Advanced covert surveillance solution means operations and personnel are no longer compromised during investigations.Advanced covert surveillance solution means operations and personnel are no longer compromised during investigations.
- Organization: Meridian Services
- Location: Perth, Australia
- Application: Covert surveillance and remote monitoring
- Axis partner: ETCorp
Established in 1981, Meridian Services is one of the largest and most reputable licensed investigation and security companies in Western Australia. Meridian Services delivers the highest quality covert surveillance, investigation and security services to a wide variety of clients including Australia's major insurers, solicitors and government agencies. Field-based operatives at Meridian were using vehicle-based surveillance. To provide clients with more cost-effective solutions, Meridian required a complete mobility solution which could integrate field surveillance and monitoring tasks.
Meridian decided to deploy ETCorp's GFLAK (GPAC Fly Away Kit), a portable solution for collecting covert video and sensor data. The unique GPAC System including Axis network cameras and software enables real-time video and data to be securely accessed via a standard web browser anywhere in the world.
The new solution has already provided hard evidence in investigations and culprits have been brought to justice as a result. “The GPAC System is an excellent tool for us, giving clearer images and better results that allow us to provide cost-effective surveillance solutions to our clients. Remote access removes the risk of surveillance personnel being compromised and being portable it can be moved between locations. It's a very versatile product that can be utilized across the wide variety of operations that we undertake and allows us to add new devices depending on different scenarios,” said Craig Pages-Oliver, Director, Meridian Services.
Meridian Services provides video evidence on more than 95 percent of its surveillance operations, making it essential to be able to record high-quality images. Due to the nature of the business these images need to be captured covertly to maintain the integrity of the operation and shared quickly with other personnel and clients.
Previously, field-based operatives used to carry out vehicle- based surveillance. Whilst effective, this approach can be labor-intensive, requiring long hours of surveillance in order to record a very short period of activity. Personnel also risked being compromised and were limited in the locations they could reach. Meridian had been looking for an alternative, automated solution to use in field-based operations but found issues with power supply, remote access and prohibitively high costs.
As the investigation company for the high-profile building industry “Name and Shame Campaign,” Meridian Services evaluates many new products that may assist the industry in reducing theft and vandalism. The concept of the GPAC System provided Meridian Services with a viable alternative to hours of physical surveillance.
The GPAC System uses AXIS 211 network cameras. They provide superior image quality using progressive scan and offer built-in support for PoE, motion detection and advanced event management. The other camera in the system is the AXIS 214 PTZ network camera, which has an 18x optical motorized lens with auto focus that makes it possible to zoom in on a small or distant object with exceptional clarity.
The AXIS 241Q video server/encoder is also used to digitize analog video signals from the existing analog cameras, enabling real-time video to be securely accessed via a standard web browser on any local or remote computer on a network. The AXIS 241Q boasts powerful event management and security tools including image upload, alarm notification, multiple user access levels, encryption, and support for Quality of Service (QoS) which helps secure the necessary bandwidth for streaming video and control commands over a network.
Unmanned, automated surveillance
Using GFLAK, Meridian Services is now able to set up unmanned, automated surveillance operations, reducing the chance of field-based operations being compromised. When an event occurs the footage is reviewed remotely and appropriate action taken. Personnel can quickly and easily move the GFLAK case between locations enabling several different sites to be monitored over a short period. An important consideration for Meridian Services is data integrity of video evidence; an audit trail is created on the GPAC System database allowing the information to be later utilized in court, potentially leading to a successful prosecution.
Meridian Services' existing movement sensors and Axis network cameras were easily connected and configured using the GPAC System plug and play browser software. Operation of the GFLAK is simple and easy to understand, enabling personnel to set up and use the system without detailed technical knowledge. Additional cameras and sensors can be added quickly and easily to the system, allowing flexibility in different situations.
Meridian Services has already reaped the benefits of the GPAC System. Remote surveillance of a building site using the GFLAK and cameras hidden in an unmanned vehicle has captured video evidence of theft and vandalism. In collecting evidence for insurance claims, the system has allowed for covert automated operations and reduced the risk of operations being compromised.
The GPAC System is “More Than Video.” Meridian Services is already looking at using the system with other devices such as seismic sensors buried in the ground to covertly detect movement. The GPAC System has provided Meridian Services with another strategy to use in undertaking covert surveillance and helped solve the problem of capturing high-quality images in remote locations.