“ Perimeter security remains a major issue on estates. Often the area under surveillance is large and the response methodology is frequently inadequate. Thermal cameras are expensive and adequate lighting is often lacking, so this needs to be addressed to ensure appropriate surveillance footage. Analytics are also important and collusion needs to be addressed,” said Gus Brecher of Cathexis.
“One of the big problems encountered is with the processes. Technology is no good without the implementation of suitable processes. By removing much of the human element and setting up the system to automatically alert the operator to events, the process required to access the information the operator needs will be speeded up.
“Our feedback indicates that estates need an internal security manager but he needs to be an expert on estate processes and systems. If one utilises an external company, it needs to be managed.”
Brecher said that the company has been involved in a number of projects that address perimeter fence monitoring and analytics. “We were involved in a project with Future Fibre Technologies (FFT) for an estate perimeter security system that involves an optical fibre detector on the fence that is linked to the control room. The system has been designed in such a way that it can be split into multiple zones.
“We incorporated the system into our own surveillance system whereby if anyone touches or tampers with the fence an alarm will automatically be activated and data will be sent to the CatVision system identifying the specific zone in which the event has occurred. Our system then automatically mobilises a pan, tilt and zoom (PTZ) camera to focus on the event area,” Brecher explained.
Concurrent with the camera focusing on the problem area, an audio notification is triggered and video feed is sent directly to the control room on selected viewing monitors. This allows the control room operator to make a decision on which security officers to deploy to the area, based on the specific details of the event. The notification can also be sent to one or more selected smartphones or remote monitoring centres.
“By utilising the automatic camera selection feature of our system, we are able to eliminate the human factor. This results in a reduced need for training and a much faster response time to events in terms of panning and zooming into the correct area, since there is no decision making required by the control room operator,” Brecher continued. “We are able to record all data received from the fence breach event. This means that not only is the system a great resource for real-time event monitoring and reaction, but it also provides excellent footage and data for forensic analysis.”
Brecher added that the company has also been involved in integrating the automatic allocation of PTZ or fixed cameras to household alarm systems within estates. “When an alarm is activated inside a house, the system follows the same procedure as we have with the perimeter security system. A megapixel camera will automatically focus on the relevant house and provide footage for control room action.”
“Finally, we have programmed the system to interact with access control systems and licence plate recognition cameras to alert the system to entry after certain exclusion time periods, for example, after midnight. The system can also be set up to prevent anti-passback on access control systems. The security manager will be notified on his smart phone via SMS or e-mail when these exceptions occur,” he said.