To help comply with industry regulations, boost security, and improve operational efficiencies, Associated British Ports (ABP) needed an advanced, flexible HD surveillance system that could leverage the existing network infrastructure and easily integrate with the port’s current analogue-based system.

ABP relies on Avigilon Control Center software with HDSM to seamlessly manage the HD surveillance system 24x7. At the Port of Grimsby, ABP installed two 11MP Avigilon HD cameras to monitor vehicle entry and exit and to provide driver identification and license plate details, and one 3MP Avigilon HD camera for complete coverage of the junction leading to the control room.

Six 5MP Avigilon HD cameras are used at the Port of Immingham to monitor and control the lockgates, which open and close to allow ships to pass through. ABP relies on Avigilon Control Center software with HDSM to seamlessly manage the HD surveillance system 24/7

Integrated camera system

All six 5MP Avigilon HD cameras are connected through the fibre network back to the marine control room where the system is monitored live. At the Immingham Bulk Park, four Avigilon analogue video encoders are used to integrate a new analogue PTZ camera and existing analogue cameras into the Avigilon HD Surveillance System for greater performance and manageability.

Four 1MP Avigilon HD cameras provide site overview and monitor the entrance and exit to the weighbridges, where cargo is weighed. Four Avigilon NVRs record and store 30 days of continuous footage.

The Avigilon HD Surveillance System has helped ABP improve operational efficiencies at the Ports of Grimsby and Immingham. By leveraging its existing network infrastructure, ABP was able to reduce installation time and costs. ABP has also been able to centralise several processes, including weighbridge and lockgate operations, which can now be managed remotely in conjunction with the surveillance system. All six 5MP Avigilon HD cameras are connected through the fibre network back to the marine control room where the system is monitored live

HD surveillance system to boost security

With 21 ports and over 1,500 employees, ABP is the United Kingdom’s largest port operator and leading cruise port operator, moving one quarter of the country’s seaborne trade ranging from coal and containers to iron ore and the import/ export of vehicles.

In compliance with industry regulations such as the International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) Code, ABP has implemented the necessary security measures to reduce risk by deploying a comprehensive security system across all its sites.

As part of this effort, ABP deployed the Avigilon HD Surveillance System at two locations to boost security and at the same time, improve operational efficiencies to ensure the successful management of international trade through its ports.

Surveillance is a critical component of ABP’s overall security initiative, but it also plays a key role in helping to build a ‘safety first’ culture that protects the health and safety of employees and enhances overall productivity.

With the Avigilon HD Surveillance System in place, we can monitor the entire port operations – from loading ships to crane operations – from a centralised location to ensure port security, employee safety, and productivity,” explained Michael Howarth, Humber IT Infrastructure Manager at ABP. “As a result, we can strengthen security, improve operational flow, and reduce costs for better overall operational performance.”

Surveillance is a critical component of ABP’s overall security initiative
Surveillance is a critical component of ABP’s overall security initiative, but it also plays a key role in helping to build a ‘safety first’ culture

Network-based IP cameras

With the assistance of Global Vision CCTV Ltd., a local provider of surveillance system design, installation, and service, ABP installed the Avigilon HD Surveillance at two of its sites – the Ports of Grimsby and Immingham. “We were not getting the image quality or reliability we needed from our previous system,” said Howarth, who also noted that the previous software was cumbersome to use.

When ABP began to roll out its new, more advanced internal network infrastructure, the team determined that network-based IP cameras would more effectively meet their needs. “The Avigilon HD Surveillance System is versatile and flexible enough to support hardware from many vendors – including analogue cameras – and can leverage our existing cabling for a more cost-effective and powerful surveillance solution.”

According to Howarth, the very nature of a port’s geography can cause significant challenges when it comes to deploying any technology infrastructure, including surveillance. “When we transitioned over to a fibre network, we matured from having local installations running over coaxial cable to needing a more advanced network-based surveillance solution that can accommodate various types of cameras, including wireless,” said Howarth.

ABP deployed the Avigilon Control Center network video management software (NVMS), the only solution designed specifically for high definition surveillance, and installed Avigilon HD megapixel cameras, Avigilon analog video encoders, and Avigilon network video recorders (NVRs) all connected wirelessly and accessible across both ports – a distance of seven miles. ABP installed the Avigilon HD Surveillance at two of its sites – the Ports of Grimsby and Immingham

11MP Avigilon HD cameras

At the Port of Grimsby, ABP installed two 11MP Avigilon HD cameras to monitor vehicle entry and exit and to provide driver identification and license plate detail, and one 3MP Avigilon HD camera for complete coverage of the junction leading to the control room.

Security personnel use Avigilon Control Center software with High Definition Stream Management (HDSM) to seamlessly manage the system 24/7 and store 30 days of continuous footage on two Avigilon NVRs.

Six 5MP Avigilon HD cameras are used at the Port of Immingham to monitor and control the lockgates, which open and close to allow ships to pass through, and to ensure that there are no obstructions to prevent the lockgates from opening when required. All six 5MP Avigilon HD cameras are connected through the fibre network back to the marine control room where the system is monitored live and footage is stored on one Avigilon NVR. Six 5MP Avigilon HD cameras are used at the Port of Immingham to monitor and control the lockgates

Avigilon analogue video encoders

At the Bulk Park Terminal, four Avigilon analogue video encoders are used to integrate a new analogue PTZ camera and existing analogue cameras into the Avigilon HD Surveillance System for greater performance and manageability.

Four 1MP Avigilon HD cameras provide site overview and monitor the entrance and exit to the weighbridges, where cargo is weighed. An additional Avigilon NVR has also been deployed to store footage from this installation.

ABP security personnel have been impressed with Avigilon’s image quality and speed of playback, leveraging the advanced features of Avigilon Control Center software to instantly identify details necessary for positive identification, leading to faster response times and more successful investigations. “With our previous surveillance system, we would struggle to identify the details necessary to make a positive ID,” explained Howarth.

Image clarity of license plates

In fact, we could not capture license plates or facial details even with very good lighting conditions.” Since deploying the Avigilon HD Surveillance System, Howarth has noticed a huge improvement in his ability to pinpoint a specific event with exceptional image clarity for quick identification and resolution. “Even in the middle of the night, we can zoom in on a specific event and leverage Avigilon Control Center’s digital enhancement features to pull out the detail we need.”

Avigilon Control Center’s advanced functionality allows us to manipulate an image in real-time
Four Avigilon analogue video encoders are used to integrate a new analogue PTZ camera and existing analogue cameras into the Avigilon HD Surveillance System

When local law enforcement has been called in to help investigate an incident, ABP can now provide more tangible evidence, faster. “Before, we would spend a lot of time trying to locate a specific event and end up with poor quality footage that was not up to standard,” noted Howarth, who has been very impressed with the speed in which he can now drill down to a specific event for immediate inspection. Before, we would spend a lot of time trying to locate a specific event and end up with poor quality footage"

Manipulate image in real-time

Going through footage on our previous surveillance system was cumbersome, leaving big gaps in time between selecting a timeline and displaying the image. Avigilon Control Center’s advanced functionality allows us to manipulate an image in real-time and enables us to track when footage was actually recorded to more quickly and accurately identify the images in question.” said Howarth.  

With its simple management tools and advanced functionality, Avigilon Control Center has also proven to be very user-friendly. “We have eight full time staff using the system live and four ad hoc uses who can view the system from their laptops,” explained Howarth. “To date, we have been able to easily get them up on the system with no significant challenges.”

Installing the system at the Ports of Grimsby and Immingham was also straightforward. “The professional team at Global Vision CCTV installed the system in no time and with help from Avigilon, worked with us to ensure that the solution delivered the highest quality images possible and maximum recorded length.” The professional team at Global Vision CCTV installed the system in no time and with help from Avigilon"

Cost-effective solutions

The Avigilon HD Surveillance System has not only surpassed ABP’s security requirements; it has also shown to be very cost-effective. “We were able to leverage our existing network infrastructure and cables to reduce installation time and costs,” said Howarth.

But more importantly, the Avigilon HD Surveillance System has enabled us to centralise several of our processes, including the operation of our weighbridges and lockgates, which can now be managed remotely through the surveillance system in one location.”

As a result, ABP can contain its operational staff costs at each location. With the Avigilon HD Surveillance System in place, ABP has also invested in a scalable, future-proof surveillance solution that can expand to meet growing needs.

Enhanced security and operational productivity

Having already achieved a significant improvement in security and operational productivity, ABP has been very pleased with its decision to deploy the Avigilon HD Surveillance System at the Ports of Grimsby and Immingham. “Avigilon provides high quality HD surveillance across a varied infrastructure and is flexible enough to integrate with existing CCTV systems as well as analog-based systems,” concluded Howarth.

Utilising the most advanced technology instead of relying on modified old technology, Avigilon is a fluent system that delivers powerful network video management software combined with superior image quality for dramatic performance gains.”

Share with LinkedIn Share with Twitter Share with Facebook Share with Facebook
Download PDF version

In case you missed it

Why biometrics is key for the new era of convenient workplace security
Why biometrics is key for the new era of convenient workplace security

The modern working world has evolved dramatically over the last few decades - from how and when we work, to the places we work from. Widespread internet connection advances, alongside the growth of cloud-based shared working platforms, have not only created the possibility for increasingly flexible working arrangements, but also fuelled a desire to do so – particularly among millennials. The preference for flexible working has now created a widespread need for more agile workforces, saddling IT departments around the world with the task to maintain ‘business as usual’ without compromising corporate privacy. With flexible working forecasted to stay for the long haul and passwords increasingly under scrutiny, evaluating alternative secure authentication methods to keep companies’ data and networks safe is important to protect these ‘new normal’ ways of working.   The end of the humble password? A recent report by Raconteur found that the most common method of authentication for securing the digital aspects of workplaces is passwords. Unfortunately, however, between phishing, hacking and simple guesswork, passwords are easily compromised – a problem that is only getting worse, with IT professionals reporting an increase in phishing attacks in the last few years. Once compromised, passwords can be used to enter untrusted apps or websites and, worst and most commonly of all, give rise to even greater data breaches. Between phishing, hacking and simple guesswork, passwords are easily compromised Alongside security concerns, 6 in 10 people worry about forgetting their passwords and, according to a recent Balbix study, 99% of people reuse the same password across different work accounts. This, undoubtedly, is a side effect of the increasingly complex character requirements implemented by many enterprises. This stress and effort leads to frustrated employees, but, more worryingly, forgotten passwords can also cost IT departments millions of dollars a year. In our flexible, hyper-connected world, it is clear then that the humble password is no longer effective. Additional or alternative layers of authentication are needed to help enterprises maintain their workplace security in a more convenient and cost-effective way.   Smarter workplace authentication with biometrics Often, hacking incidents involve the use of stolen credentials. One authentication solution that could bring an end to these large-scale hacking attacks is biometrics, as unique biological traits are extremely hard to steal and spoof. In addition to being a more secure method to authenticate users and prevent fraud in companies’ networks, it is also possible to layer biometric modalities to create a highly convenient and secure multi-modal authentication solution for sensitive areas or information. Spoofing two biometric modalities, such as fingerprint and iris, in the same attack is virtually impossible, but that doesn’t mean this level of security needs to impair the UX. After all, you can put your finger on a touch sensor, while at the same time glancing at a sensor. For businesses, biometrics can be used in a wide variety of use cases, from securing laptops and applications to authenticating employees at secured access and entry points. It can also be used to add frictionless layers of additional security to any aspect of current security systems, such as key fobs or USB sticks, or to access personalized settings or employee accounts when using shared devices, such as a printer system. This way, beyond playing a role in securing the modern workplace, biometrics can also give employees greater flexibility and convenience over how, when and where they work. Privacy and biometrics - explained Many employers and employees worry about safeguarding privacy in the workplace. Considering biometric data is highly personal, it is no wonder, then, that many are concerned about collecting this data for the purpose of workplace security and what liabilities this may expose them to. For businesses, biometrics can be used in a wide variety of use cases, from securing laptops and applications to authenticating employees Employers must adhere to the relevant workplace privacy laws, such Europe’s GDPR, and this duty extends to biometrics, of course. But, providing biometrics is implemented in line with best practice, it can actually protect employees’ privacy far more effectively than its predecessor, passwords. When employers use an on-device approach, their employees can rest assured no one will be able to access or steal their biometric data, as all biometric data is stored and processed on the device - whether that is a laptop, smartphone, USB stick or key fob. Removing the need for data to ever enter the cloud, this also removes the technical and legal complexities of managing a biometric database and, if a key fob is lost for example, all parties can rest assured there is no chance of anyone else being able to use it. A win-win. Precisely because biometric data is so difficult to steal and spoof, adding biometric authentication to end-point devices can considerably reduce data breaches to keep both sensitive employee and corporate data safe and secure. Reimagining workplace security As people work more flexibly, systems are shared more frequently, and attacks get smarter, it is clear to see that passwords alone are no longer enough to secure the modern-day workplace. Adding biometric authentication to end-point devices can considerably reduce data breaches Now is the time to reassess the physical and logical access control infrastructure. To keep personal and corporate data safe, it is crucial to add new and additional authentication methods to the security infrastructure. Luckily, the benefits of biometrics are often far simpler to realize than many enterprises imagine. The beauty of biometrics is its combination of both security and convenience. Compared to other forms of authentication, biometrics offers considerably stronger protection and an enhanced UX that can easily be integrated into existing enterprise security infrastructure – without the need for huge biometric databases to manage or fear. So, whether to replace outdated passwords or as part of a multi-modal authentication system, biometrics can play an important role in pushing workplace security into a new era for both physical and logical access control.

The ins and outs of a successful security partnership
The ins and outs of a successful security partnership

The only constant theme for video technology is its constant evolution. Over the last 40 years, cameras have gone from limited view, constantly monitored rarities to being one of the most populous Internet of Things (IoT) devices with a global reach. Fixed cameras with limited fields of view have been augmented with panoramic cameras with 180- and 360-degree viewing capabilities at ultra-high resolutions in the 4K and 8K ranges, a far cry from the grainy, monochrome viewing of the past. Threats have also evolved in that time, leading to a necessary evolution in security posture, moving from a series of individual programmes and practices, to a comprehensive strategy designed around complex risk assessments. To ensure the successful implementation of your security stance in today’s world, you need technology to integrate seamlessly and vendors to work together to deliver coherent solutions rather than individual components. Since successful partnerships are always a two-way street, it’s important to take a look at some of the factors that vendors should offer and expect to receive when entering a beneficial partnership where technology seamlessly folds into the ecosystem of the partner’s technology offerings. Open technology standards If you ask any customer what the biggest negative is when it comes to new and emerging technologies, you’ll get a pretty rapid answer of “vendor lock-in.” You can have the best technology in the world, but if you don’t give a customer the opportunity to build multiple, “best-of-breed” products into a comprehensive strategy, you’re going to fall by the wayside pretty quickly. You need technology to integrate seamlessly and vendors to work together That’s not to say that you can’t have unique, proprietary or visionary technology; you absolutely can, and it is what innovation and progress thrives on. Building those technologies around open technology standards is vital if you are looking for wide-scale adoption. Using open technology standards also allows you to integrate with established industry players faster, more smoothly and with increased benefits to the customer. All of this leads to a faster time to revenue and a more rapid scaling of your presence in the market. Direct technology integrations Continuing the theme of open technology standards improving the ability to drive relationships with existing, complimentary technology partners, the directness and depth of integration also bears consideration. Using open technology standards also allows you to integrate with established industry players faster, more smoothly and with increased benefits to the customer One of the blights of building a security practice is getting all of your technologies to integrate together and feed information to each other. When you add the fact that each technology has its own user interface (UI) and management console, it can very quickly become overwhelming for the end user to keep tabs on each console, learn every interface and complicates building a workflow in the case of incidents or investigations. The administrators who manage the system also have to update each component individually, ensure that the integrations don’t break when an update is delivered and ensure that any new technologies don’t cause an existing piece of your solution to fail. As a technology vendor, if you have used open technology standards, and written your software with integrations in mind, you will find yourself becoming an easy solution to turn to. Camera manufacturers in particular can take advantage of this when integrating with a video management system (VMS). The deeper you integrate, and the easier you make it to manage, update, monitor and interact with your cameras for the VMS and subsequently the operator using the VMS, the more likely your technology will be designed into solutions. Open communication and equal joint development Successful partnerships are all about communication, and in my experience, having organisational alignment throughout both companies does wonders to improve the development processes. Executive support in particular is key, and a mutual understanding between leaders makes for a more successful go to market strategy. Equally as important is joint development, especially for engineering teams. Often, software engineers are just thrown the software from the larger of the two partners and told “make sure we integrate with this.”  It is then down to the engineering teams to figure out how the partner software works and figure out their integrations. This is less difficult if the partner is using open standards, but there is still a high degree of difficulty involved. It also takes longer to create, test, adjust and release software integrations in this way. Then you have to repeat the process whenever there is a software update on either side. Successful partnerships are all about communication If you work collaboratively as engineering teams with defined co-development plans and processes, this process is simplified, and a better solution is realised for the customer. Working as equals also allows you to drive technology advancement faster, especially for the longer established vendor. New technology companies are forced to innovate faster to stay alive and that is well worth remembering. Your mutual sales teams also have a large part to play here, since working together in front of customers with a connected message will deliver better feedback into the engineering teams for future developments and projects. If you build your technology partnerships on these foundations, then you are well positioned to deliver great solutions to your customers, real value when it comes to forming a major part of the wider security ecosystem and will be well on your way to becoming a mainstay in the physical security world.

Reopening doors: What steps should be taken to ensure safety and security?
Reopening doors: What steps should be taken to ensure safety and security?

A total of £1.6 billion worth of goods are reported as ‘lost’ to in-store theft in supermarkets each year, with figures increasing steadily. The presence of self-checkout systems have increased in supermarkets, as well as other industry retailers. By 2021, we’re globally on track to have 468,000 self-checkout machines in operation, nearly double the 240,000 in existence since 2016. While this increase comes with such benefits as reduced wait times for customers and staff costs, it also comes with a risk of retail theft at self-checkouts. With the circumstances the world now finds itself in i.e. mass unemployment, financial uncertainty, the retail industry has seen an influx in these types of petty crimes, hitting retailers during an already turbulent period. While retailers are taking precautions to protect themselves and their patrons in this new era of in-person shopping, it’s important to ensure the business itself is protected. A popular method to combat these fears is to employ on-site security personnel, however, as we continue to adapt to new operating guidelines, retailers must begin thinking past the immediate future, and begin implementing long-term security solutions to prepare for life after lockdown such as strong CCTV systems with remote access. How has the security industry adapted its services to a post-lockdown world? Technological innovations like thermal recognition are key to adapting security systems for a post-lockdown world. Businesses which previously relied on facial recognition now must update their methods to account for shoppers wearing masks on-site and in-store. By 2021, we’re globally on track to have 468,000 self-checkout machines in operation, nearly double the 240,000 in existence since 2016 Biometric systems are now able to identify people with face masks, and thermal recognition such ADT’s Thermi-Scan system which can track human body temperature without the need for contact. Implementing these safe protocol procedures protect both employees and customers against virus outbreaks such as COVID-19. The need for these advances in video surveillance will reportedly increase the biometric facial recognition market by 14 per cent by 2027. Artificial intelligence has been hailed recently as the way forward for remote security needs, and whilst business-owners continue to navigate procedures of returning to work post-lockdown, having remote access to real-time security monitoring is essential now more than ever. What are the main measures stores can take to prevent or reduce theft? Strategically placing a multi-camera surveillance system to ensure clarity, eliminate blind spots, and deter thieves should be top priority. It’s equally essential to invest in a system which has an efficient playback programme, particularly in situations where reviewing important footage efficiently can offer vital information to the police force. Advances in video surveillance will reportedly increase the biometric facial recognition market by 14 per cent by 2027 As business-owners continue operating at reduced hours and with limited on-site staff, being able to access camera footage quickly and remotely is a key factor to consider. Whether owners opt to receive an alert on a mobile device allowing them to review notifications, or if their system is monitored by a remote security centre, it’s important to be able to access footage quickly for added efficiency and ease. Facial recognition and AI have been popular points of discussion in relation to security cameras and CCTV. While careful considerations must be taken prior to utilising any sort of facial recognition technology, including conducting a Privacy Impact Assessment, the benefits include being provided with real-time tracking of repeat offenders which immensely helps the prevention of in-store theft. Here are some key points to consider when choosing in-store surveillance: Assess your needs – To get the best out of your security system, it is essential to analyse what your requirements are for your business as they might have changed to adapt to a post-lockdown world Camera setup – With store layouts shifting to accommodate social distancing guidelines, it’s important to re-evaluate the current set-up of any security cameras. Depending on any layout updates, it might be important to consider operating multiple cameras in one area to ensure a peripheral view and eliminate any blind spots Camera positioning – For optimal performance, check that light sources are not obstructing your view such as glare from the sun. It is also worth considering the height at which cameras are installed to maximise surveillance Check the focus – It is worth testing camera lenses bi-monthly to ensure that lighting or weather hasn’t affected the focus of the lens, resulting in a blurry visual Remote access – As guidelines continue to evolve, ensure you’re able to access any necessary camera footage quickly and safely in case of emergency Will we begin to see a reduction of theft as new technology is implemented? We’re beginning to see incidents of shoplifting and theft being taken more seriously by law enforcement. In the coming months, for the first time in Britain nearly twenty shoplifters who were either caught red-handed or identified on CCTV will be appearing before magistrates. While currently these court cases are being pursued by a private police force, these actions come after a Government plea to high-level police to prosecute shoplifters stealing under £200. Retailers have long voiced concerns that forces have abandoned low-level thefts and these steps are small but show that businesses are being heard. As innovations in surveillance security continue, we’ll be seeing a move away from human involvement which will create a more reliable and efficient system able to rely on machine learning and analytics. While there have been wider strides made in utilising AI for surveillance, these are largely being used currently by local governments to alert police forces to threats of criminal activity. It’s not unreasonable to think that in the near future, these types of smart technology will be employed by private businesses to analyse suspicious behaviour or possible theft. However, as we see an increase in the advancement of security technology, we anticipate that those inclined to commit in-store theft will adapt their methods, therefore retailers should look to regularly evaluate their security needs to keep risks at bay.