Insight

In recent years, law enforcement agencies have faced increasingly complex challenges. Maintaining consistent visibility of people, buildings and assets is more testing than ever thanks to urbanisation, rising crime levels and growing network congestion.

One of the primary ways video surveillance can support law enforcement is by deterring crime.

CCTV and other police surveillance cameras have been proven to decrease drug, vehicle and property-related crime in specific contexts, such as car parks and residential areas. CCTV is a valuable deterrent because it increases offenders’ perception of the risk of getting caught and encourages public use of an area, further impacting this perception of risk. Equally, CCTV improves citizen awareness to take additional precautions, thus reducing the number of criminal opportunities.

However, no technology or tool could claim to mitigate 100% of crime. Another key role of video surveillance in law enforcement is to monitor incidents and support the effective, rapid deployment of police to these incidents…

How can police surveillance benefit from real-time video over cellular?

In cases where incidents occur, law enforcers have traditionally depended on wired surveillance systems and recordings to identify and track down suspects, with footage acting as invaluable evidence during criminal investigations and prosecutions. But is it enough?

For frontline officers, real-time situational awareness is paramount to effective decision-making and rapid emergency response — as well as criminal investigation.

In recent years, advancements in technology and 5G networking have prompted the increasing adoption of wireless video security systems to address various issues associated with wired infrastructure, such as costs, maintenance and poor reliability.

Wireless video technology supports more flexible installations — operating over Wi-Fi or cellular to enable redeployment — for on-the-go surveillance from vehicles, wearables and drones.

Robust and reliable real-time video over cellular can support law enforcers with more effective decision-making — crucial in situations where immediate, informed decisions can mean the difference between de-escalation and escalation. In scenarios such as building searches or crowd control, having a real-time feed from police mobile surveillance cameras can help identify threats and coordinate safer plans of action by allowing command centres to monitor potentially dangerous situations and provide timely support or reinforcements.

Sharing real-time feeds across different departments can also enable law enforcement agencies to collaborate more efficiently, pooling resources and expertise to address threats comprehensively. This seamless integration is particularly valuable during large-scale events or emergencies, where rapid, coordinated responses are essential.

So, what’s preventing more police forces and agencies from embracing the latest mobile surveillance solutions?

How can law enforcement agencies deliver actionable intelligence to command centres without delay?

One of the most critical advantages of real-time video over cellular is its ability to deliver actionable intelligence instantly.

However, equipping frontline law enforcement officers with real-time video surveillance means transmitting large volumes of high-bandwidth data traffic, which can put a strain on standards-based video codecs — the software or hardware algorithms that compress and decompress video data.

Cellular networks prioritise downloading data due to typical internet activities (such as browsing websites, streaming video and using social media).​ CCTV and other police mobile surveillance cameras, on the other hand, require uploading data — involving sending data from the device to the network.​ Uploading requires more network resources and is subject to contention, as there’s typically more demand for limited uplink capacity.

Standards-based codecs aren’t designed for mobile environments.

Real-time video in these contexts can result in delays or latency, making it difficult to use the video feed for real-time applications, such as remote monitoring or live streaming from the field. Equally, bandwidth, congestion and packet drops can impact the reliability of video over cellular, resulting in difficult capture or missing images and videos. Not to mention bill-shock or a throttled service due to data threshold constraints and network restrictions. 

So, what’s the solution? AI-based video codecs.

Unlike conventional video codecs, these network-aware codecs can deliver high-quality real-time video over mobile networks by self-optimising compression to deliver accurate, low-latency footage in congested or remote environments.

These codecs can support various police mobile surveillance cameras — from drones, traffic light cameras and body-worn devices to fixed or mobile CCTV — ensuring video feeds reach command centres without interruption or delay to deliver actionable intelligence.

Empower law enforcement agencies with real-time video over cellular

Video evidence is useful, but real-time video from the scene is transformational.

The integration of real-time video over cellular networks represents a transformative leap in law enforcement video surveillance. So, for departments looking to enhance their capabilities, investing in real-time police surveillance equipment is vital.

By addressing the limitations of standards-based video codecs and leveraging AI-based codecs instead, agencies can benefit from instantaneous, actionable intelligence that empowers them to operate more safely and efficiently.

For more than 10 years, Digital Barriers has delivered real-time, cellular video streaming solutions to federal and local law enforcement agencies. Our patented AI-based video codec gives teams an immediate understanding of what’s happening, enabling police forces to revolutionise tactical capabilities and coordinate a better response.

Police mobile surveillance should go beyond understanding what happened after the fact. Instant situational awareness enables better decisions in the moment — and real-time video streaming over cellular is the way to achieve this.

Ready to embrace the future of law enforcement with real-time video over cellular and ensure your department is equipped to meet the demands of today’s challenging environment? Contact hello@digitalbarriers.com for more information.