01 October 2016


This month Simon Banks talks to Simon Gordon, Chairman of Facewatch and Owner of Gordon’s Wine Bar in Central London. Simon started Facewatch because he was frustrated that his customers were frequently the victims of petty crime.

Facewatch has been much acclaimed by the Police, can you explain what it is?

Facewatch is a fully mobile crime reporting platform, notably for the private sector. It is an intelligence sharing system that helps reduce crime in businesses by enabling them to be one step ahead of the criminally minded. The system allows you to safely share ‘watch lists’ and intelligence, as well as seeing how, when, what and where crime happens in your business – thereby enabling you to ‘design out crime’ and increase profits. Users interact with the system through the Facewatch mobile phone, enabling them to communicate, share and report incidents. There is also the option to have this backed up by professional control room security staff such as Mitie’s Mitec centre through the Safewatch product which is now being rolled out across the UK.

Do you think that visual confirmation will be embraced by the industry considering it is the responsibility of an ARC operator to make a decision on the action taken?

I think anyone that doesn’t embrace visual verification is living in the wrong century! Think of the huge time and cost savings to the Police and the Fire Brigade from reduced false alarms and confirmed CCTV, not to mention the reduced risk to life by having situational awareness where a crime is taking place. The Hatton Garden robbery is a perfect example of this, where the basic ability to see what was going on remotely would have saved the day.

There are three known types of confirmation; audible, visual and sequential. With 99% being sequential, do you see an exponential uplift in visual technology?

In my view, visual technology will be common place within the next three years. Why would anyone be content with an automated call telling them their alarm has gone off (resulting in them having to go and find out why) when a proper service – of the sort people are used to outside the security world – could be provided for virtually the same cost? 

CSL are proud partners of Facewatch – what makes Critical Connectivity coupled with visual confirmation a great alliance?

We are working with CSL to provide the connectivity to our Facewatch Mobile Phone through their M2M SIMs. We also hope to be able to speed up the adoption of visual verification. More CCTV systems are connected to monitoring stations such as Mitie and Kings Security, who are already live.  Together we are looking forward to converting existing and new customers to systems using visual verification so that online reporting and information sharing as well as cloud facial recognition (which we are launching now in Brazil) can become the norm as we move towards 2020.

You Said It!

“Great device, quick and easy to install with low annual monitoring fees. The DigiAir is Detect's choice where single path monitoring is required.”

LinkedIn post from Sam Ellis, Detect Fire & Security – August 1

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