One of the UK’s largest video surveillance projects in recent years involving the deployment of 845 Wisenet cameras manufactured by Hanwha Techwin, is nearing completion.

The video surveillance system, which is designed to play an important role in helping ensure the safe and reliable delivery of public transport across the West Midlands, is being used to monitor activity at over 50 railway stations, 11 bus stations, 3 Midland Metro park and ride sites, as well as the main Number 11 bus route around the City of Birmingham.

Live and recorded images from all cameras are being monitored at an advanced control room, located in central Birmingham

Wisenet HD IP camera integration

The project which is targeted for completion in July 2018 has so far seen approximately 845 Wisenet cameras installed by Total Integrated Solutions Ltd. (TIS) on behalf of Transport for West Midlands which was set up by the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) to co-ordinate investment needed to improve the region’s transport infrastructure. The remaining work includes the deployment of the latest generation of Wisenet high definition IP cameras at a number of car parks, together with significant camera upgrades in Walsall and Solihull, two of four Local Authority public space CCTV systems are already monitored by WMCA.

Live and recorded images from all the cameras are being monitored at a £1.2M state-of-the-art control room located in central Birmingham.

Our approach to this very large, complex project was not simply one of agreeing to meet exacting KPI’s from a performance perspective,” said Eamonn Murphy, Coleshill based TIS’s key account manager. “We felt the route to success would be to adopt a more partnership type approach, where we were not only the provider of technical solutions but were also involved at a strategic level in identifying with Transport for West Midlands a pathway of system upgrade, improved efficiency, cost reduction, innovation and utilising latest technology such as video analytics to the best advantage.”

TIS is assured seamless integration between Wisenet cameras and Veracity Coldstore ‘direct to storage’ solution

Wisenet cameras & Veracity Coldstore solutions

Transport for West Midlands evaluated cameras available from 9 different manufacturers. The subsequent decision to source all the cameras from Hanwha Techwin, (previously known as Samsung Techwin), was partly due to the price/performance ratio of its cameras, but there were two other important factors which were taken into consideration.

Firstly, Hanwha Techwin has a close working relationship with its technology partner, Veracity. This meant TIS could be assured that there would be seamless integration between Wisenet cameras and the Veracity Coldstore ‘direct to storage’ solution. This negates the need for Network Video Recorders (NVRs) and thereby substantially reduces capital costs, as well as minimising setup and maintenance requirements.

Open Platform cameras

The Veracity Coldstore recording solution is unique in the linear way that data is written to the hard drives. Only 2 hard drives are spinning at any one time, meaning a significant reduction in power consumption, lower heat generation and greater longevity of the hard drives, reducing the overall cost of ownership. When drive failures do occur, the faulty drive can be swapped with a new drive allowing uninterrupted use.

The second important factor was the capability of the Wisenet open platform cameras to accommodate a variety of edge-based analytics such as ANPR and heat mapping, should Transport for West Midlands wish to deploy these at some point in the future. Trials of the Wisenet People Counting application are currently being carried out. This utilises the analytics software developed by Facit Data Systems, another Hanwha Techwin technology partner.

Wisenet SNP-6320H cameras are configured for the transmission of 25 images per second (ips) at 1080p resolution

Intelligent Day/Night cameras

A large percentage of the cameras installed are Wisenet SNP-6320H 2 Megapixel Full HD network PTZ dome cameras. In addition to being a true Day/Night camera which is able to capture high quality images in low light, the SNP-6320H’s powerful 32 x zoom capability enables operators to observe the close-up detail of any activity. Trials were conducted where the cameras were capped at 2 Mbps and configured for the transmission of 25 images per second (ips) at 1080p resolution. The performance at this low bandwidth level was impressive and further contributed to the selection of the Wisenet SNP-6320H, which are also equipped with intelligent auto-tracking capability to ensure a greater level of detail can be captured when no operator is present.

Other Wisenet cameras deployed as part of the project include the SNV-6084R vandal-resistant IR dome and the SNB-6004 fixed camera, both of which are able to capture Full HD 2 Megapixel images.

Video Surveillance Technology

Working on rail, Metro and bus station sites spread across the wider West Midlands area is a complex and challenging operation and the TIS team deserve recognition for its expertise and diligence,” said Mark Babington, Safety & Security Manager for Transport for West Midlands.

Suppliers such as Hanwha Techwin and Veracity have also worked extremely well in partnership with us to ensure we could achieve maximum benefit from this substantial investment"

TIS’s engineers were qualified to the highest degree to support the latest video surveillance technology, as well as being experienced to cope with older legacy systems. Both were needed within the unique environment of a busy integrated transportation network which brings its own exceptional requirements of compliance with bespoke health and safety legislation.”

Suppliers such as Hanwha Techwin and Veracity have also worked extremely well in partnership with us to ensure we could achieve maximum benefit from this substantial investment in the West Midlands transport infrastructure.”

Commenting on the success of the project, Bob (H.Y.) Hwang Ph.D., Managing Director, Hanwha Techwin Europe, said: “We greatly value the opportunity to have been involved in this project. It is a excellent example of the benefit of all stakeholders interacting with each other in partnership at an early stage of a project to ensure the most suitable products are specified and subsequently installed to the client’s satisfaction.”

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

In case you missed it

Managing security during unprecedented times of home working
Managing security during unprecedented times of home working

Companies are following government guidance and getting as many people as possible working from home. Some companies will have resisted home working in the past, but I’m certain that the sceptics will find that people can be productive with the right tools no matter where they are. A temporary solution will become permanent. But getting it right means managing risk. Access is king In a typical office with an on-premise data centre, the IT department has complete control over network access, internal networks, data, and applications. The remote worker, on the other hand, is mobile. He or she can work from anywhere using a VPN. Until just recently this will have been from somewhere like a local coffee shop, possibly using a wireless network to access the company network and essential applications. CV-19 means that huge numbers of people are getting access to the same desktop and files, and collaborative communication toolsBut as we know, CV-19 means that huge numbers of people are getting access to the same desktop and files, applications and collaborative communication tools that they do on a regular basis from the office or on the train. Indeed, the new generation of video conferencing technologies come very close to providing an “almost there” feeling. Hackers lie in wait Hackers are waiting for a wrong move amongst the panic, and they will look for ways to compromise critical servers. Less than a month ago, we emerged from a period of chaos. For months hackers had been exploiting a vulnerability in VPN products from Pulse Secure, Fortinet, Palo Alto Networks, and Citrix. Patches were provided by vendors, and either companies applied the patch or withdrew remote access. As a result, the problem of attacks died back.  But as companies race to get people working from home, they must ensure special care is taken to ensure the patches are done before switching VPNs on. That’s because remote desktop protocol (RDP) has been for the most part of 2019, and continues to be, the most important attack vector for ransomware. Managing a ransomware attack on top of everything else would certainly give you sleepless nights. As companies race to get people working from home, they must ensure special care is taken to ensure the patches are done before switching VPNs on Hackers are waiting for a wrong move amongst the panic, and they will look for ways to compromise critical serversExposing new services makes them also susceptible to denial of service attacks. Such attacks create large volumes of fake traffic to saturate the available capacity of the internet connection. They can also be used to attack the intricacies of the VPN protocol. A flow as little as 1Mbps can perturbate the VPN service and knock it offline. CIOs, therefore, need to acknowledge that introducing or extending home working broadens the attack surface. So now more than ever it’s vital to adapt risk models. You can’t roll out new services with an emphasis on access and usability and not consider security. You simply won’t survive otherwise. Social engineering Aside from securing VPNs, what else should CIO and CTOs be doing to ensure security? The first thing to do is to look at employee behaviour, starting with passwords. It’s highly recommended that strong password hygiene or some form of multi-factor authentication (MFA) is imposed. Best practice would be to get all employees to reset their passwords as they connect remotely and force them to choose a new password that complies with strong password complexity guidelines.  As we know, people have a habit of reusing their passwords for one or more online services – services that might have fallen victim to a breach. Hackers will happily It’s highly recommended that strong password hygiene or some form of multi-factor authentication (MFA) is imposedleverage these breaches because it is such easy and rich pickings. Secondly, the inherent fear of the virus makes for perfect conditions for hackers. Sadly, a lot of phishing campaigns are already luring people in with the promise of important or breaking information on COVID-19. In the UK alone, coronavirus scams cost victims over £800,000 in February 2020. A staggering number that can only go up. That’s why CIOs need to remind everyone in the company of the risks of clickbait and comment spamming - the most popular and obvious bot techniques for infiltrating a network. Notorious hacking attempts And as any security specialist will tell you, some people have no ethics and will exploit the horrendous repercussions of CV-19. In January we saw just how unscrupulous hackers are when they started leveraging public fear of the virus to spread the notorious Emotet malware. Emotet, first detected in 2014, is a banking trojan that primarily spreads through ‘malspam’ and attempts to sneak into computers to steal sensitive and private information. In addition, in early February the Maze ransomware crippled more than 230 workstations of the New Jersey Medical Diagnostics Lab and when they refused to pay, the vicious attackers leaked 9.5GB or research data in an attempt to force negotiations. And in March, an elite hacking group tried to breach the World Health Organization (WHO). It was just one of the many attempts on WHO and healthcare organisations in general since the pandemic broke. We’ll see lots more opportunist attacks like this in the coming months.   More speed less haste In March, an elite hacking group tried to breach the World Health Organization (WHO). It was just one of the many attempts on WHOFinally, we also have bots to contend with. We’ve yet to see reports of fake news content generated by machines, but we know there’s a high probability it will happen. Spambots are already creating pharmaceutical spam campaigns thriving on the buying behaviour of people in times of fear from infection. Using comment spamming – where comments are tactically placed in the comments following an update or news story - the bots take advantage of the popularity of the Google search term ‘Coronavirus’ to increase the visibility and ranking of sites and products in search results. There is clearly much for CIOs to think about, but it is possible to secure a network by applying some well thought through tactics. I believe it comes down to having a ‘more speed, less haste’ approach to rolling out, scaling up and integrating technologies for home working, but above all, it should be mixed with an employee education programme. As in reality, great technology and a coherent security strategy will never work if it is undermined by the poor practices of employees.

How does audio enhance security system performance?
How does audio enhance security system performance?

Video is widely embraced as an essential element of physical security systems. However, surveillance footage is often recorded without sound, even though many cameras are capable of capturing audio as well as video. Beyond the capabilities of cameras, there is a range of other audio products on the market that can improve system performance and/or expand capabilities (e.g., gunshot detection.) We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: How does audio enhance the performance of security and/or video systems? 

How have standards changed the security market?
How have standards changed the security market?

A standard is a document that establishes uniform engineering or technical criteria, methods, processes, and/or practices. Standards surround every aspect of our business. For example, the physical security marketplace is impacted by industry standards, national and international standards, quality standards, building codes and even environmental standards, to name just a few. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: How have standards changed the security market as we know it?