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Unprecedented prison break exposes weaknesses in conventional monitoring systems


For the first time in Brazil's history, two criminals managed to escape from a maximum-security prison housing high-risk inmates. The incident occurred at Mossoró Penitentiary in Rio Grande do Norte, covering an area of 12,000 square meters and accommodating just over 80 inmates across four pavilions and an isolation area with 12 cells.


After creating a hole in the wall, the prisoners gained access to the roof and then the external area of the prison, where they cut through the first and second fences, successfully escaping the premises.


Not only did the facility lack any technology to detect this unusual movement on the exterior, but the security camera footage within the prison was of poor quality, further compromising surveillance and the identification of the fugitive. Prison officers only noticed the missing inmates nearly two hours after the incident.


Such an uncommon event exposes the vulnerability of the Brazilian prison system, where even maximum-security facilities demonstrate shortcomings in security procedures and unit structure. Out of the 192 installed cameras, 124 were inoperable. Even the functioning cameras exhibited instability, resulting in image loss.


Security expert Hen Harel explains that locations with vast areas requiring active and preventive security, like Mossoró Penitentiary, need to advanced detection technologies for risk anticipation. "It's unbelievable that these criminals roamed the entire external area, passed through two access blocking points, and were never identified by the surveillance system. For internal areas, we recommend using standalone buried seismic detectors, capable of anticipating tunnel excavations and impacts on walls, even without cameras, using a special feature for prison security to indicate the area of suspicious activity. In the external area, solutions like Magos radars - used for both public security and private structure protection - could detect fugitives within seconds," explained Hen Harel.


The Magos radars mentioned by the expert are advanced civilian sensors for perimeter security of large areas, efficiently detecting any potential threat in advance. The solution can cover up to 600,000 square meters, identifying and classifying the target up to 1000 meters away from the point of interest, enabling security operators to monitor intruders or, in the case of a prison, escapees.


SensoGuard seismic detectors are installed underground, invisible, designed to detect movements in the area imperceptibly to invaders, as well as attempts at excavation and impacts. In the case of prisons, if criminals attempt to dig tunnels or break a wall, the AI-powered solution can classify such actions as abnormal and alert operators as soon as the perforations begin, immediately thwarting escape attempts.


"There is no longer room in the market for conventional security systems where you wait for the event to occur before taking action. We have all the resources available to anticipate these situations and provide sufficient response time for the operator. If Mossoró Penitentiary had the seismic detectors and radars installed on its property, the moment the criminals started digging, they would be detected. As a second layer of security in the external area, an alert would be immediately issued by the Magos radars to the security center, notifying them of the escape attempt," stated Hen Harel.


For more information on Magos radars, visit the website:

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