|From the Control Room, security officers can view images from over 90 cameras|
Hand-in-hand with its responsibility to promote understanding and values for sustainable development, the University of Bradford has devised an ‘Ecoversity Programme'. To assist the development of the programme, an ongoing construction and modernisation programme began in 2004, one of the results of which is the recently opened 850 square metre Atrium. Alongside the University of Bradford's infrastructure investment, its management were keen to protect it with an integrated security plan, developed in conjunction with the building programme.
Peter Haines, Estates Manager (Security) at the University of Bradford, takes up the story: "At the time the new development project was initiated, our existing control room was cramped and oppressive. The staggered evolution of the system had resulted in a legacy system with a myriad of equipment, supplied from a variety of different manufacturers."
With previous experience of overseeing university control room designs in the past, Peter was uniquely placed to foresee the issues that would arise from such an expansive project and with this in mind, Peter turned to Panasonic Premier Integrator, Clear Image.
"From the outset we appointed Clear Image as the main contractor for the construction of our control facility," explains Peter. "From previous experience I know that it's important to have a single point of contact for any security project."
Dome cameras have been specified across the university to protect students and staff
Peter and his team now operate from a bespoke new control room that offers the high level of system functionality that is so important to the university, as he explains: "Our experiences with the previous control room led us to target the procurement of a surveillance system that would provide us with single and concise roots to all system functionality, indeed it was a number one priority for us and one that has been addressed with the new Panasonic based CCTV solution."
From the control room, University of Bradford operators can view images from over 90 cameras, covering strategic areas of the university's three sites. Jim Duncan, Business Development Manager at Clear Image explains: "Panasonic WV-CW960 cameras were used to significantly expand the system's overall coverage around the exterior areas of the campus. Complementing existing cameras, their Super Dynamic III technology and high-resolution imaging allows maximum scene coverage and picture quality in the constantly changing lighting conditions of the tree lined environment."
Panasonic WV-CW970 (Advanced Auto Track) cameras have also been employed at strategic locations where operators can take full advantage of the unit's auto tracking feature. Peter says: "Internally, Panasonic WV-CS950 cameras were chosen for their ability to provide flawless images, even when covering both the university's naturally brightly lit Atrium area and the darker corridors extending from it - in one visually seamless operational sweep."
WV-CS950 cameras generate flawless images in one operational ‘sweep'
In addition, cameras at the School of Health Studies and the School of Management, located at different sites across the city, are readily available to monitor in the control room. "On the main city-centre campus, images are transmitted back to the control room via a mixture of coax and fibre," Peter explains. "Whilst images from the School of Health Studies and the School of Management are encoded onto the University's own Wide Area Network (WAN) at each site, via local Panasonic WJ-HD316A Digital Recorders and relayed into the control room via IP. This IP approach and utilisation of an existing network for selected cameras meant we avoided costly cable infrastructure costs to connect the two remote sites."
Protecting the site
Operators staff the university control room 24/7, along with a 24-hour emergency phone line; available to students should they feel the need to alert security staff to a situation or incident on campus. Working in five shifts of eight, the team cover all three campus areas 24 hours a day, with each member being in communication with the control room via a dedicated radio system.
On-site security staff are not only used to deter the criminal element but play an integral part in student liaison and assistance. Call points for disabled students are being installed around the main campus buildings and linked directly to the control room, allowing operators to quickly dispatch ground staff to provide assistance where and when requested.
Peter concludes: "Using the new Panasonic based surveillance system is invaluable in assisting us to fulfil our role at the University of Bradford. My staff now enjoy the technical capability to catch and track incidents in progress, allowing ground staff to react instantly, securing the site more effectively but more importantly, ensuring a high level of safety and security for our students, staff and visitors."