Safe cities and the changing face of security threats

The United Nations estimates that the urban population of emerging economies will surpass the rural population in 2020, and that around 70% of the world’s population will live in cities by 2050.

This  concentration  of  people  and  critical  infrastructure creates  new  demands,  and  presents  new  challenges on how to maintain an acceptable level of security and public safety. Technology and experience are critical in meeting these demands, as well as the challenges that lie ahead.

Our view on how to make society safer, changed dramatically based on the terror that occurred around the world during the first decade of the 21st century. We realized that modern day threats tend to be less obvious than before and are constantly changing. We also learned that societies are sometimes not agile enough to prevent or respond to situations that can seriously affect our communities. In order to counter these threats, we need integrated solutions that cut across all stakeholder groups to dramatically enhance and improve response time and actions in security and safety incidents. These solutions need to be reliable, scalable and flexible, and should facilitate both centralized and remote control of operations. This concept is referred to as ‘Safe Cities’.

Safe Cities improves the safety and security of citizens and protects critical infrastructure by having the right resources at the right place in time. This is achieved through optimized operations and improved coordination between police, ambulance, fire, disaster management and traffic management services.  Paramount to this is the exchange of mission critical information between the various stakeholders to ensure a common operational picture.

Saab Grintek Defence offers two advanced integration platforms that support the concept  of  Safe  Cities,  namely  SAFE  (Situational  Awareness For  Enhanced  security)  and  TactiCall. These  technologies  can be  used  to  integrate  existing  as  well  as  new  security  systems, into  one  coherent  system  that  offers  maximum  flexibility  and  a future-proof  solution. The service oriented architecture of SAFE and TactiCall makes the solution scalable and independent of any vendor, product or technology.

SAFE  is  a  command,  control  and  communication  system  for mission  critical  operations. The solution is designed to provide superior situational awareness, managing both day-to-day tasks, as well as major incidents. It connects the various systems and resources, making sure that all necessary information is accessible at all times, through the entire workflow. A SAFE-based system enables any type of operation to optimise the use of resources and time, whilst increasing the level of security and safety. It allows for all areas of public safety or other parts of society, to work together seamlessly and in a controlled manner.

TactiCall is built on Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) technology and connects all voice and data communication platforms and networks into one, easy to operate communication solution. The system  gives  security  personnel  complete  control  of,  and  fast access  to,  all  communication  networks  so  that  joint  operations between  the  various  stakeholders  can  be  facilitated. It allows everybody to reach each other, regardless of the equipment being used.

SAFE  and  TactiCall  are  deployed  in  various  configurations, including  applications  running  on  mobile  devices  (e.g.  smartphones,  touchpads,  etc.);  first  responder  vehicles  with  video surveillance;  and  command  &  control  capabilities,  mobile command  centres  and  fixed  operations  centres.  Through  this  it is possible to manage fixed and mobile resources, either centrally or remotely. This capability can be further enhanced through the addition of a Skeldar unmanned Aerial System (uAS).

The Skeldar uAS is a ground-breaking short to medium range rotary,  wing  solution  that  provides  real-time  video  footage  to operations  centres.  The  advantages  of  a  rotary  wing  design over a fixed wing design is that it can take off and land vertically, manoeuvre with accuracy in tight airspace, hover in the air for hours and avoid dead angles. Since its operation is fully autonomous, the Skeldar  uAS  enables  the  police,  emergency  management services, disaster management services and traffic management services  to  survey  larger  areas  and  gather  the  vital  information they need – without putting their crew at risk.

Based on the above it is clear that Saab Grintek Defence’s solutions make the world a safer place and provide people with the tools they need to keep it that way. By bringing it all together under the Safe Cities concept, we take public safety and security to the next level.