|Being across from the Central Criminal Court makes Old Bailey a high-risk target for terrorist attacks|
Farebrother Chartered Surveyors, a comprehensive property services firm in central London since 1799, is responsible for the management of 20 Old Bailey, a 300,000 square foot office building located across from the United Kingdom's Central Criminal Court. Because the Central Criminal Court deals with the most contentious criminal cases from across Britain and is a high-risk target for terrorist attacks, Old Bailey has become one of the most secure open-access roads in London, with a strong police presence and more than 20 surveillance cameras installed to monitor traffic around the court house itself. To help address its security challenges, the Farebrother management team at 20 Old Bailey has installed the Avigilon High Definition Surveillance System
to monitor activity in and outside the building for greater overall tenant security.
Avigilon delivers high quality evidence to London Police
To handle its precarious security environment, the 20 Old Bailey management team co-operates with the City of London Police to maintain a high security presence and provide high quality video surveillance footage when necessary. This, combined with the fact that it must comply with the video quality and storage requirements set by the United Kingdom Data Protection Act, has compelled the 20 Old Bailey management team to upgrade its existing analogue-based surveillance with the Avigilon HD Surveillance System. "We are able to provide the City of London Police with high quality footage to be used as evidence if required," explains Jon Batt, partner in charge of the Facilities and Corporate Estate Management Team at Farebrother Chartered Surveyors. "With our previous analogue-based system, we were unable to identify any detail, including faces, license plates, or articles of clothing at certain distances. In fact, the system was useless in its previous form."
A phased approach to HD surveillance
"The 20 Old Bailey management team cooperates with the City of London Politce to maintain a high security presence and provide high quality video surveillance footage"
Looking to deploy only the highest quality surveillance system available, the team at 20 Old Bailey turned to Argonaught Network Technologies Ltd., a local provider of surveillance system design, installation, and service, who recommended the Avigilon HD Surveillance System. With ten floors and a 30-car parking lot, 20 Old Bailey houses a business management consultancy, two merchant banks, and an international airline. To ensure the safety of the building's 1,900 workers and 25,000 annual visitors, the 20 Old Bailey management team installed Avigilon five megapixel cameras on the exterior of the building to monitor traffic, the parking lot, and the main entrance.
"We also kept 20 analogue cameras from our previous surveillance system which have been installed throughout the interior of the facility to boost the Avigilon HD Surveillance System," notes Mr. Batt. To integrate the old analogue cameras into the new Avigilon HD Surveillance System, Mr. Batt deployed several Avigilon Analog Video Encoders, ensuring better performance and image quality from the analogue cameras. "20 Old Bailey is a service-charge building, which means we must demonstrate the efficiency and cost effectiveness of any solution to enable us to recoup the costs via the service charge and ultimately from our tenants. As such, we will look to replace all our analogue cameras with Avigilon HD cameras as budget allows."
With access from four monitors, the security team seamlessly manages the Avigilon HD Surveillance System using Avigilon Control Center network video management software with HD Stream Management. The 20 Old Bailey management team also installed four Avigilon HD network video recorders (NVR) to store up to 30 days of continuous surveillance footage.
Image clarity required
| 20 Old Bailey helps maintain security for the area with Avigilon high definition surveillance system|
According to Mr. Batt, image quality was the primary requirement for the surveillance system at 20 Old Bailey: "we selected the Avigilon HD Surveillance System because of its performance and quality, which easily enables us to fulfil our duty to protect our tenants," says Mr. Batt. With the Avigilon HD Surveillance System in place, footage is now a valuable resource for the 12-person security team at 20 Old Bailey - and for the City of London Police if necessary. In fact, the 20 Old Bailey team can now see clearly up to 250 feet to capture a license plate or any other detail - a far cry from before. "The City of London Police have also noted a dramatic improvement in image quality since we replaced the analogue-based system with the Avigilon HD Surveillance System."
While image quality was the most important system requirement, ease-of-use was another key consideration for Mr. Batt and his team. "Our old analogue-based system was fairly cumbersome and slow, demanding patience and time to manually review footage in search of events, which we often could not see clearly anyway," explains Mr. Batt. "With the Avigilon HD Surveillance System, we can go directly to a specific time and date and easily find - and see - what we need."
Security officers at 20 Old Bailey were trained quickly and easily, and are able to effortlessly manage the surveillance system using Avigilon Control Center network video management software to record, playback, and store surveillance footage. "Using Avigilon Control Center software, we can easily adjust the camera image for a full view of the exterior of the building, zoom in for greater detail, or track an individual walking through the building by easily switching from camera to camera," comments Mr. Batt. The monitors display four camera images in a split screen, but security officers can simply enlarge an image from one camera to cover the entire monitor for greater detail if necessary.
"The Avigilon HD Surveillance System delivers a level of comfort our tenants need to feel well-protected in the face of any possible danger."
"With its simple navigation tools, Avigilon Control Center also makes it very easy to save and share footage with outside organizations, such as the City of London Police or the Central Criminal Court," notes Mr. Batt. Previously, Mr. Batt would have to save footage to the hard drive first, then to disk. With the Avigilon HD Surveillance System, security personnel can save directly to CD or DVD, saving a significant amount of time. "The Avigilon HD Surveillance System has reduced the time required to capture, review, and transmit footage by 25 percent."
Cost Savings Lead to Better Resolution
With the help of Argonaught Network Technologies, the Avigilon HD Surveillance System was installed very quickly and easily at 20 Old Bailey, with virtually no issues. "The Avigilon HD Surveillance System has been up and running smoothly since installation, and has had an immediate impact on our ability to capture better quality footage," notes Mr. Batt.
In addition to its ease of installation, the Avigilon HD Surveillance System has also proven to be cost effective. "We were able to use existing cabling and housings for the Avigilon five megapixel cameras installed on the exterior of the building, a 50 percent savings in installation costs," explains Mr. Batt. By leveraging the building's existing analogue-based infrastructure and installing Avigilon Analog Video Encoders, the 20 Old Bailey management team can achieve 12 times the resolution for greater clarity and coverage.
HD Surveillance Delivers Reassurance
Because of its location across from the United Kingdom's Central Criminal Court, which not only deals with dangerous criminals but also occasionally draws belligerent crowds, the management team at 20 Old Bailey faces a unique set of security challenges. "Unfortunately, we have a heightened understanding of threat because of our location," concludes Mr. Batt. "The Avigilon HD Surveillance System delivers a level of comfort our tenants need to feel well protected in the face of any possible danger."