|99% of the site is monitored by discreet CCTV systems which blend into the decor as devices similar to smoke detectors|
MOBOTIX AG, a leading manufacturer of digital high-resolution, network-based video security systems has released details of a project at the Trent Valley Academy that has helped create a safe and secure environment for the academic community with improved reliability and simplified operating procedures.
In 2009, Trent Valley Academy opened its main four storeys, 15000 square metre building set on a 12 hectare site in Gainsborough, Lincolnshire. The purpose built facility is attended by just over 1000 pupils, staff and guests each day and is a £35 million project. Although a magnificent learning environment, when Andy Smith was appointed as Facilities Manager to the Academy in 2009, he felt that there were some clear deficiencies in the site security arrangements, especially around the prevention of anti-social behaviour with the aim of protecting both pupils and staff.
The existing 6 Pan-Tilt-Zoom (PTZ) analogue cameras offered poor quality images and covered very little of the active parts of the campus. The requirement to manually shift viewpoints also required a skilled and constantly alert operator which did not fit well within a school environment.
So Smith approached Proxis, a highly regarded security specialist that had successfully installed effective CCTV solutions at several leading schools including Minsthorpe Community College and Bingley Grammar School. Following a detailed risk assessment and site survey, it was decided that an initial 12 MOBOTIX cameras would provide base line security covering high traffic areas within the campus. The initial installation would also allow senior Academy managers to understand the capabilities of a mega-pixel and in some cases fully hemispheric cameras with the ability to cover an entire room with just a single ceiling mounted, 360 degree “fish eye” lens.
The installation proved an unobtrusive but effective method of monitoring a wider area with both video and sound to help create a safer environment. All video is accessible quickly using the MOBOTIX Control Centre software from any authorised PC within the school while footage is held securely indexed on fully redundant NAS servers for an extended period of time.
"The installation of MOBOTIX was a light bulb moment for many of the senior staff. Many hadn’t realised what can be achieved with a static camera and how few are needed to cover a large area"
The initial pilot project was welcomed and quickly expanded to an additional 14 cameras to cover the inside of the school in corridors, lunchroom, locker and recreation areas. “The installation of MOBOTIX was a light bulb moment for many of the senior staff,” explains Smith, “Many hadn’t realised what can be achieved with a static camera and how few are needed to cover a large area.”
“Members of staff dealing with disciplinary matters were highly impressed with the system and once a few incidents had occurred, which were successfully dealt with due to the evidence provided by the MOBOTIX system, word got out amongst the students and discipline improved greatly,” says Smith.
In total, 99% of the site is monitored by discreet CCTV systems which blend into the decor as devices similar to smoke detectors. In the last few years, the Academy has upgraded its external cameras to MOBOTIX giving it full visibility over car park areas down to the ability to recognise individual car registration numbers. Smith believes that the school which has few instances of bullying, vandalism or aggressive behaviour is able to act far more effectively to any incident with the backing of high quality CCTV images.
The reliability of the MOBOTIX solution, which uses no moving parts, has meant the Academy has suffered no CCTV failures over the last four years. “The project has been a tremendous success for us,” says Smith, “While Proxis has delivered on time and to budget with their normal level of professionalism and expertise that has allowed us to do more with far fewer cameras then was ever thought possible,” Smith concludes.