Deterring incidents with audio talk down

Magnus Zederfeldt

Video surveillance systems are traditionally used as forensic tools to investigate and provide proof after incidents, but what if you can use your surveillance system to proactively deter incidents before they happen? Warnings issued either automatically or manually – known as audio talk down – can be a highly effective enhancement to video surveillance.

Network audio is an invaluable tool for security solutions; it can be used both with pre-recorded messages triggered by analytics in a camera or with live messaging to a monitored scene. Deterring incidents and theft not only creates a safer environment, it can also provide a lot of savings. These additional benefits include reducing damages and loss of goods, cutting back on the administration associated with incidents, reducing insurance premiums and lowering legal costs.

Here are just a few incidents where network audio talk down has been used to help with deterring incidents at the forefront.

Deterring intruders at a car dealer

A major auto dealer with several active locations has made good use of its speakers to protect and deter intruders at its dealerships after hours, where valuable cars are often stored outside, potentially exposed to theft and vandalism.

By adding horn speakers together with a motion detection analytics in their cameras, an audio clip is deployed saying “you are under video surveillance, please leave our premises”, if there is any intrusion to their premises outside operating opening hours. If the offender fails to leave the scene, live audio talk down gives operators the ability to speak directly to the site from their monitoring station.

Thanks to a combination of video triggered audio warning and remote access to the speakers, this dealer managed to deter approximately 90% of intruders without having to dispatch law enforcement.

Keeping your prescriptions secure

From expensive beauty products to prescription drugs, there are many items on the shelves of pharmacies that can be attractive to thieves.

A large pharmacy chain in Europe addressed this issue using horn speakers on the exterior of their buildings. The speakers are used in conjunction with cameras for perimeter defense so, when a potential threat is detected after hours, the alarms are transmitted back to a central control room. Once alerted, the operators can then assess the threat level and respond with live audio challenge where necessary.

When employees are present on-site and feel threatened, they can contact the same central control room using a panic button connected to an audio bridge, which allows them to talk directly to an operator and receive immediate assistance.

Deterring shouldering at ATMs

ATM attacks are problematic globally with the average number of attacks rising each year. How do banks defend against shouldering and other events where criminals have sight of personal information?

A bank that operates over 1,000 ATMs was seeking an effective method to deter ‘shouldering’, a practise where someone looks over the shoulder of the person taking out money to see their PIN code.

The solution was to install cameras equipped with video motion detection software, to detect when someone was standing too close to the customer using the ATM. The analytic would trigger automated audio talk down, deploying an audio message: “Please keep your distance from the line”.

In addition, the camera would record the event and send a notification to the bank’s control room.  If the person did not adhere to the played message then the control room would have access to use a live mic to convey their message in real time. Since the solution was installed crime has been reduced by roughly 30%.

Protecting the perimeter of a rhino sanctuary

According to data from the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), incidents of rhino poaching in Africa have increased year-on-year for the last six years. Poachers are embracing sophisticated technology to increase the efficacy of their illegal operations.

To protect its residents, the Rhino Pride Foundation Sanctuary in South Africa has installed a network of thermal cameras, a very effective tool for perimeter protection that utilises thermal imaging to detect people, objects and incidents 24 hours a day, seven days a week, from pitch dark areas to a sunlit parking lot. This makes it possible to discover suspect activity before the intrusion even occurs.

Additionally, network horn speakers are used in conjunction with the cameras to remotely address people and deter unwanted activity. The loudspeaker can also play a pre-recorded audio file, when it is manually or automatically triggered in response to an alarm event.

It’s a critical security asset to be able to record a crime; it makes it easier to detect it and signal it to law enforcement, easier to find the culprits and bring them to justice. However, being able to deter the crime can be even more valuable and data shows that audio talk down, both live and recorded, can have a positive impact on deterring criminals.

Of course, adding network audio to your solution can help deter incidents at the forefront of your defence. Here are just a few examples of many we have highlighted here but the capabilities are endless.

As security solutions become more sophisticated, adding tools such as video analytics and audio, while protecting your perimeter becomes simpler and more efficient. If you’d like to know more about the benefits of an audio solution, click the button below to explore the whole range of what Axis has to offer.

A world of audio possibilities