Thursday, 20 March 2008

GPS Technology and Child Safety

What parent has had that moment of fright when the child who was just at your side is gone? Usually the child has seen something of interest and just gone to investigate, or has gotten separated in a crowd, such as being at a funfair, and although it may only two seconds to locate your child, it feels like two years and when you do find them your heart is racing, your hands are shaking and you don’t know whether to hug them or scold them.

The possibility of someone taking our child is a real fear every parent carries with them. Just pick up a newspaper or watch the evening news and reports of children being kidnapped or abducted are constant and the heartbreak of the parents is just so overwhelming. Now what if there was a technology that could find that child instantly?

GPS technology is now being used to help keep track of children and allow parents to know where their child is at all times. These devices are usually small enough to fit anywhere-backpack, trousers or coat pocket, etc. and lightweight enough not to be burdensome. Some of these have pre-programmable buttons so the child can keep in touch with their parents or call for help if necessary.

These devices range from tracking devices that will beep until the child is found, to mobile phones with GPS technology installed, to watches that if forcibly removed will automatically activate. There are even backpacks available with GPS technology installed. Some of these will activate if the child is too far away from the parent. And there is even one that is implanted in a shoe.

Of course the main problems with these are the child is going to lose them, or if the child is abducted they can easily be disposed of. I can envision the day when it will be possible to have a GPS transmitter implanted in a child via an injection or some other simple manner.

There are other concerns also. Are only children with parents who can afford this technology are going to benefit. Is this going to increase the number of lower class children, whose parents can’t afford this new technology, being abducted? Will someone, such as a child molester or kidnapper, find a way to use a child’s transmitter signal to locate the child? Also how are our children to adjust to the fact that they are constantly being monitored?

How secure are our children going to feel knowing that the world is so dangerous that their parents need to know where they are at all times? Are we stripping a part of their childhood away from them? Who doesn’t remember, as a kid, going somewhere you knew your parents didn’t want you to go, but as children we are adventurers, and if we got into trouble or got ‘caught’ being where we shouldn’t be, we more than likely not only got punished but also learned a lesson. We grow and mature by making mistakes and learning from them, are we going to take part of this education away from our children? At what age do we stop? Do we continue to monitor them through their teen-age years? A time that can be the hardest time of any child’s or parents life, it’s a time where a teenager needs to mature and a parent needs to learn to ‘let go’ and allow the child to learn on their own-mistakes and all.

Although this technology has some very great qualities in the protection of our children, the possibility of abusing this technology must also be addressed. We all want our children to be safe, yet at the same time they must be allowed to grow to become functional adults.

Video Surveillance Camera Technology

Video surveillance cameras are more prevalent today than anytime in the past. Their use has surged along with the boom in technology as this new technology becomes cheaper and more sophisticated. There are numerous types and styles of surveillance cameras. For example, there dome cameras, hidden cameras, smoke detecting cameras, and "smart" cameras that are equipped with motion detectors, just to name a few.

Video surveillance cameras are classified according to the technology that is used in their design. CCTV [closed circuit TV] cameras are those that have a completely closed circuit and all the components are connected together. On the other hand, advanced digital cameras are those that connected by a circuit but can be located at any site around the world. Digital video recorders [DVRs] do not need VCR's and other recording equipment in order to capture or record on-site activities. The software is designed to automatically record unusual activity even in odd hours of the day.

You can find video surveillance cameras used in many different places. They are used in school buses and schools to monitor activities of students. You will also find them being used in retail establishments, public gathering places, traffic reporting, and many more places. Small hidden cameras know as nanny cams have been used successfully by parents concerned about their children's care from sitters and caretakers. Hidden cameras are also available for sale in “brick and mortar “stores and on the Internet. You find these cameras hidden in clocks, smoke detectors, and soft toys such as a teddy bear, just to name a few.

This style of camera is differentiated according to its effectiveness. A 360-degree revolving dome camera can capture images anywhere on the site. Infrared surveillance type cameras are found used by government agencies such as the MI5 for tailing suspects at night. They too are found mounted in police helicopters to aid them in searching suspects hidden in brush by either day or night.

Detective agencies and security agencies use these cameras to monitor people at their client's request. It is currently lawful in most areas to install a camera in a common public area and record public activities; however, there is a lot of debate over this subject. Even government agencies need a warrant in order to carry out video surveillance in private places or homes. Small hand held cameras, also available in the marketplace, help monitor the elderly and in nurseries and preschools where children are kept under watch.

Video surveillance cameras are available in the price range of £50 to £500 for the most part. However, it depends on the complexity of the technology used in them. Well-made fake cameras are also available for as less as £20, which act as deterrents for robbers and thieves but are not recommended in some applications.

Wednesday, 19 March 2008

Be a Private Eye

The role of the private detective has changed since the days of wide brimmed hats and trench coats. Today's private detective offers a wide range of services and beginning this career path can lead into a variety of industries. Modern investigation services are diverse and help all manner of clients gather information for a number of reasons.

For those thinking of becoming a private detective they must appreciate the role that must be undertaken. Fundamentally private investigators gather information for individuals and businesses. They assist those in the legal profession with financial, personal and legal problems; often their clients are in the insurance industry.

The majority of private detectives are trained to undertake physical surveillance on a subject. This can often be for extended periods of time so to be a private detective, perseverance is a necessity. The ability to use computer databases to find information rapidly is also a large part of the contemporary private investigation industry.

The work of a private detective also includes questioning suspects, photographing suspects 'red-handed' and bringing illegal activities to the attention of the police; subsequently private investigators are often asked to testify in court.

In terms of the skills and attributes you need to become a private detective a number of qualities are a must. Firstly you must not be afraid of confrontation as your presence as a private detective is often unwanted. The ability to think on your feet and come up with solutions on the spot is vital as private investigators usually act alone without support; the majority of the time you will be responsible for your own safety.

Secondly any private detective must possess good interviewing and interrogating techniques. These are usually acquired in past careers in the law enforcement professions although training courses on these elements of the business are available.

Finally a private detective must be able to present their information in a clear and coherent manner. This is a vital part of the job role as going to court and giving information in front of juries in order to obtain convictions is a large constituent of being a private detective. Making this information believable is also crucial.

Although no formal education is required to become a private detective increasingly firms are looking for university graduates to fulfil positions. Advisable subjects for those wishing to enter the career are law enforcement, security administration, criminal justice and forensic sciences. Although these subjects will not guarantee a job they are believed to give a good head start into the industry.

Becoming a private detective straight after the education process however is not easy, competition for jobs within the industry is fierce. There is a large amount of retirees who enter the industry from law enforcement and military careers making it difficult for those without experience to enter the job role.

Entry level positions such as store detectives offer the best way to begin in the private investigation industry allowing candidates to accumulate experience. Such jobs can be found with large shopping chains and shopping centres.

As the need to protect confidential information, fear of crime and litigation cases in both the business and personal spheres increase; the work of private detectives will grow. As this seems almost certain to happen becoming a private detective can be viewed as a job with good long term career prospects.

If you feel you possess some of the skills discussed here and believe you could perform the role efficiently, maybe becoming a private detective is the right career choice. Added to job satisfaction of doing something to prevent illegality, this is a worthy cause to devote a working life to.

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