|Panasonic cameras are connected to Milestone XProtect Enterprise, which shows all activities going on in shopping centre
Less theft and reduced vandalism – these are just some of the advantages a new shopping centre in Copenhagen called Spinderiet has realised using the latest networked technology for IP video surveillance from Milestone Systems and Panasonic. The centre has also experienced a noticeable preventive effect on rowdy youth from nearby neighbourhoods.
In a suburb of Copenhagen called Valby, a new retail, residential and business complex opened in November 2007, called Spinderiet (the Spinning Mill). Built on the historical foundations of century-old cotton factory buildings, the modern complex covers 55,000 square meters with 50 retail stores, 4,500 offices and 12,500 apartments. Thousands of people stream through daily, with a nearby train station, schools, other businesses and homes in the area.
New IP video surveillance system
With this central location and high people traffic, it was decided at an early stage in the project’s development plans to investigate video surveillance. The latest technology was chosen with network cameras from Panasonic and IP video management software from Milestone Systems.
“Spinderiet sits in the middle of a busy city neighbourhood, and just as in other such environments, there are always some youth who make trouble from time to time. To give these buildings, the stores, customers and employees the best security possible, we chose the newest technology in video surveillance. This quickly proved to be the absolute right choice,” says Allan Jensen, Operations Chief at Spinderiet.
The shopping centre has both open plaza and glass-roofed sections, which created greater demands on the physical placement of the cameras. Spinderiet has almost 50 Panasonic megapixel network cameras in vandal-proof housings, set up at all the entrances and exits, as well as in the parking basement areas. The cameras are connected via the network to the Milestone Systems XProtect® Enterprise software, which shows all activities going on in the shopping centre (live or played back from recordings) and archives the video images on a central database.
All of the Panasonic cameras have auto-backfocus, which ensures automatic adjustments when shifting between colour and black/white recording. This delivers sharp, clear images both day and night. Extra power cables make sure the cameras are in operation even in the case of breakdowns, and a built-in ability for back-up recording on an SDcard ensures the cameras always catch every movement in the shopping centre areas.
“Without a doubt the future lies in IP video surveillance. If we were to use the traditional analogue technology in this centre, we’d have to install at least six cameras for every time we are using IP megapixel models. This means that right from the start we achieved big savings. With IP we also avoid the difficult analogue coax cable pulling: all our Panasonic cameras are network based, so the entire security system is managed centrally with the Milestone software,” explains Jensen.
"With IP we also avoid the difficult analogue coax cable pulling: all our Panasonic cameras are network based, so the entire security system is managed centrally with the Milestone software", said Allan Jensen, Operations Chief, Spinderiet
According to Jesper Dybdahl from JCA Sikring who installed the new video surveillance system at Spinderiet, this solution is one of the most operationally dependable.
“Milestone Systems IP video management software is one of the most reliable and stable in the marketplace, so it only requires a minimum of administration from the shopping centre. If there’s a hardware error, we can access the system remotely to resolve that or other general support and service that might be necessary. Simultaneously, we've chosen the best megapixel cameras both in relation to operational up-time and image quality. Together with our experience from similar installations in other cities around the country, this implementation at Spinderiet is especially secure,” reports Jesper Dybdahl, Sales Manager at JCA Sikring.
Surveillance has preventive effect
Spinderiet has witnessed a marked reduction in the number of thefts and amount of vandalism. Allan Jensen has no doubts that it is due to the preventive effect of video surveillance.
“We have a guard in the shopping centre who knows the young people really well, and they know him. Just the fact that they know he is there makes them think twice before doing anything. But if we catch them stealing, we show them the video images and that really works: the result is they rarely repeat their crimes. Without a doubt this is because they know that they are being monitored, and this keeps them in check,” states Allan Jensen.
Spinderiet has a close cooperation with the police, and in the case of thefts or vandalism, they can easily export relevant images to share with the authorities.
More than just security
The complex administration employees use the video surveillance system for more than just crime prevention and catching perpetrators, however. Spinderiet quickly discovered many other practical uses for the technology.
“Every morning when I get to work I check all of the video images for an overview of the shopping centre. I keep an eye on how the centre looks, if there are cars parked in the wrong place, blocking deliveries, etc. This overview saves me and my staff a lot of time, since we no longer have to run all around the place – we use the cameras’ eyes instead!” concludes Jensen.