UK Drama School Performs with Mobotix Surveillance Solution

Mobotix , a manufacturer of digital high-resolution, network-based video security systems, installed its surveillance solution to help discreetly protect students and staff at The Valle Academy of Performing Arts.

Since being founded in 1994 by Corinne Valle, The Valle Academy has been teaching acting, singing and dance to students from all walks of life and of all ages. Based at studios in Cheshunt in Hertfordshire, the academy now has more than 500 students and teachers regularly participating in classes seven days a week.

With a strong family atmosphere, the academy decided that some surveillance could enhance the environment and provide added comfort for both students and staff. Safety was a concern especially during late-night classes or during the securing of the premises at the end of the day.

"We have never had any trouble on the premises but, I guess it's a sign of the times, that we started looking at surveillance last year," said Steve Wortley, MD and cofounder of the Academy.

Wortley approached local surveillance firm Duplications for advice. "What we needed was a surveillance solution that was simple to operate, very reliable and could be accessed remotely without the need for expensive communication equipment," he said.

Based on recommendation, the academy selected a four-camera Mobotix solution which was implemented by Duplications over two days. The system provides coverage over the key entrance points, main public areas and parking area but is excluded from studios or rehearsal spaces to ensure privacy.

Due to Mobotix's hemispheric camera, the academy only needed one camera in the main foyer area. Thanks to the 360-degree all-round view, the camera is able to capture an entire area. With a panorama function and a quad view, the camera can show images from four different angles simultaneously. The Mobotix hemispheric camera reduces the amount of cameras needed to provide surveillance of a large area.

"The system has worked flawlessly since we got it and the quality, both during the day and at night is very impressive," Wortley said. "But one of the best features is the ability to quickly log into any camera from any PC in the building or from another site via our standard broadband connection."

Although there have been no incidents within the Academy requiring surveillance evidence, Wortley has used the accessibility of the system to help police with a suspect caught on its external camera for a robbery of nearby premises. The high-resolution Mobotix day and night lenses has also allowed the perpetrator of a minor act of graffiti to be identified and cautioned by the police.

"The Mobotix cameras are reliable, unobtrusive and easy to operate and have blended in nicely with our ethos of a peaceful and happy creative community," Wortley said.

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