For over thirty years, the Brussels Regional Informatics Center (BRIC) has been providing critical IT services throughout the Brussels-Capital Region in Belgium, supporting government operations.
For over thirty years, the Brussels Regional Informatics Center (BRIC) has been providing critical IT services throughout the Brussels-Capital Region in Belgium, supporting government operations. The BRIC is responsible for developing, installing and maintaining solutions for the area, including business applications, a fiber optics network, data centers and video surveillance infrastructure.
In 2014, the Brussels regional government decided to maximize its investments in video and centralize in a single platform the footage from six local police zones; the Metro system; and Bruxelles Mobilité, the organization responsible for maintaining and improving road infrastructure. Until that point, all of these institutions were individually managed by different parties, and the regional government wanted to facilitate streamlined information sharing between these organizations to accelerate response in emergency situations and drive ongoing cooperation. To enable this, in 2015 the BRIC created, piloted and launched the Brussels regional video surveillance platform, integrating the Genetec Security Center Video Management System (VMS) as well as an EMC Isilon storage solution for managing and recording video data from about 2500 cameras. Each of the cooperating organizations then integrated into the Brussels regional video surveillance platform. In so doing, the BRIC essentially transformed each partner dispatching room into a sophisticated security center. Based on individualized access rights and in compliance with GDPR, each operator can manage its organization’s own images, but, when authorized by the Belgian Data Protection Authority, the operator can also access and utilize the shared images sourced from the other parties.
Invested in modernizing and maintaining the innovativeness of the regional video platform, the BRIC continually investigates technologies to integrate and meet the evolving needs of the solution’s stakeholders – from the technology operators to the locals benefitting from increased public safety. In 2016, the BRIC started evaluating video content analytics solutions to enhance the platform and quickly identified the BriefCam
video analytics solution as a strategic investment. When the BRIC learned of the many high-profile national security cases worldwide where BriefCam has been a critical investigation driver, the organization was convinced that BriefCam’s video content analytics platform would be the ideal complement to its existing video surveillance investments.
Transforming video surveillance and security
The BRIC has been gradually expanding its BriefCam implementation over the years as the demand for video analysis to drive accelerated investigations, enhanced situational awareness and real-time response grows throughout the region. Based on Deep Learning and artificial intelligence techniques, BriefCam’s video content analytics platform transforms video into actionable intelligence by analyzing video to detect objects that appear, identify, extract and classify them. Ultimately these objects are indexed, making them searchable, actionable and quantifiable for the organizations involved in the BRIC video project.
“BriefCam is an easy-to-use and very powerful solution, which allows police officers to work a lot faster and remain focused,” explains Christian Banken, the Director of the Brussels-Capital Region Video Surveillance Program. While law enforcement cannot disclose specific cases where BriefCam has been applied, the police rely on BriefCam to conserve time and resources and to pinpoint critical evidence for solving investigations. “The police officers using the software feel that they’ve won back time – time they can then invest in other investigation activities, streamlining the whole process of closing a case,” notes Banken. With its extensive data center resources, high server performance and vast storage capacity, the BRIC video platform can easily support BriefCam’s software and leverage it to simultaneously work on multiple investigations.
Empowering integration evolution
The BRIC continues to expand its BriefCam implementation, enjoying the solution’s ability to flexibly scale to address changing threats and requirements. Ahead of the regional Real Time Intelligence (RTI) Center roll out, the BRIC already realizes how BriefCam will continue to empower local law enforcement and increase public safety with its real-time alerting functionality based on powerful object detection and customized rule configurations. In the future, BriefCam’s fully embedded Research platform, which aggregates and visualizes the video data collected over time, might be used to deliver critical statistics for driving traffic optimization, such as vehicle types and quantities, directional traffic data and traffic flow insights. With a comprehensive and extensible video analytics solution, the Brussels- Capital Region local government can continue to enhance public safety and empower local law enforcement agencies as its needs and resources evolve.