Milestone video evolves with the University of East Anglia’s needs

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

With the guidance of CYS, the UEA made the decision to upgrade from Milestone XProtect Enterprise to Milestone XProtect® Corporate. The UEA also upgraded to Milestone XProtect® Smart Client 7 in order to bring the system’s front-end user interface up to date. Additional storage servers from HP were added to handle growing data archiving capacity.
 
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. 
 
• ‘Edge’ storage and mobile client access support a planned move to connect patrolling officers’ existing body-worn cameras and smart phones to the Milestone XProtect video management system.
 
• 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.

Positive results

Milestone XProtect Corporate
leverages the IP video choice for
additional expansions


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.” 
Heads of Security at UEA
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.
The Milestone XProtect Enterprise
Milestone XProtect Smart
Client  displays
video across two
three-screen stations

 
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.
 
Video from the analogue cameras are digitised through 23 Axis 243Q and 243SA four and single channel video encoders. The campus has recently deployed four 360 Vision Predators with IR and LED Lighting. It also has 30 Axis 232D and 233D network dome cameras, three Axis Q6034E cameras and more than 60 Mobotix M12, M24, D12 and Q24 cameras. 
 
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. 
Share with LinkedIn Share with Twitter Share with Facebook Share with Facebook
Download PDF version Download PDF version

In case you missed it

What are the challenges and benefits of mobile access control?
What are the challenges and benefits of mobile access control?

There is a broad appeal to the idea of using a smartphone or wearable device as a credential for physical access control systems. Smartphones already perform a range of tasks that extend beyond making a phone call. Shouldn’t opening the door at a workplace be among them? It’s a simple idea, but there are obstacles for the industry to get there from here. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: What are the challenges and benefits of mobile access control solutions? 

Securing a sustainable future
Securing a sustainable future

The UK Government has set out an ambitious ten-point plan, known as the green industrial revolution, with an aim “to forge ahead with eradicating its contribution to climate change by 2050.” This makes our government the first major economy to embrace such a legal obligation. Green recovery Acknowledging climate change and meeting net-zero is a demanding challenge especially for those affected by the pandemic. But the UK Government, with the launch of its aspiring strategy, is investing everything in its power to promote a ‘green recovery.’ Here, Reece Paprotny, Commercial Manager and Sustainability Champion at Amthal, highlights how the fire and security industry has an opportunity to use the current recovery period to explore its own sustainable journey and embrace the significance of environment, economic and social collaboration, transparency, and accountability. Employing sustainable technologies Pressure is mounting on construction to find ways to reduce emissions and help meet net-zero targets The perception is that COVID-19 presents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to re-write the existing rulebook. This is riding on the significance of changing public support for more environmentally friendly living opportunities, with associated cost savings, efficiencies, and cleaner industries. Innovative sustainable technologies are the key to kickstart this route to success.  Nowhere can this be seen more than in the built environment, which currently contributes to 40% of the UK's carbon footprint. Pressure is mounting on construction to find ways to reduce emissions and help meet net-zero targets. This is through the entire life cycle of a building, to reduce their impact on the environment from planning stages, through build and demolition. Building the right environment By creating the right policy environment, incentives for innovation and infrastructure, the Government can encourage companies to seize the sustainable opportunities of new technologies and value chains linked to green sectors. They can accelerate the shift of current carbon-intensive economic and industrial structures onto greener trajectories, enabling the UK to meet global climate and development goals under the Paris Agreement on climate change and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Transparent working practices Each industry sector is expected to engage and pledge its support to achieve the significant deadlines. Every company can make a difference, even with small steps towards a sustainable future. So whilst elements such as safety and security represent just one component of building the right sustainable environment, it paves the way to opening up our sector to greater efficiencies, transparent working practices, and encourages collaborative use of resources. Sustainability in security The security sector has a significant opportunity to incorporate ‘going green’ into its practices In fact, the security sector has a significant opportunity to incorporate ‘going green’ into their processes, and practices. This is right from product lifecycles to more environmentally friendly work practices when it comes to maintenance and monitoring services. When integrating environmentally friendly practices, starts with the manufacturing and production of the wide variety of systems in operation for the security sector. And some certifications and guidelines can be achieved, such as the ISO 14000 which looks into eliminating hazardous materials being used which in turn will reduce carbon footprint.  Upgrading supply chain process Observing the complete supply chain and working with partners to reduce unnecessary travel, shipments, and transportation of products, can all contribute and create sustainable processes.  In the maintenance and monitoring of products, it is essential installers and security specialists consider their own environmental impacts. Simple changes such as switching company vehicles to electric options for site visits can make a significant difference to climate change and improving air quality. Presenting sustainable ways of disposing of products at the end of their natural lifecycle is key to change in our sector. This is especially in the security industry where many customers will need a complete overhaul of outdated solutions or need systems upgrading due to changing threat levels. Sustainable evolution Progress is being made, specifically in the fire and security industry, in its sustainable evolution. Businesses are trying to develop a reputation for “sustainability” or “good corporate citizenship.” And it has gone well beyond the theory to the practical, where companies recognise activities have an impact on the environment and are also reviewing the social and economic influences. Three pillars of sustainability In a recent interview, Inge Huijbrechts, the Global Senior Vice President for safety and security and Responsible Business at Radisson Hotel Groups sees her vision to combine safety, security, and sustainability. Inge focuses on three pillars, namely, Think People, Think Community, and Think Planet. Think People means that we “always care for the people in our hotels and our supply chain.” So, in outwards communications, safety and security were always part of the Think People focus area. Think Community is caring and contributing in a meaningful way to communities where we operate. Finally, Think Planet makes sure that “our footprint on the environment is as light as it can be in terms of energy, water, waste, and carbon, and making sure that we incorporate sustainability into our value proposition.” Moving forward Apprenticeship schemes are integral to ‘think people’ and have a role to play in the social impact on the security industry There are immediate actions that can be taken by companies in the security industry to support sustainable development, working right from within a company to supporting industry-wide initiatives. From a social perspective, at a foundation level, “Think People’ can see the Living Wage Foundation as an example of a commitment to a team.  This is for businesses that choose to go further and pay a real Living wage based on the cost of living, not just the Government minimum. Apprenticeship schemes are also integral to ‘think people’ and have a pivotal role to play on the social impact on the security industry.  It addresses the sector-wide issue of finding employees with the right mix of skills to collaborate and meet discerning consumer demands for increasingly smart security solutions for homes and businesses. Impact of the full lifecycle of products From an environmental view, or ‘think planet,’ we need to collectively look at all elements of our industry, with a desire to analyse the impact of ingredients used, supply chain, or manufacturing alone, and also consider the full lifecycle of our selected products from creation to end of life. As Jamie Allam, CEO Amthal summarises, “This is a long-term, sustainable investment in our people, our products, and our business based on our values.” “When put together, a social team which feels empowers and operates in environmental optimum working conditions is in a position to provide a great experience to our customers, creating an economic positive difference. It forms the basis of a sustainable sector vision for the security industry-wide to adopt.” Taking action Amthal is taking action based on the ready-made universally agreed UN 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Also known as Global Goals, these are at the heart of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, adopted by all United Nations Member states. This agenda is a plan of action for people, the planet, and prosperity. By being an early adopter, we believe we can engage with customers, partners, and suppliers on these issues and generate opportunities to innovate for mutual and industry sector benefit. Together, we can contribute to building a more sustainable security sector and future, and contribute to the UK Government’s green industrial revolution.

What is the impact of privacy concerns on physical security?
What is the impact of privacy concerns on physical security?

Adoption of General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) by the European Union in 2016 set a new standard for data privacy. But adherence to GDPR is only one element, among many privacy concerns sweeping the global security community and leaving almost no product category untouched, from access control to video to biometrics. Because privacy concerns are more prevalent than ever, we asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: What is the impact on the physical security market?