Safe Cities: Combining Tech with Community Initiatives

Nick Koiza, Head of Business Development, Security

By: Nick Koiza
Head of Business, Security

18th April 2018

With the growth of cities around the globe and the corresponding rise in life-threatening crime, Governments have an increased responsibility to ensure the safety of their citizens, organisations and infrastructure. This also places greater emphasis on IoT eco-systems required to support civilisation, particularly as cities become more connected.

In order to ensure your City is a Safe City, there are key elements to consider:

Integrated system – a shared infrastructure with common sensors connected by a shared network – evolved from a disparate set of sensors with no interoperability.

Multi-Agency collaboration – Moving beyond shared infrastructure to sharing intelligence, operational procedures and planning. For example, in the event of a disaster how does communication work, who takes direction from whom.

Situational awareness – Real-time information, with high priority alerts, traffic data, sensor positions, resource locations, weather and other intelligence.

Video data & analytics – Information collated from an array of city sensors, watch-lists and other databases combined with video analytics, LPR, face recognition, behavioural analysis etc.

Automated processes – all relevant camera and other sensor information displayed on a single screen, with meaningful alerts and the generation of appropriate operational procedures to act on etc.


In addition to the technology to support safe connected systems, communities need to be vigilant to look out for terrorism threats and the UK Counter Terrorism Police have just launched their four-week campaign to highlight what communities should do to if they suspect an attack. The public already contribute intelligence to around a third of the most serious terrorism investigations, but with educated communities, this will rise.

The threat is becoming more varied and the move towards low-tech attacks on crowded places, like those we have seen in major European cities and beyond, makes it even more important everyone remains vigilant and acts, by calling us confidentially, if they are concerned about suspicious activity.” – Mark Rowley, National Counter Terrorism Policing Lead

At Plextek we have been developing solutions to combat threats with advanced sensors and communication systems. With cities adopting great technology and enabling their habitants to alert the authorities easier than ever before, we are setting the foundations for a more secure future.

I believe the numerous IoT-based safe city solutions out there in the marketplace have enabled customers to effectively combat wide-ranging threats. For example, Plextek have developed a leading edge smart street lighting system for increasing public safety which is now widely deployed and has helped to reduce crime and improve driving conditions.