U.K. Educational Institutions Relying on Camera Technology

U.K. Educational Institutions Relying on Camera Technology

Both modern and historic, centuries-old universities in the U.K. are using the latest surveillance and recording methods to keep an eye on property, staff and students.

Some 13,000 students attend Croydon College in South London. Classes continue into the evening and security is a priority. Barriers and swipe cards ensure that access is strictly controlled. OCS Security Systems provided a network of more than 60 cameras as well as Dallmeier recorders to keep watch over activity in and around the busy main building, particularly at key areas such as the perimeter, entrance, corridors and IT rooms.

The college has no need for full-time monitoring, but all camera views are captured by recorders and can be viewed in near-real time if required or called up later from recordings. Output from cameras is recorded to a trio of Dallmeier DLS 24 hard-disk recorders, and the college will soon be adopting Dallmeier's advanced Leonardo technology. The system includes H.264 high-standard video compression and simultaneous real-time recording of video and audio for all camera inputs at all frame rates. Leonardo also includes the option to view a real-time split display of all cameras connected to the recorder.

The switch to the Leonardo system will coincide with changes to the layout of the CCTV network. Recorders are grouped into a single location, from which they feed recordings to a bank of nine screens in the main control room. Without careful planning, the CCTV cabling layout would have needed frequent alterations during construction. OCS worked closely with college staff to come up with a solution that keeps cabling changes to a minimum by locating recorders close to cameras.

Managing a Growing University

Scotland's University of Aberdeen is going through rapid expansion with three new buildings due to be opened in the next few years. It is also partway through the second-largest WiFi deployment in the U.K., with some 1,000 Trapeze WiFi access points installed. Thirty personnel provide surveillance monitoring and physical patrolling throughout the campus, round the clock.

The University decided to rationalize four stand-alone analog CCTV systems and establish a central control room. The four systems varied in age and the University wanted a single system which would feature new cameras as well as existing analog cameras. The system would have to offer flexibility to cope with future expansion, and eliminate stand-alone proprietary systems that risked obsolescence.

Systems integrator Arthur McKay was appointed; and installed 20 Axis 233D network cameras, and 10 Axis 241Q video encoders were deployed to convert 35 existing analog CCTV cameras. A new virtual local area network (VLAN) carries video data from 55 cameras. The University's extensive network supplies 100 megabits per second of bandwidth to all cameras via a one-gigabit (GB) link at the server end. Images are stored on a RAID-5 SCSI device with 12 terabytes of data capacity, with Milestone Enterprise network video recording software Version 6.0e with Smart Client used for management and viewing of images.

Sixth Form College and Secondary School Protected

Students leaving the premises without clearance at England's The Campion School in Hornchurch, Essex, had become a growing problem. Video surveillance also acts as a powerful deterrent against vandalism, such as broken windows and graffiti. The costs from repairing and cleaning mount up over the years, eroding budgets and taking money away from other investments. If needed, recorded video can also be used to provide clear evidence in disciplinary situations, and discourage common student misdemeanours such as smoking, bullying, rowdiness and truancy.

The Mirasys V series was installed, together with IP and analog PTZ cameras and two Arecont 8 Megapixel 360? cameras. The megapixel cameras offer panoramic views and cinema-compatible, high-frame rates. An AV8306 camera can substitute up to 24 analog cameras, thereby reducing the cost of installation. The standard V series DVR can be enhanced to become a hybrid DVR/NVR system by adding network camera channels to the basic unit.

All Mirasys V series user inter faces are designed with usability as the utmost concern. The interfaces are designed from the users' perspectives to match ways of using software and security equipment to which they are already accustomed. The significant advantage of the Mirasys network video system is that viewing can be done remotely form anywhere over LAN, WAN or the Internet, as well as from several different locations simultaneously. PCs with a web browser or installed client software can retrieve images from any of the cameras in the system, based on their user access rights.

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