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Congestion build-up in Shakespeare country… enter stage left

Published on 22 May, 2006

Stratford-on-Avon is no stranger to CCTV.  As a crime management tool and key component of the town’s Retail Radio Link network – designed to detect, track and resolve retail-related crime – surveillance has served the area well for many years.  Last year alone, 535 arrests were directly attributed to CCTV.  One of the latest modern day issues to visit the birthplace of Shakespeare, however, is mounting traffic congestion.  In consultation with ADT and Pentax UK, the County Council has installed a 5-camera addition to the system, in order to manage and remotely monitor their new 725 space Park & Ride initiative. 

The County Council has invested in the system in order to provide security for the site, their employees and visitors to the Park and Ride site.  The type of camera installed had to be capable of providing good pictures during the night time as the planning permission did not include for the street lighting to be lit throughout the night.

 The cameras go back to the Stratford-on-Avon control room and will be monitored locally once the on-site car park control room is completed.  Future-proofing has been built-in too; the new phase will assist Warwickshire Constabulary in its ANPR programme scheduled for commissioning sometime in the future.  One overriding performance criterion that had to be met was the ability of the surveillance to cope reliably with lux shifts resulting from daylight to low-light conditions with IR light taking over.  The Pentax 8~144mm day/night zoom lens can successfully deal with all wavelengths – from daylight into IR (up to 900nm) - and remain focused anywhere within this range.  This lens is unusual in that it achieves its day/night performance purely through optical technology.  Other lenses that mechanically focus the rear optic achieve focus only in the light bandwidth to which they are set.  Indeed, this is the only high quality zoom lens in the market, which will stay in focus regardless of the type or mixture of lighting available.  According to ADT Project Manager Martyn Walley, there was really only ever one lens in consideration for the job – the Pentax 8~144mm day/night zoom lens.  In this instance it is used in conjunction with the Bosch LTC0600 Digital Colour Camera, a camera/lens combination that is proven and growing in popularity for 24/7 public space monitoring.

“The new day/night capability brought about by this lens doesn’t just make life easier for end-users but it probably means new potential business for companies like ADT,” says Martyn Walley.  “Urban area surveillance is mostly deployed in well-lit areas, but there is still a lot of displacement of criminal activity to outlying areas where lighting is much less consistent and so the number of options of crime management tools has always been much more limited."

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