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News

Bullet cameras used for ANPR at Dover

Rainbow : 11 May, 2007  (Application Story)
Cross channel ferry port uses number plate recognition and vehicle monitoring for increased security.
High-resolution bullet cameras from Rainbow are being used for security monitoring and licence plate recognition at the vehicle terminal serving Europe's busiest port, Dover.

The cameras are allowing Kent Police to observe both freight and car traffic at the Eurotunnel plaza in Folkestone which connects with the M20 motorway. They are being used within ticket machines and operator's booths, the system activation being hardware triggers from loops on traffic lanes or contact closure when ticket dispensers are activated. There are automatic and manual modes of operation at the booths and the system is integrated with software from GEA which drives the sophisticated automated ticketing operation.

After consultancy input from Capita Symonds, Tyco Fire and Integrated Solutions created an application using DVRs from Virage who were involved at an early stage and developed the necessary protocols which met stringent police requirements as to ease of searching and storage capacity.

Dave Smith of Tyco said: "We have found the Rainbow bullet cameras effective since the compact design allows us to mount the units without intruding on the operator's working space in the booths or creating an external hazard for traffic. A more bulky camera would have been sheared off by wing mirrors and trailers."

The cameras are being used by Tyco in a control system which allows license plates to be checked in real time against police records and lists compiled by local agencies at a police monitoring centre within the terminal. The system offers the user alerts via pagers, audible alarms and control room displays. Police officers benefit from both video clips for general evaluation of traffic and image capture for license plate checking.

Installations at a busy location such as Folkestone need to perform effectively 24 hours a day and in all weather conditions. The Rainbow cameras were selected on criteria including performance in low and changing light levels. It is significant that Tyco have been using Rainbow's vari-focal lenses for plate recognition at embarkation points within the port of Dover itself, and the use of the bullet units is thus a repeat order on this major application.

The port of Dover is immediately adjacent to the world's busiest shipping lanes and often has ferries entering or leaving every nine minutes.
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