An educational establishment in Essex with a 300 year heritage can claim to be one of the first Colleges in the UK to update its security system by investing in a networked solution which takes advantage of the latest Full HD camera technology.
Palmer’s Sixth Form College in Grays, Essex has updated its CCTV security system to incorporate the latest High Definition (HD) technology from SANYO. The college which has committed to achieving academic excellence is now equipped with cutting edge security technology to take it forward to the next century.
From providing a place for ‘ten poor children of the parish to read, write and cast accounts and to instruct them in the Latin tongue’ Palmer’s School has grown over the centuries to a multi cultural Sixth Form College in the heart of south Essex. Founded in 1706 by London merchant, William Palmer, the school was initially located in a small building next to the Parish church. In 1870 it moved to its current imposing premises and became a boys boarding grammar school, before becoming a sixth form college in 1971.
The college’s analogue camera system was ‘well past its sell by date’ according to Gary Redman, Facilities Manager for Palmer’s College, when he started to look into updating the security system. To ensure the college ended up with a solution that would be fit for purpose today, but also able to cope with the advances in technology to come, Gary retained the services of an independent Security Consultant who advised that he should look for a networked solution. Whilst considering which types and styles of cameras to select, Gary met with Doug Gwilliams, Corporate Account Manager for SANYO, and was so impressed with the product, as well as Doug’s commitment to the project, that he decided to go ahead with the new Full HD solution that SANYO provide.
The Full HD cameras, launched by Sanyo in 2009 have the capability to capture full high definition (1920 x 1080) sharp and crystal clear colour images at 25 frames per second and are equipped with a Dual Codec to support both the latest H.264 compression standard as well as MJPEG. Using technology developed by SANYO’s miniaturization expertise (developed in the main for their digital movie cameras and personal cameras) the units installed in the college are 40% smaller than conventional CCTV cameras.
Putting the installation work out to tender, Gary was absolute in his commitment to get the best quality and value for his money, and selected the incumbent installation company Bastion Complete Security Ltd as they have a proven track record in working with schools and colleges, which comprises over 70% of their business. With many years of working together, Graham Gardener, Director at Bastion Complete Security Ltd, knew the operational requirements of the college extremely well and was able to generate cost savings with his sound advice and technical know-how.
Phase one of the project has been completed, with 16 SANYO full HD cameras installed at various locations around the college, 11 of which are the VCC-HD5600P day/night PTZ (pan/tilt/zoom) cameras, three are VCC-HD2300P vandal resistant domes and two are VCC-HD2300P fixed day/night cameras.
Using SANYO’s VMS monitoring software, six authorised users from the college are able to log into the system to view the cameras at any one time. The software enables images from any of the cameras to be watched simultaneously, and allows for the angle and zoom of the PTZ cameras to be changed to obtain a clearer picture. Gary has been suitably impressed by the technology: “Our previous product worked very well in its hay day, however in today’s environment, the clearer the image, the easier it is for us to determine what is occurring. The Full HD cameras that SANYO provide are so sharp that we can use the recorded video as evidence if needed.”
Following the successful completion of phase one, Palmer’s IT department has provided Bastion Complete Security Ltd’s engineers with secure remote access to the system, enabling a high level of support to be provided to the college should there be a need, for example, to adjust the configuration of any of the cameras. “The IT department from day one had a very positive attitude towards the new camera system taking full advantage of the network.” said Graham Gardener. “Their cooperation has certainly been a significant factor in the success of this project.”
Subject to budget availability the college has plans to introduce additional SANYO Full HD cameras to enhance the current coverage, install powered speakers to the cameras to enable remote audio announcements and there is also the ambition to integrate the cameras with the college’s existing intruder alarm system. In addition Gary Redman is looking at the option to introduce video analytics “Once the second phase of the installation has been completed, we have every intention of utilising the services of a remote monitoring centre to keep an eye on any suspicious activity occurring out of normal college hours, or during holiday periods,” said Gary. “Video analytics will assist in keeping our costs down by ensuring that the monitoring centre only has to react when there is an incident or alarm event such as an attempted burglary.”