WAKING UP TO SECURITY NEEDS
Alarmed at the wide spectrum of growing threats posed by criminals, governments around the world have been using latest technology to counter them. QatarToday spoke to participants of Milipol Qatar 2014, the biennial international exhibition on internal s
How are governments responding to the growing threats posed by criminals and terrorists around the world? Qatar Today speaks to participants of Milipol Qatar, the international exhibition on internal security which took place last month, during which many global firms showcased their latest technologies and equipment.
T he need for constant upgrading of security measures has been necessitated as no threat can be ignored around the world today, particularly in the Middle East, and several companies are developing new products and technologies for ensuring internal security in areas like communications and border control management systems, among others.
According to the findings of a survey by trade publisher “En toute sécurite,” the Middle East's security markets grew 12% to a value of 16 billion Euros (QR76.79 billion) in 2012, compared with an average of 5.5% growth in overall spending worldwide. This is because the local governments have given utmost importance to internal security due to the presence of vast oil and gas resources.
The Middle East cyber security market alone is expected to be around QR34.8 billion ($9.56 billion) by 2019 as against QR18.81 billion ($5.17 billion) and hence is prone to be a target for hackers.
Among all countries in the region, Saudi Arabia is likely to be the largest market on the basis of spending and adoption of cyber security solutions and services.
“It is like a race where the criminals want to outsmart the officials but the latter has a job to stop such people in their tracks by using innovative technologies,” says Michael Weatherseed , Director of Security Business Unit of the Paris-based Comexposium.
People from all over the world visit Milipol Qatar to find out the latest developments in security-related technologies and update them in their respective internal security systems. “There has to be innovation and governments have to perform to curb any attack,” Weatherseed adds.
Saudi’s NBS Project
An example of how serious the GCC countries are to protect its citizens is Saudi Arabia commissioning in September this year the Northern Border Security (NBS) project, which is a fully-integrated technological security-solution encompassing 900 km of the border with Iraq.
The project is being implemented by Airbus Defence and Space as part of the Saudi Border Guard Development Programme, and is aimed at securing the kingdom's frontiers in view of the terror threats emanating from the militant groups in Iraq and Syria.
It includes one sand berm, three fences, seven Command and Control (C2) Centres, 32 Response Stations, 240 response vehicles and 10 Surveillance Reconnaissance Vehicles. Security is enforced through 40 surveillance towers, equipped with Airbus
“These latest equipments and gadgets would come in handy for the government as it will be hosting a series of international events during the run-up to the 2022 FIFA World Cup. We need to develop our security systems to ensure that the events would be free of any untoward incident.”
DS TRGS- SEC radars and day/night cameras, and 38 communication towers, all of which are connected to the C2 centres, the National HQ and the Ministry of Interior over 1.45 million km of fibre-optic cables.
Qatar ink pacts
Even Qatar's Interior Ministry has signed agreements with several firms worth over QR309 million. The companies would provide 20 Italian-made search and rescue boats for the Coasts and Borders Security department costing around QR34 million, 24 state-of-the art fire fighting vehicles and maintenance of a number of fire and rescue vehicles for the Civil Defence at a cost of QR61.5 million, besides a number of security surveillance systems and programmes for QR22.4 million.
“These latest equipments and gadgets would come in handy for the government as it will be hosting a series of international events during the run-up to the 2022 FIFA World Cup. We need to develop our security systems to ensure that the events would be free of any untoward incident,” says Brigadier Sheikh Nasser Bin Fahad Al Thani, who is chairman of the Milipol Qatar 2014 Committee.
Mexico City relieved
In the far off-Latam region, when Mexico City was plagued by a spurt in crimes in the first decade of the millennium, the Mexican government decided in 2009 to implement the Ciudad Segura project by Thales to protect the citizens and prevent attacks on strategic sites, among others.
The Mexican government awarded the project to a French company, Thales, which started installing over 50,000 cameras all over the city. The results were encouraging.
“There has been a reduction in the crime rate by 23% in the last three years, and the response time was reduced from 12 minutes to 4 minutes and 30 seconds. The number of vehicle thefts was reduced by half and the operational efficiency of the law-enforcment authorities has increased by 19.1% during the same period,” says Dominique Gaiardo Vice President and Managing Director of Thales Group
“It is like a race where the criminals want to outsmart the officials but the latter has a job to stop such people in their tracks by using innovative technologies.”
MICHAEL WEATHERSEED Director of Security Business Unit Comexposium “There has been a reduction in the crime rate in Mexico City by 23% in the last three years and the response time was reduced from 12 minutes to 4 minutes and 30 seconds. The number of vehicle thefts was reduced by half and the operational efficiency of the law-enforcment authorities has increased by 19.1% during the same period.”
DOMINIQUE GAIARDO Vice President and Managing Director Thales Group