Police work of the future: “Intelligent video surveillance” trial launched on Hansaplatz.

July 14, 2023

Pilot project in St. Georg to show how intelligent IT can increase security in public spaces.

Reeperbahn, Jungfernstieg, Hansaplatz – Hamburg has systematically built up video surveillance in public spaces since 2016 and most recently also successfully advocated at the level of the Conference of Interior Ministers for regular video surveillance on regional and long-distance trains as well as at railway stations.

In a next step, video surveillance is now to become “smarter” and thus more effective. In order to be able to deal even better with the multitude of images from public spaces, the Hamburg police are starting the test operation of four cameras on Hansaplatz this week to test “intelligent video surveillance”. The approach is to “digitally skeletonise” the people captured by the cameras (transforming them into stick figures).

These stick figures are evaluated by the software with regard to possible atypical movement patterns (e.g. hitting, kicking, pushing or the formation of groups of onlookers). In case of a hit, the system alerts the staff in the guard room of the responsible police station 11, who then decide whether it is a dangerous situation. The added value of intelligent video surveillance lies in the early detection of dangerous situations and the possibility of targeted police intervention.

No biometric data is recorded, nor is age, gender or ethnicity determined. The data generated by the software is also not stored.

On Friday at noon, Senator of the Interior Andy Grote and Police Vice President Mirko Streiber presented the project at Hansaplatz in St. Georg. Hamburg is the second location nationwide where the software developed by the Fraunhofer Institute of Optronics, System Technologies and Image Exploitation (IOSB) is being tested.

Senator of the Interior Andy Grote: “We are consistently continuing our path in the expansion of video surveillance. Hansaplatz is an example of how video surveillance and an increased presence have succeeded in noticeably strengthening security and the quality of stay.

Senator of the Interior Andy Grote: “We are consistently continuing on our path of expanding video surveillance. Hansaplatz is an example of how video surveillance and an increased presence have succeeded in noticeably strengthening security and the quality of stay.

In addition to the expansion of video surveillance, we also want to advance the technical development and thus increase the effectiveness of our measures. This technology also has great potential for effective video surveillance on trains and at railway stations, where we want to expand video surveillance nationwide.”

Police Vice-President Mirko Streiber: “The software now in use enables us to deal even better with an ever-increasing amount of video material and to quickly recognise and assess dangerous situations. Colleagues can thus deal with potentially dangerous situations in a more targeted manner. We are very excited about the results and look forward to the joint further development with the experts from the Fraunhofer Institute.”

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