DM Fusion security installer Crimewatch Systems has rolled-out an advanced, remotely monitored, detector-activated CCTV solution - built around Dedicated Micros NetVu Connected CCTV systems and NetVu ObserVer management software - to provide out-of-hours protection against vandalism and criminal attack for 15 widely dispersed sites in Cheshire, England, operated by HW Martin Waste Ltd.
The sites secured by Crimewatch Systems - and its associated SSAIB accredited RVRC (Remote Video Response Centre) 'CCTV-M' - are being covered as the result of a contract awarded to HW Martin Waste Ltd, to manage household waste recycling sites, on behalf of Cheshire County Council.
Upon commencement of the contract, at the beginning of February 2008, Crimewatch Systems fast tracked a large scale installation programme at the 15 waste sites and HW Martin Waste's regional base in Sandbach, Cheshire, where its skips, vehicles and equipment to service the other sites are stored. This saw the experienced DM Fusion security installer using a team of 10 to fit, in less than two months, a total of 13 Digital Sprite 2 (DS2) DVRs (Digital Video Recorders) with NetVu ObserVer viewing software, 26 vandal-proof Dennard 2060 outdoor domes and 13 KBS3 digital remote keyboards - all from Dedicated Micros.
As part of the remotely monitored solution Optex Redwall outdoor PIR sensors were also selected to provide early detection of intruders around the perimeter of each site.
Commenting on the installation process Mike Readman, Sales Consultant, at Crimewatch Systems highlights the challenge presented by the number of geographically dispersed locations: "This was an ambitious project for us in terms of the sites covered and the timescale, with a wide variation in size, location and lighting conditions.
"On one site, for example, we had to put in additional IR illumination because of its proximity to housing and the fact that we did not want to draw attention to it at night so that the remotely monitored CCTV could work effectively. Crucially, we were able to overcome all the hurdles and deliver an effective solution to time and budget."
NetVu ObserVer for remote monitoring
In operation the Dedicated Micros DVRs at each location are also linked back by broadband connection to Crimewatch Systems' advanced CCTV-M control centre for night time monitoring. Here operators are able to use a special RVRC (Remote Video Response Centre) version of Dedicated Micros NetVu ObserVer viewing software to deal with any detector activations and associated CCTV images. In this environment NetVu ObserVer ensures effective management of operations, session support, the creation of reports and incident characterisation.
In addition, authorised staff, at HW Martin Waste Ltd's Sandbach regional centre, are now able to view the connected sites during working hours, using their own version of NetVu ObserVer, via PC, not only in terms of security issues but also as a management tool. A good example of this is the ability to use the CCTV solution to help them to tell, remotely, if a skip on a site is full and needs to be emptied rather than checking manually, saving valuable time and resources.
Focus on security
According to Mark Faulconbridge a Director at HW Martin Waste Ltd: "For Cheshire County Council effective site security was high on their wish list, with part of the 10 year contract stipulating that monitored CCTV had to be provided at each recycling location, so it was imperative that we could demonstrate that we would be able to meet these demands. Our experience working with Crimewatch Systems in other areas of the UK, including Leeds, Derbyshire and Warrickshire was an important factor in us ultimately winning the Cheshire tender."
Faulconbridge believes that, when it comes to waste sites, there are a number of major challenges presented by unwanted intruders that the solution adopted by HW Martin Waste Ltd had to address: "There are the opportunists who - if left unchecked - will simply climb over the perimeter fence at night to rifle through our skips and take whatever they want; those who are intent on causing vandalism for the sake of it; and dangerous criminal gangs who are targeting metal-based materials and items of high value. When people come in uninvited out of hours there is, not only, the potential for damage to our infrastructure - with knock-on effects on the smooth running of a site - but also the fact that such individuals can be a real danger to themselves in terms of accidents and injury.
"The upshot of this is that we need to be in a position 24/7 to keep people out, who should not be here, by having effective oversight and control of each area. The Crimewatch Systems and Dedicated Micros solution we have adopted for Cheshire - and many of our other sites UK-wide - supplies cost effective and capable remotely monitored, detector activated, CCTV which allows operators to take effective, proactive, action when something happens rather than simply having to rely on footage viewed post event. The use of loudspeakers on each site also means that operators can announce that specific individuals are being monitored. If that is not incentive enough for them to stop their activities then the police can be alerted to a visually confirmed incident."
The need for the remotely monitored CCTV solution was brought home to Faulconbridge during the installation process. At this stage manned guards were being used temporarily to secure the sites until the new systems went 'live': "On one of the sites a security guard was seriously assaulted by an intruder which meant that we had to temporarily increase the number of guards to ensure personal safety of the manned guards and the security of that location. Thankfully since the guards have been replaced with the new CCTV serious attacks have been stopped completely by the remotely monitored CCTV and no one's life is being put in jeopardy."
Another example cited by Faulconbridge shows how safety issues can be addressed: "On a different site prior to the remotely monitored CCTV a vagrant would regularly come on at night to sift through the waste stored there - having someone wandering around unsupervised raised real concerns for their safety, especially given the split level nature of the site. The last thing we wanted was to find an individual seriously injured or worse because they had an accident. Now verbal warnings can be issued by the RVRC operators to discourage them from coming on in the first place and if someone does attempt it, and is injured, such a situation will not go unnoticed."
Mike Readman, Sale Consultant, at Crimewatch Systems stresses the installer's confidence in Dedicated Micros CCTV solutions, which form the bulk of the security infrastructure on the Cheshire site, especially as a founder member of the DM Fusion programme: "The decision to adopt Dedicated Micros CCTV systems for this HW Martin Waste Ltd project, including NetVu ObserVer viewing software, reflects the fact that of the CCTV systems we have used historically Dedicated Micros products have proved to be the most reliable. Crucially, in my opinion the company offers the best support package in the market. This is undoubtedly a key consideration when being tasked with overseeing a plethora of sites.
"The last thing we want is a frustrated customer and gaps in surveillance caused by an unexpected system failure and no one available to support any subsequent troubleshooting."
Moving ahead Crimewatch Systems is looking to expand the monitoring service it provides not only for its own clients but also for installers who do not have this capability.
Comments Readman: "Currently the remotely monitored detector activated CCTV service we provide is available from 4.00 pm to 8.00 am the next morning - and over the weekend and shutdown periods - and this has worked extremely well as in the case of Cheshire. For the future with the opening of a new RVRC, as part of an ambitious investment programme, we will have the flexibility to offer an ongoing 24 hour NetVu ObserVer-based monitoring capability for clients who need it. As a result we anticipate a large-scale expansion in the number of sites we look after both for our own customers and also those we protect on behalf of third parties."
Says Paul Brough, DM Fusion Account Manager: "At Dedicated Micros we are extremely pleased to see a DM Fusion installer involved in such a wide ranging and successful project. Undoubtedly, security and safety at waste sites is a key concern and Crimewatch Systems has established itself - through the use of Dedicated Micros NetVu Connected systems and working closely with HW Martin Waste Ltd - as a major player in this sector.
"Under the DM Fusion installer programme we will continue to provide Crimewatch Systems with the critical back-up and support they require to deliver effective, reliable and user friendly security solutions. This will allow them to readily build on their already impressive track record of success."