The University of East Anglia (UEA) was an early adopter of IP video surveillance in 2005. Milestone partner Check Your Security (CYS)
brought together a number of standalone CCTV systems into one single IP-based monitoring system that is proving capable of growing with the university.
The university’s security system was centralised by using Milestone XProtect® Enterprise
as the video management platform. A total of 90 existing analogue cameras were brought into the Milestone
solution, with 30 new IP cameras installed campus-wide. The UEA’s IT department took over management of three dedicated video servers and the system was moved onto the campus’ fibre backbone.
However, the number of cameras being installed around the 450-acre campus grew by up to 20 per year as new buildings were constructed. It became clear by 2011 that the system performance should be upgraded. Simultaneously, the UEA began to look seriously at integrating its campus-wide Cardax
access control system with the Milestone video management system to find further security management efficiencies.
Open platform IP Video solution expandable
The benefits of the upgrades were many. The number of cameras per server can now continue expanding with minimal IT resources being required for the foreseeable future, even if the camera count continues to rise at the current rate.
Furthermore, the UEA is planning to extend its IT services support to a neighbouring school site which is being renovated and expanded. Milestone Federated ArchitectureTM within Milestone XProtect Corporate allows the UEA to easily interconnect and manage new security systems and bring them onto the centralised network.
Many additional benefits have flowed from the upgrade:
• IT systems administration resources have also been reduced. XProtect Corporate’s use of Microsoft® Active Directory™ makes access to the surveillance from the network both easier and more secure, as both firewall administration and system access authentication can be streamlined. Failover support guarantees against the UEA’s surveillance system going offline in rare cases of server hardware failure.
• For the UEA’s security officers the benefits of the Milestone XProtect Corporate and Milestone XProtect Smart Client upgrades were immediately seen on their control room screens: XProtect Corporate provides interactive maps which give the operators a graphical overhead view of the campus from which they can drill down into specific buildings and views, clicking on specific cameras to reveal live video images.
• XProtect Corporate’s multi-screen live viewing, combined with XProtect Smart Client’s Camera Navigator capabilities, enable operators to track suspects from camera to camera through a building and across the campus. This makes it easier to identify and apprehend them before leaving the site.
• XProtect Smart Client also offers improved features such as on-screen joystick pan-tilt-zoom (PTZ) control, digitally signed video evidence export, more sophisticated alarm management and improved design for easier navigation.
Milestone XProtect Corporate
leverages the IP video choice for
The Milestone XProtect system gives the UEA’s 28-strong team of security officers the confidence that they can retrieve the details of incidents very quickly and use this intelligence to make well-informed decisions to keep the campus’ staff, students and visitors safe.
The upgrade to Milestone XProtect Corporate leverages the IP video choice for additional expansions well into the future. The Milestone Integration Platform also enables the university to explore further efficiencies across the security estate through closer integration with third-party systems.
Trevor Smith, Campus Services Manager at the UEA explains: “We have two main security systems at UEA: one is Cardax access control and the other is the Milestone-based IP video system. The idea of integrating the two is very exciting.
“You only have to look at security scenarios to realise the potential. For example, in case of fire at night it would be possible to determine which students have left a hall of residence following an alarm being raised, comparing the numbers and identities of those detected by the access control with surveillance image views at the designated muster points.”
|The UEA security team of 28 officers |
provide 24-hour security
Smooth integration between the Cardax and Milestone systems will mean that all access control alarm events (i.e. forced door entries, swiping of a deactivated card, etc) will be linked with the Milestone video database. Access control alerts will be displayed in the Milestone XProtect Smart Client on the control room screens.
The nearest camera to a door entry could be selected and moved via XProtect to view the person trying to force a door. Patrolling security officers can be dispatched to challenge any unauthorised entrants to a building. The Milestone system can also integrate with video content analytics to ‘face match’ the photo in the Cardax system with the live XProtect video image of the card user swiping the card. Theft or misuse of swipe cards to enter university buildings could thereby be easily detected. The Cardax-Milestone integration project will be completed in 2013.
“Milestone was the only video management system that truly delivered our vision of centralising the UEA’s CCTV system without tying us into proprietary technology. It enables us to manage the rapid expansion which is constant at the UEA. Furthermore, Milestone’s open platform allows us to tap into the latest best-of-breed IP-based technologies and bring disparate systems together to generate further efficiencies.” Trevor Smith, Campus Services Manager, Estates Division, the University of East Anglia
The UEA’s security credentials
The UEA was voted third for 'Good Security' out of 113 universities in the Times Higher Education Supplement’s ‘Student Experience Survey 2011’. It has been voted the safest university campus in England three years in a row.
The UEA security team of 28 officers provide 24-hour security campus-wide. These officers are based in a fully-manned 24/7/365 security lodge. They run four shift teams of seven people each and one officer of the on-duty team stays in the lodge to man the phones and alarms and complete incident reports.
Every two hours officers rotate between tasks over their 12-hour shifts in which they perform a range of activities, including mobile patrol in vehicles and on foot, manning the central control room and the security lodge, also tending to locking and unlocking duties.
Squeezing more from static security budgets
Once the access-control CCTV system integration is complete at the UEA this will establish a blueprint for further projects. CYS is already scoping the benefits of integrating the Milestone XProtect platform with the UEA’s intruder alarms and fire detection systems to build business cases for those investments should budgets become available.
Trevor Smith summarises: “The reality is I do not see my team expanding in the near future, yet two or three new buildings are going up each year and student numbers are rising. More effective use of the Milestone video management and alarm platform provides the key to squeezing better and more services out of static budgets. Milestone is vital to finding these efficiencies and productivity increases looking forward.”
Technical specifications in more detail
The UEA’s data centre has dedicated three HP servers for the university’s IP video surveillance system. A designated management server runs Milestone XProtect Corporate for managing live video and a specified amount of recorded images from 175 cameras, 90 of which are analogue.
|Milestone XProtect Smart |
Client displays video across two
Two other servers hold up to 10 hours of recorded video. All three servers then archive the data to an HP direct-attached storage device, currently holding 16TB of video storage each (i.e. 48TB total capacity).
This configuration ensures rapid access and retrieval of video when incidents occur, and provides storage for up to 30 days. Milestone XProtect Smart Client is used to display live and recorded video across two three-screen operating stations in the university’s central control room.
Background to the UEA
The UEA was founded in 1962. Over the last 50 years it has been continually expanded and developed. Today it is spread across 350 acres, with over 13,000 students and 3,000 staff. The campus has 57 buildings and a wide range of facilities and services, including the Sportspark, the UK’s largest indoor sports centre, and the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts.
The campus also provides accommodations, shops, banks, a health centre, chaplaincy, nursery, Students Union and Norfolk’s largest library. It is home to 12 en-suite residences in the University Village. Construction of its own state-of-the-art biomass plant, being completed in 2013, will make the university ‘power positive’- selling its own power back to the national grid.