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News

The benefits of remotely monitored CCTV

RemGuard Visual Management, : 13 July, 2009  (Technical Article)
RemGuard examines the role of remote monitoring of CCTV as a cost effective means of ensuring the security of facilities
The benefits of remotely monitored CCTV
As previous slowdowns have amply demonstrated, economic hardship tends to drive-up crime and, as a consequence, attacks on premises with resulting unplanned downtime. So now, more than ever, RemGuard Visual Management - part of AD Group and a specialist in remotely monitored, detector activated CCTV - believes that site protection should be maintained and strengthened. It is perfectly possible, according to RemGuard, with the sophisticated security technology now available to arrive at a balance between the pressing requirement to keep sites safe and secure while ensuring that, whatever the ultimate solution adopted, it represents best value for an organisation.

Said Alan Collinge, Operations Director, RemGuard Visual Management: "One type of CCTV technology which stands-up well to scrutiny, under any cost benefit analysis, is remotely monitored, detector activated, CCTV. Time and again it has demonstrated an ability to stop crime at the earliest possible stage on commercial, industrial, public sector and residential sites and, crucially, to assist the police to apprehend the culprits. The growing interest in this intelligent approach to CCTV has also been fuelled by the existence of an all embracing standard BS8418. By pulling together the key elements associated with this type of security, the Code of Practice delivers an invaluable benchmark for anyone considering this type of protection for their premises."

"Looking more closely at remotely monitored CCTV the overriding attraction has to be the fact that there is visual confirmation by an operator regarding the cause of a specific activation. This minimises false alarms and, crucially, enables the fastest possible appropriate action. In practice, this means transmission equipment linked to CCTV cameras and detectors on commercial, public sector and, increasingly, domestic sites. If an alarm/detector is triggered images from an associated camera can be transmitted to a specialised Remote Video Response Centre (RVRC). Here operators can manage an incident by accessing a site plan, issuing audio warnings on-site (talking CCTV) to intruders - a sufficient deterrent in over 90 per cent of incidents - and if necessary alerting the emergency services, who as the incident is confirmed visually, invariably provide a priority response."


RemGuard's Alan Collinge believes that the economics of this type of CCTV have undoubtedly changed for the better in recent years: "It is perfectly possible to implement a new RemGuard solution on a site for less than £10,000 for initial installation and set-up costs and then £25 per week for monitoring. The installation costs will obviously be dependent on the size of the site and may also be significantly reduced if there is an existing CCTV installation.

At RemGuard, new customers are able to take advantage of 'free for use' offer on RemVu Aquila transmission equipment when they sign-up their three year monitoring contract. Usually an existing broadband connection is used to link-up to RemGuard's BS8418 compliant Remote Video Response Centre (RVRC) and, as the RemVu Aquila is a network based video server, it enables direct customer access from a local PC to view live and recorded images. The retrofitting of RemGuard's remotely monitored CCTV service is also simple as, in addition to providing its own transmission equipment for new sites, RemGuard can also connect to sites which already have compatible NetVu Connected systems fitted as part of their existing CCTV infrastructure; these include the SD and DS2 Digital Video Recorders and the DV-IP Server Network Digital Video Recorder from Dedicated Micros.


Said Alan Collinge, Operations Director at RemGuard Visual Management: "The bottom line is that this event driven method is significantly more effective on many sites than conventional intruder alarms, and offers major cost, flexibility and reliability benefits when compared to manned guarding, patrols and continually recorded CCTV.

"The most basic and common option for security of a site is probably the intruder alarm. Police forces have historically quoted false alarm rates of over 90 per cent. More recently, after major efforts by the industry, this has fallen dramatically but is still high enough to lead to the very real threat of a loss of police response and a knock-on effect on insurability. This contrasts with remotely monitored, detector activated, CCTV where, because incidents are visually confirmed, the emergency services have benefited from a near zero false alarm rate from BS8418 accredited Remote Video Response Centres (RVRCs). Official ACPO (Association of Chief Police Officers) policy is to only issue URNs (Unique Reference Numbers) to CCTV systems which comply with BS 8418 and many forces are likely to respond less rapidly to systems which do not have this accreditation.

"Manned patrols can provide some protection from attacks but a major drawback is that, by the very nature of patrolling, there are unavoidable and dangerous gaps as guards visit a number of sites - windows of opportunity, that allow the determined vandal or criminal gangs to move in.

"If patrols don't work then there is always manned guarding. The advantage over patrols is that someone is constantly on-site; the disadvantages are cost - at least £35,000 per year, poor quality of staff, guards forced to work long hours with associated implications of limited attention span and, ultimately, damage to the site as incidents are missed. Added to this of course, are the lone worker and minimum wage legislation, which has added considerably to manned guarding costs overnight.

"Another strategy is to install CCTV cameras which can have a deterrent effect for the opportunist. The most common method is simply to continuously record camera images to be viewed later, which is really only of help after an event to secure a conviction; if it is ineffective as a deterrent then it won't stop the damaging incident actually taking place!

"CCTV may also be monitored on-site by a security guard but this is as expensive as manned guarding and there is still the problem of maintaining motivation and staying alert when watching a monitor continuously for several hours."


So moving ahead Alan Collinge, RemGuard's Operations Director, stresses that: "With remotely monitored, detector activated, CCTV - which meets the BS8418 standard - sites can have the peace of mind, in these economically challenging times, that comes from knowing that they have been, cost effectively, transformed into a secure, controlled environment, ready to meet the threat of attack."

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