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Case study

Sony video security system installed at French city of Vichy to increase city safety
The oldest cameras have been replaced with SNC-ER585 cameras
Sony RealShot Manager was selected as the supervision software because of its simplicity of settings

Background

The French city of Vichy, Allier, has 25,000 inhabitants. In 2008, the city decided to reinforce security along the newly renovated Plage des Célestins, one of the main streets in the city, by installing reliable video security cameras that offer good image quality, both day and night, to protect the city with the best possible security solution and since then it has undergone further upgrades, as recently as 2014.

Challenges

The city was to install and operate the cameras by themselves so they needed the security system easy to set up and operate. Also they wanted to use security cameras not only to work as deterrent and increase safety, but also to contribute to the efficient operation such as to answer enquiries from inhabitants.

Sony solution

The city first decided to install four Sony CCTV cameras. The Security Systems Division (DSI) took responsibility for the video surveillance project (including camera settings, servers and storage) whilst the city's Municipal Technical Centre (CTM) carried out the construction work, which involved building trenches and ducts.

Sony RealShot Manager was selected as the supervision software because of its simplicity of settings and ease of use when providing the required functions. “We had looked at Sony's website, which, thanks to a dedicated portal, allowed us to test the different software for free” stated Sébastien Marillier, from the City of Vichy IT Department.

2010-2011: 50 additional cameras: Following the success of this initial installation, the Security Systems Division was entrusted to install a further 50 cameras in the centre of the city and at its main entrances, working alongside the city's police services.

"Above and beyond being a deterrent, these video surveillance camera units allow us to fight against antisocial behaviour"

Trusting in the quality of Sony products, the Security Systems Division chose the SNC-RH164 camera to perform this first expansion. The camera unit was chosen for the power of its zoom, its excellent image quality in both day and night scenarios and its inbuilt DEPA intelligence function.

The city of Vichy took advantage of this expansion to equip itself with an Urban Supervision Centre (CSU), installed at the municipal police headquarters. This location allows the footage, taken all around the city by the cameras, to be watched in real time on a wall of images comprised of 6 52-inch professional Sony screens. Vichy is the only city in the agglomeration community to be equipped with video surveillance. Initial findings were positive: "Above and beyond being a deterrent, these video surveillance camera units allow us to fight against antisocial behaviour and the degradation of public property. This system has also helped us solve a number of enquiries", highlights Sébastien Marillier, from the City of Vichy IT Department.

2011–2014: Modernisation and expansion of the video surveillance system: The project is currently in its third phase, which includes modernising existing cameras, replacing camera units in the municipal underground car park and creating permanent devices in front of school entrances.

The oldest cameras have been replaced with SNC-ER585 cameras. All of these units are equipped with DEPA technology, which allows front-end image processing within the camera unit itself. "The advanced detection of objects and movements function, for example, ensures that false alerts are avoided, which is a valuable asset when protecting a city," explains Thibauld Plaquet, video surveillance Commercial Engineer at Sony.

Results

Between 2008 and 2014, video surveillance in the city of Vichy witnessed constant evolution, increasing from four camera units to the 96 camera units that are installed today. Video surveillance has reinforced the tools at the disposal of national and municipal police forces, who are resorting to viewing footage from the camera units more and more:

  • In real time, video surveillance allows police movement to be streamlined, intervening only when truly required to do so
  • When replayed, video surveillance helps investigators solve enquiries in more than 40% of cases, thus made efficient handling possible
Having decided to keep "everything internal", the city of Vichy also makes savings when studying, installing and maintaining the installations of its video surveillance system. In order to finance the acquisition of its video surveillance system, the city of Vichy has been able to benefit from subsidies granted by the State through the French Inter-ministerial Funds for Crime Prevention (FIPD).

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