Physical Security Information Management – PSIM
Crime Prevention through Environmental Design – CPTED
These two acronyms represent some of the most important trends in the security business today. And as suppliers, customers and criminals get increasingly sophisticated in how they interact with security, those of us in the industry have to be very familiar with this new vocabulary.
It’s a compound definition that speaks to a combination of smart technology, human interface and centres of gravity (i.e., large infrastructure with plenty of access points, people and/or sensitive assets) that generates fast-response security in a variety of strategic and tactical situations.
For a great example of the strengths of PSIM check out Fortem, a Montreal-based advanced technology company that works in the public and private sectors. Their Omnipresence 3D Central Command provides a common monitoring and alarm platform for multiple security and safety systems, including CCTV, fire, access control, video surveillance and other third-party systems. A short video on their site highlights PSIM in action – it’s really worth a look.
In understanding what PSIM can do you can also understand why PSIM would be so valuable in protecting places such as Polytechnique Montréal, site of the horrific shootings in December 1989 that left 14 women dead. Fortem is working closely with this school in providing PSIM-based security solutions to a campus that will never forget what happened on that terrible day.
PSIM is related to CPTED in that the latter is baked into the actual design – both new-build and retro-fits – of shopping malls, industrial/commercial parks, residential areas, schools, institutions, parks and playgrounds. CPTED applies the theory that proper design and effective use of the physical environment can help reduce the incidence and fear of crime.
We wrote about CPTED last fall in a blog about the application of these principles in the UK by a police-led, multi-stakeholder group called Secured by Design. They focus on crime prevention of homes and commercial premises, and they promote the use of security standards for a wide range of applications and products.
Here at home, CPTED Ontario – founded in 2001 – promotes awareness and implementation of CPTED across a variety of sectors. They hold regular industry meetings in helping to share information about this important movement in the security industry.
The President of CPTED, Constable Tom McKay of Peel Regional Police, said at CPTED Ontario’s annual general meeting last year that CPTED is “a balance between design and safety, with success defined by a collaborative team effort.”
As Peel Regional Police’s CPTED liaison, McKay works with city planners, elected officials, residents and the security industry in discussing and implementing CPTED principles. According to McKay, Mississauga is Canada’s safest city in which CPTED is embedded in planning protocols.
We met with Constable McKay at that annual meeting and talked about the power of CPTED. As he said to us, “CPTED, which is consistent with good design, is becoming part of the culture of the city.”
So, as we see CPTED come to the fore of the security industry, so, too, are we seeing its first-cousin PSIM coming on strong.
We’re actively involved in strategies, installations and conversations when it comes to these and other security trends.
We just hope that the next big thing in security rolls off the tongue a little more easily.