Published on 28 July, 2008
Multi-layered security is becoming an ever increasing focus for retail operations worldwide as they seek to combat crime which can have a significant impact on profitability. A new shopping centre in Austria has demonstrated how an interoperable approach, combining video surveillance, access control and intrusion technologies, has been used to address loss prevention.
The centre, which features some 83 shops and restaurants over an area of almost 40,000 square metres, is operated by two companies: one responsible for food retailing and one for non-food.
Recognising the many areas that a retail security operation needs to consider, from the obvious losses that can result from shoplifting to the estimated 35 percent of retail theft committed by employees, a multi layered approach was adopted. In the public areas of the centre some 17 dome cameras are located, with a further 14 cameras strategically positioned to monitor the external and underground parking facilities, all of which feed into a SISTORE MX hybrid video recording unit located in the monitoring station in the centre's management suite (a second monitoring facility is positioned adjacent to the information point). The role of the cameras monitoring the car parks not only contributes to the security and safety of the centre's visiting public, but also to the centre's employees - an important factor which is sometimes overlooked when considering the security options available.
Out of hours
The surveillance system from Siemens in itself acts as a visual deterrent to potential thieves, with the out of hours role of the cameras supplemented by a Siemens intrusion control system featuring 300 magnetic door and window contacts, 100 external contacts and 20 motion detectors. Like many businesses, retail organisations need to be aware of the particular threats posed when a facility is closed. By integrating video surveillance with an intrusion detection system, if an alarm is triggered, the recording of the images switches to high-speed in real time, with the images sent via an IP connection to an external remote monitoring company located in Salzburg from where the alarm condition can be verified and a suitable response to the incident coordinated. With the images also being recorded from Siemens day-night cameras to ensure crisp, clear quality, whatever the lighting conditions, provision is made for investigation purposes post-event.
Completing the security element of the centre's operation is a Siemens SiPass access control system which protects the central offices. This prevents unauthorised access to the offices which again helps to limit the potential for theft, either of cash or goods, or, increasingly, of sensitive data.
The interoperable approach that Siemens offers in its security systems is extended in this particular application into the centre's building management systems, with all of the heating, cooling and ventilation integrated with the security functions and monitored and controlled from a central location.
Siemens Building Technologies has introduced a guide to security in retail applications as the first in a series of vertical market publications with a view to informing of potential risks and providing appropriate technical solutions.