How AI Is Set To Revolutionise Physical Security

It’s fair to say that the prevalence and practicality of AI has skyrocketed over the course of the last few years. From photorealistic images and video, to pioneering scientific and mathematical applications, we’ve only seen the tip of the proverbial iceberg when it comes to the uses of Artificial Intelligence.

That’s particularly true of how we secure our homes and businesses, where AI is already beginning to make waves and shake up what we’ve all come to expect from our more visible and concrete security measures.

At Churchill Support Services, we pride ourselves on always being ahead of the curve on the very latest developments in the security sector, and that’s especially crucial as we look to the future of AI and its place in safety measures. We’ve long been at the forefront of our sector, and a key part of that is understanding how technology and methodology changes over time.

With our latest article, we’ll look at how AI is already playing an active role in many of the staples of the physical security sector, where it’s likely to be applied in the future, and what that might mean as we venture into an AI-assisted future.


Why AI Heralds A New Era In Security & Safety

The rise and rapid adoption of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) has been inescapable, especially so over the last couple of years. Whether you’ve personally used it, or simply seen its impact across a diverse cross-section of industries and sectors, you’ll no doubt have been exposed in some capacity to AI and ML.

Although much of the applications have been related to artistic and cultural pursuits, especially with innovations like Midjourney and ChatGPT offering uncanny imitations of traditionally human pursuits, we’ve already started to see how it can play a vital role outside of that, too.

The BBC reported how police forces in Bedfordshire have begun to use the technology to aid in its reporting and redacting procedures, trimming processing and administrative tasks down to mere minutes from days. That approach earned plaudits from the Policing Minister, who’s urged forces across the country to adopt a similar approach.

Huge multinational companies like AirBnB are also starting to recognise the importance of AI in reducing the threat of criminal damage and behaviour, with a recent press release announcing the implementation of the technology over Halloween 2023, in a bid to reduce illicit partying, vandalism and damage to properties.

With such glowing endorsements, it’s perhaps no surprise that both public and private security are starting to look upon Artificial Intelligence with fresh eyes. Plus, as threats develop and change to become more intrinsically linked with AI and ML tech, it’s only sensible for firms to understand the ever-changing landscape of security.

That’s already something we’ve got substantial experience in, reacting and adapting seamlessly to the shifting sands of security and its relationship with AI. We’ll take a look at just 3 of the more pivotal applications of AI in modern security, and why it’s a revelation as we move towards a future where Artificial Intelligence plays a more firmly defined role.

How AI Is Already Used In Physical Security: 3 Key Examples

At Churchill, we’re constantly looking to the future, and how we can encompass new developments and cutting edge security technologies to ensure the continued safety of our clients, our staff and our livelihoods.

We’ll take a look at 3 pivotal applications of AI in physical security, and what they mean going forward.


1. AI-Enhanced CCTV Offers Unparalleled Protection

Perhaps one of the more immediately obvious options for the integration of AI as part of physical security, CCTV and monitoring solutions naturally lend themselves to being augmented and strengthened through the inclusion of AI technologies.

In cameras, AI can aid in motion and threat detection, offering crystal clarity and inhuman response times as soon as a disturbance is detected, or something disrupts the calm balance you’ve worked so hard to cultivate.

Another area where AI truly excels, and more traditional forms of security monitoring can admittedly lack that impetus, is in the footage it records, and how that’s analysed. While more conventional methods, or those that have been a mainstay in the past, still have their place, AI can significantly speed up that analysis process.

That’s especially important in high-traffic environments, such as schools, hospitals and retailers. Identifying potential suspects or troublemakers is crucial in these areas, and AI offers rapid and ultra-efficient checking of any and all recorded footage. That’s in addition to push notifications and alerts to all physical security personnel on- and off-site.

At Churchill Support Services, that’s something we’re already abreast of. We’ve always been pioneers in our industry, and we’re taking that leap into AI far before many of our competitors. We use sophisticated, AI-augmented cameras that not only offer immediate recognition of threats and issues, but that are able to instantly comb through hours of footage with minimal effort.

All of this offers a more consummate and comprehensive approach to the tried-and-tested approach to electronic monitoring and surveillance, and ensures you’re always in control of what’s happening on your site.


2. Complete Safety With AI-Assisted Access Controls

Controlling who can – and crucially who can’t – enter your property is an absolutely integral part of securing any kind of premises, but particularly those with off-limits or more sensitive areas. That ranges from hospitals with highly specialised machinery and medications behind closed doors, to stockrooms and storage areas in retail environments and logistics facilities.

Of course, when it comes to access control options, it’s natural we’d immediately think of identification badges or fobs. These of course still have their place – the likelihood is you’ll have used them at some point over your career, and they offer a robust, inexpensive solution to a common problem.

However, as technology progresses, so too does the tech that criminals and trespassers are using to gain access to those restricted areas. This is where AI truly comes to the fore again, offering more layers of protection and greater peace of mind.

We’ve already started to witness this with biometric scanning and facial recognition, but at Churchill, we’ve capitalised on the boom in AI technology to ensure that we offer the most watertight solutions we can when it comes to access control.

At every turn, we’ll take advantage of the newest developments in Artificial Intelligence to ensure that we provide a complete service when it comes to deciding who and doesn’t get access to your premises.

We’re already beginning to do this as AI graduates from its infancy, implementing smart solutions and advanced facial recognition to ensure only authorised guests and personnel can gain entry. From packages and parcels to new interviewees, a smart security system not only keeps threats at bay, but  conveys the impression that you’re riding the crest of that AI wave.


4. Consider AI-Assisted ANPR Cameras For Your Facility

Already an innovation in security in its own right, Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) cameras have long been a staple of car parking facilities, garages, and business parks. They’re a strong defence against vehicle-based crimes, and offer an ideal way to secure what’s notoriously been a difficult area to offer protection for.

Of course, physical security measures like security officers and parking barriers will always have their place as more concrete deterrents and traditional methods of securing your parking facility. They’ve long been proven to be effective in all they do, and naturally offer a more interactive and immediately-available form of contact for those concerned.

However, as ANPR cameras become much more streamlined and robust in their scope, and the technology becomes more affordable and widely available, they’ve quickly become a mainstay in securing car parks and garages.

AI has only improved upon what’s already a successful formula. Offering instantaneous and highly accurate registration plate recognition, and providing superb enhancements to the blurred images of yesteryear, AI technology builds upon the well-established foundations of ANPR.

Seamlessly coupling facial recognition and identification methods with the more conventional numberplate recognition methods, AI seeks to augment existing methods when it comes ANPR, and offer a more complete and all-encompassing service.

Plus, as tech evolves and becomes more intelligent, that’s set to be one of many traditional physical security measures that continue their refinement journey as we press inexorably forward.


How Will AI Feature In The Future Of Physical Security?

Truthfully, this is a difficult question to answer. Over the last decade, and more so in the last year or two, AI has evolved at an exponential and unprecedented rate. A study panel from Stanford University found as much, exploring how Artificial Intelligence has seeped into each and every aspect of everyday life, from voice assistants like Siri and Alexa, to chatbots and writing tools.

However, we’re yet to truly see that take shape in physical security. Of course, the developments we discussed in our previous section go a long way towards revolutionising the approach businesses, homes and people take to their security measures, but there’s still routes that security can take to ensure that it changes at a similar rate to many other integral industries.

As one of the frontrunners in the security sector, we’ve earmarked areas we feel will likely be subject to the most development and growth in the coming years, and how AI is sure to play a pivotal role in that.


1. AI Will Strengthen Mobile & Static Security Guarding

Already one of the most well-established methods of securing premises and properties, security guards are the bread and butter of physical security. They’re an exceptional deterrent, a point of contact for customers and clients, and a staple of ensuring overnight and holiday safety, alongside a diverse spectrum of additional security guard duties.

However, as AI becomes more pervasive and ever-present, it only makes sense that this would become part and parcel of the routine inspections and patrols you’d expect from your on-site officers.

We foresee this creeping into already prevalent technology such as smartphones and tablets, which are already at the very cutting edge of AI developments. With applications already capitalising on the as-yet untapped capabilities of AI and ML, we’re only going to see this improve.

A great example of this could be dynamic and changing patrol routes for your mobile security patrols. Data can be fed to smart devices, and update patrolling in real time to ensure that your security personnel always address any areas that are of particular concern, or that are more vulnerable at specific times of the day (such as during delivery or shipping periods).

Similarly, threat detecting applications can be seamlessly merged with Artificial Intelligence to offer more immediate alerts to issues, and a greater level of protection against false alarms or activations. Ultimately, AI is poised to be a potent tool in the arsenal of any security guard, whether they’re securing a huge facility or a small office block.


2. CCTV & AI Will Continue Their Interwoven Development

Already an area of focus and continued growth, we’re predicting that CCTV is only set to become more closely linked to AI. That’s for good reason, of course – the video technology and machine learning capabilities we’ve already seen are a huge cause for excitement in the future of AI and physical security.

However, as technology continues that breakneck pace we’ve all become accustomed to, surveillance and monitoring is only set to grow further. That includes:

  • Better Cloud Storage – Recorded footage can be analysed in seconds by AI, saving only the components and sections you need to bring perpetrators to justice.
  • Better Recognition – As cameras and AI technology develop in tandem, so too will their capacity for face recognition, identification and appropriate recommendations for action.
  • Better Detection – Threats come in all shapes and sizes, and AI is only primed to become more adept in recognising those.
  • Better Legacy Support – We’ve already started to see this come to fruition, but with the advent of AI technology comes a stronger and more all-encompassing approach to older cameras and systems.

The seeds of these developments have already been sown, and we’ve already begun to see the shoots of new growth and progression sprout, particularly in the adoption of and adaptation to cloud storage capabilities.


3. Event Security Will See An AI Renaissance

Already the subject of much development through new laws and regulations, event security is set to undergo a further revolution through the implementation of AI tech. You’ll likely have already experienced the newer features of event security, especially as festivals and concerts step up their care and safeguarding measures.

That ranges from metal detectors and airport-esque x-ray scanners, to more thorough bag searching methods and techniques. However, we’re forecasting that AI will continue that trend, and well and truly bring event security to the 21st century.

Of course, while there’s a range of different types of event security, AI has the scope and the adaptability to go across all of those. In fact, we’ve already begun to see the early machinations of that, with AI cameras and monitoring solutions able to count the number of people in a venue or event space, and offer countermeasures to overcrowding and crushes.

That’s only set to move further and at a lightning pace, with facial recognition software and AI-assisted cameras able to keep track of who should and shouldn’t be there, and assist your officers on the ground in removing the right people, and ensuring the total safety of all your permitted guests.


Stay Ahead Of The AI Security Revolution With Churchill

As the UK’s #1 ACS-approved security company, a forward-thinking and technologically-focused approach has always been central to what we do. It’s part of the reason we’ve enjoyed the continuing successes we have – we’re always looking to embrace new tech, and to ensure consummate safety for every property, person and premises we secure.

By opting to secure your site with Churchill Support Services, you’re looking to the future with that same positive and intelligent mindset. You’re prioritising the long-term security and development of everything that makes you and your staff safe.

Plus, with our similarly revolutionary People First approach, we’ll always place you at the centre of all we provide. From AI-powered cameras and surveillance equipment, to powerful ANPR tech, we’ve got everything you need to ensure the total safety of whatever you need to protect.

Get in touch with our expert in-house operatives today to discuss the options we’ve got available, and to secure your free, no obligation quote.

John Melling

Group Chief Executive Officer

John has a proven track record for motivating and leading high performance teams and has helped mentor and develop many people at Churchill who now hold key or senior positions within the business. John is committed to delivering only the finest services, exercising compelling leadership, maintaining good internal morale and striving to resolve any challenges efficiently and effectively.