Published on 27 May, 2008
The city of Geel in Belgium near Antwerp has a population of 35,000. Their Tourism Center exhibits art in a renovated historical building, and a new community sports hall is actively used. Here they are setting a good example with modern technology: a scalable, centralized approach to security and safety in public facilities using IP network video surveillance from Milestone Systems and Axis Communications.
The Tourism Center in Geel has changing external exhibitions with insurance requirements for good security, but the guards at the museum were volunteers not always available to work. The city's IT department, located in the town hall building further away, implemented IP video surveillance from Milestone Systems that provides central control and local access, scaling easily for expansions to other public facilities like a new swimming hall built across town.
BusSaP Systems is the Certified Milestone Partner doing the implementations with the City Council of Geel. Milestone XProtect Basis+ IP video software was first installed in 2006 in the Tourism Center and upgraded to XProtect Professional in 2007, when the new sports centre was added. The system manages Axis network cameras in a variety of stationary and dome models monitoring the entranceways, corridors and stairwells in each of the buildings, in addition to the art exhibit rooms in the Tourism Center.
"We wanted the Milestone IP platform for central control with local access, its ease of use, and the ability to add other locations and services over time," says Guido Laenen, Chief Information Officer for the city of Geel in Belgium. "The Milestone Smart Client interface has features that make it easy to monitor multiple sites. It's very flexible. The ability to manage all locations centrally from here is a big advantage, and we can easily add new cameras in other locations anytime. Other places in the city have already expressed interest in getting it. All the buildings under the City Council are connected by fiber network now so our infrastructure is in place for this."
The IT department has central control of the system with the easy-to-manage Milestone software at their main City Hall location. The system scales to other sites by simply adding new cameras to the network and installing another XProtect Smart Client interface. They can upgrade to new versions of the software for more features and innovative technology that becomes available, including integration with other systems. The police get evidence fast from the recorded video while each city location also has local access to the system for good overviews of all activities going on in their buildings.
"The mix of camera models provides flexible options and the Axis video technology gives good clear images. The Axis Power-Over-Ethernet (PoE) cameras also make it quite fast to install anywhere on the network, anytime," says Stefan Van Waelderen, CEO of BusSaP Systems.
"We've caught people jumping the turnstiles to avoid buying a ticket. There were also a few thefts at the pools and we were able to see in the Milestone who was going in to the lockers at those times. We also had someone being followed and harassed, but we could see in the video who it was so the police could put a stop to it," recalls Laenen. "Whenever something happens, the police come to us right away to resolve it with the recordings."