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Low cost IP surveillance camera for estate agent

Mobotix : 15 January, 2009  (Application Story)
Self contained Mobotix Q22 camera with flash memory installed in estate and letting agents after re-evaluation of security requirements following high street burglary
Letting and estate agents are a growing market for the installation of CCTV, is the view of Darren Roe, Operations Manager at Ecl-ips an Advanced Mobotix partner and specialist in environmental and security threat management, as the company installs its fifth system within this sector in only a few months.

"People often think of pubs, clubs and banks as the only place you will find CCTV on the high street," comments Darren Roe, Operations Manager, "But we have seen a substantial increase in requests from letting agencies, estate agents and smaller retails outlets over the last few months."

Spaces and Places is one such client who recently installed CCTV following a burglary, "We had never really considered CCTV before but we had a burglary recently where a thief got away with a substantial sum of money after bypassing our alarm system and it made us revaluate our security" comments proprietor David Kernaghan.

Spaces and Places, based in Weston-super-Mare, is typical of many high street letting agents, as Kernaghan explains, "We needed CCTV not just for night time security but to protect our staff during the daytime, especially when we have abusive or aggressive people coming into our premises or if a dispute arises."

Kernaghan needed a CCTV solution that would be very discrete, with little backroom equipment or maintenance, "We also wanted a system we could view remotely, either from the main office or at night from home to check on the premises if an alarm was triggered."

Ecl-ips recommended and installed a Mobotix Q22 IP camera, "The model is particularly suited to small high street locations like letting agents as a single camera can monitor an entire main area with its 360 degree view," explains Darren Roe, Operations Manager, "In addition, the Q22 we installed has a removable 16GB Flash memory card, so in the case of Spaces and Places, they can record a loop of 3 continuous days worth of footage without the need for any special PC or video storage device which reduces costs and makes the system maintenance free."

The Mobotix system also offers two way audio, audio recording and playback of pre recorded messages or warnings of an event, which makes the system a proactive, rather than a reactive solution.

"I am not a technical person but the new system is incredibly simple to use" comments Kernaghan, "If I hear raised voices in the outer office, I can just click on an icon on my desktop PC and check to see that everything is ok and if somebody is getting abusive, we can point out that we have a CCTV system and that usually acts as a deterrent and calms the situation down."

"I know of a number of letting agencies who have also installed CCTV recently" comments Kernaghan but he believes the advantages of the Mobotix system are mainly in staff safety and training via the two way audio. Multiple outlets can be monitored for safety, training and marketing purposes by qualified people from one central location.

As Ian Potter, Operations Manager for the Association of Residential Letting Agents points out, "Most of our members tend not to handle cash" However, Potter adds, "it's not unusual to hear of staff being subjected to aggressive behaviours and the Association can understand CCTV being used in those circumstances."

Mike Lewis, Mobotix, UK & EIRE Country Manager, comments, "Letting agencies and smaller retail outlets don't tend to have dedicated facilities or security managers and what they need is simplicity and cost efficiency."

"The Q22 is a good choice for deployment within these small office and retail environments as it is designed to be very unobtrusive, offer hi -resolution images and audio but without needing a complicated back end system to manage the camera or DVR to store video footage all at a very affordable price." He adds.
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