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Case Studies

Drone monitoring in Oxford

Drones – known for their military use in hostile regions such as Afghanistan, and more experimentally to carry packages – are now in use by UK private security after a security and monitoring company used one to secure an open-air event.

Unipart Security Solutions, part of Unipart Group, is now offering customers a drone that can, the company says, deliver significant advantages over fixed point cameras; and reduce costs of monitoring and surveillance.

Unipart’s drone took to the skies for the first time when Unipart held an American style drive-in cinema event for the public at its head offices in Oxford. As the drive-in movie crew began the installation of the giant pop-up cinema screen, the drone took to the air. The drone was able to monitor traffic flow and assist in the management of parking to ensure that the motorists had a view of the inflatable screen.

Unipart Security Solution’s Chief Technical Officer Nigel Arkwright and the security team had been looking at ways the remote controlled drone could be used for security and surveillance. Nigel said: “We had identified several ways in which drones could bring real value to our customers. One such area was the management and monitoring of events and this drive-in movie event, which was held in the company car park gave us the ideal opportunity to test the drone at a real live gathering.

“The event, part of the Oxford Photography Festival, allowed us to understand further the benefits the drone could offer in such an environment and the opportunity to showcase the aerial monitoring and recording abilities of the drone to an appreciative crowd. The drone will add value in terms of expanding the scope of the services the Unipart Security team can offer acting as a backup to existing systems or as additional support when needed. For example in the monitoring of live situations, immediate and valuable feedback of potential flashpoints can be provided.

“It is a flexible, rapidly and easily deployable option that we believe allows us to provide more in depth results and research than can be obtained from traditional CCTV. The drone can be fitted with a variety of different sensors including; Thermal or Infra-red which can then be utilised for a variety of applications. The cameras can be pre-fitted with sensors and the operational team can fit whichever camera is required to the drone in a couple of minutes.

“Drones will allow greater coverage of inaccessible areas. Large, difficult to access structures such as wind farms can benefit from the closer inspection that only a drone can offer. Flying low over roofs to identify any potential hazards can negate the need for the expensive hire of cranes. The drone can be utilised in high-risk locations where CCTV is not able to access. In extreme circumstances the drone could be utilised by the emergency services to support in a search and rescue operation.”

And Unipart Security Solutions Training, Compliance and Quality Manager Andie Fessey says: “We see the drone as an asset to any on site security team in terms of assessing possibly dangerous, hazardous or inaccessible areas of a site or as a surveillance tool able to assist in event and crowd management. Whether being used by a mobile team or a single person, drones can offer a first line of investigation, greatly reducing risk as well as providing reassurance.”

About the product

The camera used at the event has HD Resolution1080P full HD; low latency and long range FPV;1KM control and video streaming; stable and high definition image transmission; that can link to an iPhone / iPad / OSD device; First Person View (FPV) flight and DVR recording.


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