City of Cologne leverages Dallmeier video solution for more security

City of Cologne leverages Dallmeier video solution for more security

Operation site: Cologne

The events of New Year's Eve 2015 in Cologne are seared into the memories of the entire population of the city. In the wake of countless incidents, including numerous cases of sexual harassment of women, Police recognized the need to revise their existing security concept, particularly with regard to securing large public spaces. A high number of criminal offences had been committed around Cologne Cathedral, and therefore this areas if the inner city was selected as the basis for planning new security measures.

In spring 2016, the first concepts were presented to the city administration. Their main focus was on how the situational overview for police and therefore the delegation of police and other emergency personnel could be improved through the use of video systems, especially in case of large gatherings. Even in those early stages of planning, the responsible officials encountered a massive problem: with the use of conventional video technology it would not have been possible to fully capture the required 8.800 m2 monitoring area. Additionally, there was no camera technology available which would have provided the resolution or pixel density required across the whole area for use in police investigations. Lastly, officials also realized that a conventional camera system with numerous individual cameras would have resulted in a flood of data and images, which would significantly hamper a proactive monitoring and quick reactions by the officers working in the control room.

Less is more – the Dallmeier solution

Dallmeier and its project experts were called upon to devise a feasible solution. After a short induction, they were able to design a system which would not only fulfil, but in fact exceed, the requirements. Therefore, the project was awarded to the Regensburg-based manufacturer, and installation work for the Panomera system began in mid-December 2016. Instead of a system with numerous spread out cameras, which would have meant a complicated set-up as well as high infrastructure and maintenance costs, Dallmeier deployed a system that covers the entire monitoring area, yet remains discreet. The Panomera solution required only two installation points. Hence, setting up the system was easy and the city will benefit significantly financially from much lower infrastructure and maintenance costs compared to the original planning.

Data protection is a top priority

The protection of personal data is governed by extremely stringent laws in Germany. And police in Cologne are entirely and deeply aware of their responsibilities when dealing with video data. Dallmeier has put in place a range of technical measures which will ensure that the data recorded with video cameras satisfies the strict requirements and regulations by which data privacy is protected. For example, certain zones in the image can be hidden entirely by the camera capture mechanism, or faces and car number plates can be rendered unrecognisable by pixelation. In addition, data retention is limited in time – a long-term storage is carried out only when there are reasonable grounds for suspicion and used for evidentiary purposes.

Active monitoring vs. passive surveillance

Instead of simply having to assume that a large number of installed surveillance cameras would somehow bring about a significant reduction in criminality, police in Cologne are able to switch from ineffective passive surveillance to active video monitoring. Potentially dangerous situations are detected even before they threaten to become incidents in a police statistics report. Fast response forces are alerted rapidly and guided to the site of interest. And if a criminal offense is committed "under the noses" of the police, Panomera supplies conclusive information which can be used as evidence in a court of law and as the basis for criminal investigations.

Product Adopted:
Network Cameras

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