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Network / IP - Case Studies

Atea’s digital surveillance featuring Milestone XProtect captures bank robbery at Totalbanken
The purpose with the new surveillance system is to provide the 75 employees with more security in everyday life

The digital system is much more user friendly compared to the analogue video surveillance that runs on tapes

Totalbanken in Tommerup has no doubts: it was a safe investment when the bank had a new digital surveillance system installed. Already two days after the system was installed, two masked robbers entered the bank and threatened the cashier with a knife and shortly after disappeared with 136,000 DKK.

The digital images were a great help to the police investigation. One of the robbers has already been arrested.

"From that point of view, the investment has evidently already been worthwhile. At least it has accomplished its purpose very well in this case," says Henrik Thuesen - IT Supporter in Totalbanken.

For some time the plan was to update and streamline the surveillance systems in all nine branches of Totalbanken, in order for the IT department in Aarup to be able to remote-control the systems in the entire country. By doing so, Totalbanken could avoid having to travel to each branch in case of problems with the surveillance system - or if it should be necessary to make copies of the surveillance files.

Several branches had already replaced the old analogue systems with digitised ones; however, the branch in Tommerup was still on a waiting list. Atea’s technologists installed the new system just in time:

 48 hours after the cables were placed and the cameras were turned on, two masked robbers entered the bank with ski masks on and with a knife in their hands.

They got away with 136.000 DKK; however, they also left sustainable traces on the bank’s surveillance files.

"We only just finished installing the system two days before the robbery, and we did not manage teaching the employees to use the system. However, despite that fact, one of the employees says that it was easy to make a copy of the recordings," states Mads Vestergaard - IT supporter at Atea.

Replacing analogue cameras with digital ones

Digital cameras have much better resolution than the outdated analogue systems. The digital surveillance works with a resolution of 1.3 to 5 megapixels, whereas the outdated recordings work with 0.41 megapixels. This is a significant difference that also helped the investigation of the robbery in Tommerup.

"The digital system provides us with much better images, it is easier and much more user friendly compared to the analogue video surveillance that runs on tapes. The images are much sharper, and it is possible to zoom in on tiny objects with this digital system," Mads Vestergaard says.

However, it is not only when a robbery occurs that the sharp digitised images are an advantage. Employees benefit from the new system in everyday situations.

What happened at the counter?

"Service at the counter is often rather fleeting, and afterwards our employees might be in doubt about the process of the service. In that case we are able to use the surveillance images to zoom in on the images and get a clear view of the process. By doing so, we are able to avoid misunderstandings," Henrik Thuesen explains.

Digital security

It was not a coincidence that Totalbanken chose Atea as partner. Atea had already delivered several solutions to the employees from the IT department, who were very pleased with the solutions. It was therefore obvious for Totalbanken to choose Atea when the bank had to upgrade the surveillance system.

"From the beginning we have been very happy with Atea’s effort and support, and we therefore recognised that expanding the cooperation was a safe and sound solution. The outdated analogue equipment should firstly be replaced with Atea’s digital surveillance systems, and the departments that already used digital systems had to substitute their supplier with Atea. That was the plan. From now on we no longer need to go to each branch to install new systems. Instead, we are able to make the setups from the division in Aarup. This results in reduced work hours and resources," says Henrik Thuesen.

Totalbanken’s surveillance system has differed from division to division with several different suppliers. For this reason, the IT department in Aarup does not have access to the surveillance images in all nine branches.In order to change this, Atea’s surveillance solution will be installed in all of the branches in the near future.

"Moreover, the digital system is much more user friendly compared to the analogue one. You remotecontrol the system and you log on to the system from the bank’s network. For the time being we have installed the new system in the branch at Tommerup, and yet another installation is already on its way," says Henrik Thuesen.

Totalbanken has, as the law prescribes, visible signs on the entrance slide doors. These signs Milestone Customer Story February 2010 3 notify customers that the bank uses surveillance cameras. The purpose with the new surveillance system is to provide the 75 employees with more security in everyday life.

"In this time of crisis one might fear that the number of robberies will increase, and in order to protect us against that, we use modern surveillance technology. However, this is not the main reason for the replacement of the system, but it is a good time to tighten up on security measures that will also work preventively. We hope that these measures will discourage robbers, and avoid robberies in the future," says Henrik Thuesen.

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