Axis and Milestone help reduce crime in Clackmannanshire, central Scotland

Axis and Milestone help reduce crime in Clackmannanshire, central Scotland

Scotland's Clacksfirst Limited, which manages the Clacksfirst Business Improvement District (BID), was looking for a cost effective security system to help provide a safe and secure business environment for more than 200 firms based in the 10 business parks and industrial estates which are part of Scotland's first county-wide BID, based in Clackmannanshire. Clacksfirst received responses to the tender from six firms including IP video integration company and Axis partner Boston Networks.

All tender respondents offered a traditional ANPR system but Boston Networks' went further and proposed a system that could not only collect number plates but also identify the type of vehicle, even picking out vehicle signage 24 hours a day. AXIS P1354 Network Cameras deployed in the business parks also enabled identification of people inside vehicles and pedestrians entering and leaving the parks on foot.

The Axis cameras were configured in day/night mode. By using Raytec Vario Infrared lighting units it was possible to capture high quality images of all vehicle number plates at night. This configuration enabled image glare from vehicle lights to be eliminated. Edge-based video motion detection analytics was used inside the AXIS P1354's to ensure only scenes with vehicle or pedestrian movement were captured and recorded. Milestone XProtect Professional video management software was used to record, manage and securely distribute video recordings rapidly in case of incidents.

Clacksfirst has seen a 50% reduction in crime across all business parks in the BID since it began managing them. In addition, the new system delivered Return on Investment (ROI) in under 12-months from going live. Business owners and their employees in these parks reported feeling more secure, while metal and machinery theft was virtually eliminated.

Improvements to boost economic development
Clacksfirst Limited, originally established in 2008, is a private organisation funded by a combination of commercial developers, park leaseholders and central government. Its role is to stimulate inward investment and to provide a strong collective central voice for businesses in the BID area. Clacksfirst BID sources external funding to enable it to promote Clackmannanshire as a business destination. Clacksfirst won its second fiveyear contract to run this BID in April 2013 following a commitment to tighten security in the business parks after a rise in theft and anti-social behaviour there during the economic downturn. Clacksfirst represents over 200 companies in 10 business parks centered in the Alloa area of Clackmannanshire County.

Kevin Deighan, Project and Community Safety Manager at Clacksfirst said: “We consulted with a panel of experts including representatives from the Forth Valley Division of Police Scotland, Scottish Business Resilience Centre and Clackmannanshire Council; before putting together a Request for Tender document which specified an Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) system to provide accurate recording of number plates of vehicles entering and leaving all BID business parks around the clock.”

Clackmannanshire Council Leader, Gary Womersley, said: “Clacksfirst BID has enabled businesses to collectively invest in improvements which have benefited them and will encourage new businesses to locate here. The BID is driving positive change and boosting economic development in Clackmannanshire. Ultimately this will benefit local people by unlocking economic improvements which help create more jobs in the county.”

Kevin Deighan of Clacksfirst said: “Clacksfirst has always sought to improve the environmental appearance and enhance security in the BID. Through implementation of this IP CCTV system we move so much closer to delivering on our five year business plan for businesses in the parks and industrial estates which backed us.

It also helps us send a clear and positive message to businesses outside Clackmannanshire which might be persuaded to relocate into the county as a result of our improved security record here.”

Quick ROI due to efficient system
The AXIS P1354 Fixed Network Cameras deployed in Clacksfirst BID are fixed day and night cameras with superb image quality, delivering excellent H.264 performance in a robust design. Superior video quality is provided with progressive scan in multiple individual H.264 streams, as well as Motion JPEG streams.

Paul Goodbrand, Operations Director at Boston Networks, explained: “We selected the excellent AXIS P1354 Network Camera with built-in Lightfinder technology together with a Theia SL940 lens, optimised for use with IR for day/night cameras and delivering16x digital and 4.5x optical zoom capability.”

The focus assistant, remote back focus and pixel counter features simplifies installation. This camera was configured with a specialist lens from Axis technology partner Theia Technologies and worked alongside a second partner Raytec, whose IR lighting ensures delivery of crisp images at night.

Kevin Deighan of Clacksfirst added: “ROI was achieved in such a short timeframe primarily because the new surveillance system proved to be a highly effective deterrent to potential criminals. It stopped metal and machinery theft as well as anti-social behaviour in its tracks.”

The new system also helped resolve one potentially costly incident in The Whins Business Park which sits within the BID. A lorry driver, turning in a car park there in the middle of the night, simply backed up too far and hit a wall which then collapsed. The following morning the company, which leases a nearby business premises and this car park, was able to use the new system's video recordings to identify the owner of lorry which had knocked down his wall. The company responsible has agreed to pay for rebuilding of the wall after the high quality video recordings of the whole incident were sent to the lorry driver's employer.

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