Expanding surveillance equipment provider Genie CCTV Ltd has provided surveillance monitoring for Regent's College, London, the largest college of private higher education in the U.K.. Situated in the heart of the capital within Regent's Park, the College's 3700 students are internationally diverse and multicultural – over 100 different nationalities are represented and more than 110 languages spoken on campus.
Comprising seven specialist schools, four of which offer undergraduate programmes, the College has three schools offering UK degrees while the fourth follows the US education system and allows students to gain an American degree in the centre of London. Scott Costello, Facilities Manager for Campus Services at the College, explains that the main quadrangle of classrooms is surrounded by halls of residence, lawns and tennis courts, and beyond this the ornamental gardens and lakes of the Royal Park. In addition to the college's students, up to 1,500 conference delegates can be on-site at any one time, while commercial receptions and similar corporate events are regularly held in the grounds from spring until autumn.
Regent's College's high profile status and location requires commensurate security measures and Genie CCTV cameras and advanced digital recording systems have been introduced to survey a variety of exterior and interior areas including the college car park, main reception space, corridors, student accommodation walkways and the immediate perimeter. Midlands-based installation specialist Unison Integrated Technology has been involved from the outset, starting 10 years ago with a 16-camera system and rising to 132 cameras currently. Pete Rodden of Unison says a decision was made three years ago to switch to Genie CCTV-sourced systems and already 102 Genie VRCD-5351 day/night vandal resistant dome cameras are in action internally, and 30 Genie GSDNR-5358/DV super high resolution day/night bodied cameras with SDNR are used for external viewing. This helps protect the 11-hectare site's boundary.
The cameras are linked to nine of Genie's latest 16-channel quadraplex DVRs, GDVR-M616. These MPEG-4 digital recorders provide simultaneous recording/playback/backup, network access, 400FPS recording @ CIF, up to 3Tb internal recording capacity and a host of other features including free multisite client software with E-map. “We recently changed over from multiplexed VCR recording to digital and were so impressed with the Genie DVRs' combination of superior playback facilities, real-time recording quality and cost-effective pricing that it made no sense to specify anything else,” Costello said.
He adds that the surveillance system is integrated with the college's access control system, enabling security staff to review images of incidents such as students forcing doors. The main problems that have been successfully tackled using the cameras are thefts and vandalism, with walk-in thefts falling dramatically from up to 10 per day to a maximum of three per year now.
Besides the main protection role of the surveillance measures, the college's video system is also used to prevent any other incidents from escalating and provide useful management functions including safe people movement around the site, plus health and safety cover. Car park management, along with checks on daily deliveries, environmental waste collections and contractor visits are other practical examples of on-site activity monitoring by Costello's security team.