IP-Surveillance system pays for itself fast, after theft caught on camera
Fast-growing microbrewery chain Zerodegrees was dissatisfied with the limitations of the analogue-based CCTV cameras and digital video recorders installed in some of the sites it acquired in London. For its new restaurant and microbrewery sites, chief executive and co-founder of Zerodegrees, Nick Desai, wanted the ability to ensure evidence caught on camera was usable for police identification purposes. He also wanted to be able to keep an eye on his growing business whilst at home or travelling abroad.
At its new Zerodegrees outlet in Bristol, Nick Desai decided to install a total of sixteen Axis network cameras and four analogue cameras. Inside the 1,160 sqm site, six AXIS 2110 Network Cameras, four AXIS 211 Network Cameras, three AXIS 205 Network Cameras and one AXIS 207W Network Camera were deployed. Four analogue cameras feed into two AXIS 241Q Video Servers with all images managed by a Milestone XProtect Professional Version 4 system.
Soon after the installation, a Zerodegrees staff member stole a large sum of cash from the till on a busy Friday night. Images were captured on two Axis network cameras and the employee was successfully prosecuted. An additional benefit has been the ability to gain access to any Axis network camera in this restaurant from anywhere in the world, so the manager can keep a close eye on how the business is doing without being physically there.
"The trial convinced me of the value of networking surveillance cameras. It taught me that cameras could be used to provide me with visual updates on how a restaurant is doing day to day. I can check in on Friday evening to assess how busy it is and how quickly people are being served, for example. I could see it as a great additional management tool as well as a security device." Nick Desai, Zerodegrees.
Zerodegrees - pure innovation
Nick Desai, with partner Dipam Patel, already owned a successful restaurant and a nightclub in south-east London before embarking on the Zerodegrees concept in 1998 - brewing beer on-site and cooking food from fresh ingredients in a modern, stylish restaurant setting. The first Zerodegrees opened in Blackheath in 1999, expanding to Bristol in 2004, and Reading in 2006. Nick Desai installed an AXIS 2110 Network Camera at the entrance to the building site to check on the progress of construction work. The camera proved invaluable and Nick was convinced that network video was the way forward once the business was open and running.
The Bristol site has an 8 Megabit per second broadband access feeding in via routers to Zerodegrees' head office in London via a virtual private network. CAT5 network cabling ran throughout the site, enabling Axis network cameras to be powered over the network using Power over Ethernet, saving on electricity cabling costs. All images are stored on a 2 Terabyte (TB) Dell server, which stores 31 days of images.
Network cameras are used throughout the site. All external cameras run at four frames per second continuously, but trigger up to 12 frames per second when motion is detected on the walkways approaching the two entrances, to enable easy identification of customers as they enter or leave the restaurant.
In addition to capturing a member of staff stealing takings from a till, images have also been used to speed up an insurance claim after an expensively designed, reinforced plate glass door was accidentally broken whilst being heavily rattled by a person who didn't realise it was locked. Such has been the success of the system that the police force in Bristol has highly commended Zerodegrees' security systems for its effectiveness in preventing and dealing with incidents.
Effective remote management
As well as providing security surveillance, Axis network cameras have allowed Nick Desai to monitor his growing business wherever he has access to a network. He can view any of his network cam-eras through a web browser and with his restaurants spread across southern England, it is easier and more efficient to gauge how a restaurant is performing on a particular night by watching images on his PC rather than bothering busy staff with phone calls.
Nick Desai summarizes: "I have used the Bristol Zerodegrees as a test bed to prove the value of network video over a traditional CCTV system. Whatever we have done and learnt here will be applied at other new sites as we establish them. We will also replace the ageing analogue-based systems in our original clubs and bars in London over time as well."