Shopping Centre

Detecting intruders: three-in-one detector from Bosch

On camera

Published:  01 April, 2004

Technological innovations in the field of CCTV mean the goal of achieving better security is nearer than ever

There is still a long way to go to reach satisfactory standards of security and public safety in many retail environments. The time and costs involved in upgrading existing security schemes is often the cause of sub-standard security provisions, and there is also the fact that technology in this field is developing so quickly that it is difficult to determine what may be right for a particular environment.

Since Shopping Centre last reported on technological developments in this area, many innovations have been added to the list of what’s on offer, so this article has been put together to give an idea of what has been happening over the last 12 months in the world of CCTV cameras and security technology.

Many towns and cities are choosing to link up their communication systems throughout local businesses and retail, to make overall security in the area more effective, and there has been a greater emphasis on sharing information related to criminal activity or security issues.

Eastbourne is a good recent example. The Eastbourne Business Crime Reduction Partnership, which was established to tackle crime in the town centre, has a subgroup called the Eastbourne Business Crime Group, and it currently includes more than 100 retail businesses including the Arndale shopping centre. Members include Sussex police, Eastbourne borough council and local businesses.

In November last year, the partnership approached Adur Communications (01903 879526) to provide plans for an upgrade of its radio system. The company provided a new system which was developed as a means of getting quick and secure communication between radio users and control.

The radio messaging system, which consists of Icom (01277 741741) hand-portables, a base station and a talk-through repeater, links to a central computer. At the heart of the system is Icom’s ‘RMS and Management Software’. Using fast-frequency shift keying data, the RMS allows a control room operator to send text messages regarding criminal activity to individual shops or groups of businesses, police and CCTV operators in just half a second.

“Immediately it has cut down radio traffic,” says business crime reduction manager Sandy Hobbs. “In the mornings this has reduced by 70 per cent. On the old system, everybody had to call up and do a voice log-on but this is no longer necessary.

“Sometimes when shops are busy, messages can be misheard, so to put a text message in front of the user means that there is no excuse for miscommunication.”

Another key growth area in security has been the remote monitoring of CCTV surveillance systems. One company in this sector, Camwatch Monitoring (0114 281 9999), has just completed substantial investment in new technology at its main central station in Sheffield. The company has acquired 15 new receivers based on the Controlware transmission product range, as new business success has attracted substantial major contracts from companies nationwide.

Camwatch director Phil Bunting says: “End customers and installers throughout the country see remote monitoring as a cost-effective means of ensuring optimum performance from their CCTV surveillance systems.

“The difference between Camwatch Monitoring and other central stations is that our facility in Sheffield has been designed from an installer’s viewpoint, covering all elements from how alarm calls are routed right through to audit trails and technical support on a full 24/7 basis. We now have probably a wider range of monitoring equipment and receivers than any other central station in the UK.”

There has also been a number of developments in CCTV equipment, so that the range of options in this field is greater than ever before. Among the innovators is CCTV manufacturer TEB (0208 9937100), which has introduced a portable, plug-and-play mobile CCTV system called Mobil’up. It is available on a 6m telescopic pole or bracket to be mounted on a lamppost or wall.

TEB also recently launched an outdoor version of its travelling dome ‘TUB’ camera. The external version offers a waterproof, high-speed dome designed for outdoor surveillance purposes.

At one of the largest shopping centres in France, Carré Senart, hypermarket retailer Carrefour has chosen TEB to install a full selection of its CCTV products including TUB, DRIV and BULLE cameras, all linked to the recently introduced TEB ‘Vision’ management software.

At last year’s IFSEC exhibition, another company launching new developments in the field of CCTV was Altron Communications Equipment (01269 831431). These included its AW1545 combined cabinet-based camera pole featuring the company’s latest design of flush doors and locks. The company also displayed its special hexagonal ornate CCTV pole, which it believes is ideally suited to town-centre CCTV schemes or locations where camera poles need to blend in with the surrounding street furniture.

Another company with recent launches in this field has been Sony (01932 817402). The company has introduced a range of multi-channel hard disk digital recorders (the Sony HSR-X209P and HSR-X216P), which are said to offer higher-quality images and greater flexibility to surveillance systems. The recorders also feature a large capacity of 329Gb.

Sony has also launched Net Watch Management Software, for video monitoring over an internet protocol. Allowing users to manage and store a complete digital video surveillance system over an IP network, it is aimed at the security, retail, banking and finance industries as well as the industrial sector.

The company’s image sensing division has introduced the latest camera in its pan/tilt/zoom analogue camera line-up. The camera (the EVI-D70P) combines a high-quality image sensor colour camera, with the flexibility of advanced remote PTZ operation. It also has a high-quality low-light operation and total zoom capacity.

Another CCTV company with a range of new products is Bosch Security Systems (01895 878088), which has expanded its range of detectors with the addition of a ceiling-mounted panoramic sensor (DS9370-C TriTech PIR/Microwave). The sensor uses several patented alarm processing techniques to provide all-round detection, while at the same time minimising false alarms.

The company has also added to its range of detector systems with its DS778 Passive Intrusion Detector, designed for long-range intruder detection in large areas such as retail stores. The detector provides protection for internal areas up to 200ft long and 15ft across.

Bosch has also introduced 15-bit image processing to provide enhanced CCTV image quality with its DinionXF family of high-end smart surveillance cameras. This allows users to capture the full detail of any scene regardless of lighting conditions, and it is also said to result in sharper images.

Samsung Techwin (01932 455308) has introduced a digital video recorder that can record and store 30 frames a second of high-quality video. James Jeon, head of UK sales for Samsung Opto-Electronics UK, which represents Samsung Techwin’s CCTV division in the UK, says: “There is of course no shortage of digital video recorders already on the market, but we believe that our new machines will prove to be popular with customers who are looking for high-quality, competitively-priced digital recorders that are easy to operate.”

One company with experience in the area of ATM security is Euronet Worldwide (01707 632870). Euronet is involved in the ATM security working party and it works closely with a number of security and police forces to ensure that its ATMs are extremely secure.

Before installation, Euronet undertakes a full security survey and it will install, free of charge, a number of security measures should they be required. These include ATM security surrounds, shutters, bollards and smokescreen technology.

Dalkia Energy & Technical Services (01784 496200), the provider of energy management, mechanical and electrical and managed services, has acquired security specialists Goldfield Electronics.

Goldfield designs, installs and services CCTV surveillance and access control systems. The business will be managed under Dalkia ownership by its founder, John Goldsworthy.