Hospitals NHS Trust benefits from latest IP CCTV surveillance

Leading IP CCTV specialist distributors Controlware have supplied an advanced CCTV surveillance system to Ashford and St Peter’s Hospitals. Working in partnership with installers Central Security Systems and Runnymede Borough Council the new CCTV recording system is an extension of the Borough Council’s CCTV network that monitors video from more than 200 cameras.

With a population exceeding 82,000 Runnymede Borough Council is committed to reducing the fear of crime and increasing public safety. To help meet these aims the council moved to a new purpose built 24 hour control centre in 2008. Across the Borough CCTV was upgraded to take advantage of digital transmission, management, recording and all the benefits that IP based surveillance systems can bring. Today Runnymede Borough Council’s control centre provides central operations for intruder and fire alarms, lone worker security, disaster recovery services and borough wide CCTV surveillance that record more than 20,000 incidents a year. Last year the Safer Runnymede system was honoured with Government Business magazine’s Public Sector Security award for delivering improved security services to the Borough. It is as part of Runnymede Borough Council’s continuous programme of development that the surveillance system at Ashford and St Peter’s Hospitals has been upgraded.

The council network includes a mixture of both analogue and IP cameras with numerous sites linked over Broadband. The hospitals are connected over Ethernet via a high capacity fibre backbone that consists of four fibre pairs connected back to the central control centre. Previously CCTV at the Hospitals was recorded to video tapes which required ongoing maintenance to keep changing the tapes in order to keep the system recording. Today the recording process is wholly digital, ruling out the possibility of losing recordings through human error and making instances such as tapes running out or not being swapped over in time a thing of the past. Working closely with installation partners Central Security Systems codec’s were installed to cost-efficiently encode video from more than 64 analogue cameras situated around the Hospital sites. The video is digitally recorded locally at the Hospitals but there is also a connection to the control centre so that operators and police can review archived video from any seven cameras at a time in the Borough Council control centre.

Community Safety Manager for Runnymede Borough Council, David Dodd said: “Controlware continue to support us with the extension of the network to provide advanced IP video management, control and recording of CCTV from cameras situated across Ashford and St Peter’s Hospitals sites.”

The new solution makes operation and maintenance much easier. The Hospitals are able to save costs by retaining investment in their existing 64 analogue cameras by using 16 channel codec’s instead of replacing their cameras. Access to archive video is faster, more secure and it is easier to search for specific incidents. Support for expansion of storage capacity and reliability is also assured as new cameras are added to the network and the Hospital’s recording requirements evolve in the future.

Staff, patients and visitors benefit from improved security thanks to fast access to recorded video at the hospital and remotely at the Borough Council control centre. This is a significant improvement on the previous system where video could only be monitored at the Hospitals, enabling extra resources to monitor the video. Time-consuming searches of multiple video tapes to look for specific incidents are also a thing of the past, saving time and improving operator productivity.

“Today operators in the Borough Council control centre can view both live CCTV and archive video of the Hospitals side-by-side and at the same time,” explains David Dodd. “Operators can therefore quickly review incidents while tracking suspects in real-time and this is a powerful tool which is already producing identifiable results.”

Mark Harraway, Country Manager of Controlware said “The extension of the Borough Council system to Ashford and St Peter’s Hospitals demonstrates the flexibility that IP based CCTV systems can deliver. Anyone who is looking to replace or upgrade their security solutions should consider IP as the only technology that can meet the quality, operational and future proofing requirements of today while addressing the challenges facing modern surveillance systems.”

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