|Sasol Voortrekker Road needed a world class surveillance solution to curtail forecourt incidents |
Sasol Convenience Centre beefs up security using Axis network cameras.
Late-night operating hours, the processing of cash, easy access and low security are all factors encouraging criminal activity at South African fuel filling stations. Sasol Voortrekker Road based in Krugersdorp, Johannesburg, recognised that a world-class surveillance solution had become a business imperative that would go a long way towards curtailing forecourt incidents, reducing shrinkage in the convenience shop and generally deterring other criminal pursuits.
The Surveillance Factory, who specialises in the design, implementation and management of IP-based video surveillance solutions, demonstrated the effectiveness of an accurately designed and implemented IP-based surveillance solution as opposed to an analogue system. "This is the technology of the future, undoubtedly capable of delivering on so many levels," remarks Chris Ras, owner of the filling station. The natural progression once the system was decided upon was to select Axis network cameras for the installation. "Axis' international position as market leader, their local presence and the quality of their product really simplified our decision," says Ras.
A drastic decline in stock shrinkage, dramatically improved customer service and a more disciplined staff complement are but a few of the positive consequences observed since the installation of the surveillance system. Additionally, the filling station has been able to assist the South African Police Services on two separate occasions with video footage of suspected cable thieves.
Picture perfect every time
The Surveillance Factory were tasked with providing IP network cameras that would not only capture license plate information and individual identities in high resolution, but also record these images in less than perfect light conditions. The superb HDTV image quality, tough design and day/night functionality of the AXIS P1344 Network Camera prompted its selection for this particular installation. "The AXIS P1344 is an exceptional camera; it is simple to install and its application in both indoor and outdoor environments makes it a flexible, high-performance surveillance tool," states The Surveillance Factory's Marnix de Lorm. Sasol Voortrekker Road opted for a high speed PTZ dome camera to further intensify the security at its premises. The AXIS 233D Network Camera features a swift pan/tilt mechanism and outstanding zoom capabilities to ensure that moving people or vehicles are easily monitored. All of the Axis network cameras stream back to two recording servers running Milestone's XProtect Professional video surveillance software (NVR), allowing management to immediately view both live images as well as recorded footage both on and off site.
|IP network cameras now provide the time and date stamped footage with license plate details|
Preventing crime in all shapes and sizes
The implementation of a high-quality surveillance system by the filling station as part of an overall strategy to limit losses and enhance customer service has proved to be even more successful than initially anticipated. A constant source of frustration and loss of revenue for any filling station is garage card charge backs, whereby fuel purchases are reversed due to the cardholder claiming that they did not fill up at the specific establishment. Sasol Voortrekker Road is now able to provide time and date stamped footage with license plate details to confirm the physical presence of a particular vehicle on their forecourt. Sleeping on duty, inattentive or slovenly service during the early hours of the morning and other workplace infractions are now more closely policed using the network cameras. Relevant examples of good and bad customer service are available to management during training sessions. Management and staff are able to go about their jobs with an increased sense of security and a diminished fear of criminal intent.
An essential system
The 2008/2009 annual South African Police Services Crime Situation in South Africa report revealed that a staggering 9.9% of business robberies are made up of incidents at filling stations. These figures show a definite need for increased security and progressive surveillance systems throughout the industry. Sasol Voortrekker Road remains committed to ensuring the safety of its patrons and employees using a cutting-edge IP solution. "The ability to evolve and add additional Axis network cameras and storage to an IP-based surveillance system, as the business requirements change, is an effortless task allowing the customer to maximise their return on investment," concludes de Lorm.