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Kew in true High Definition

Because of the sheer volume of visitors and the number of public and trade entrances to Kew Gardens, the Richmond, west London landmark requires around the clock video surveillance, seven days.

Kew’s CCTV control room monitors the safety and security of the 330 acre site. A need was identified to upgrade the legacy analogue CCTV system to one able to transmit and record in true High Definition. The security installation firm The ITS Group was called in. It’s comprised of ITS Fire and Security, ITS Electrical, ITS Fire Training and ITS Building Services. The company has 20 years of experience within the fire and security industry, and provides CCTV, intruder alarms, barrier gates, security lighting, panic alarms, access control, and door and video entry.

ITS Group Director Tim Dyer said the Kew project required upgrading equipment in Kew’s security control room, and providing site-wide cameras which view all entrances for both public and trade, as well as various strategic locations. Tim Dyer says the very public nature of the Gardens and its operations meant the actual video system installation posed some security continuity challenges.

“Because the control room needed to be in operation 24/7, close co-ordination was required between ITS and the security team on-site. We needed to maintain the CCTV in line with the changing site requirements on a daily basis. This, coupled with access issues and working in a public environment, was very challenging, and the fact that we were able to achieve such good results is testament to the close co-ordination between the site team and Kew security.”

Those results were achieved with a Hikvision IP High Definition video surveillance system, which included new 43-inch and 22-inch HD monitors for the control room, plus new touchscreen network keyboards and joysticks.

Control room operators monitor images from a number of Hikvision cameras. These include an initial 48 DarkfighterX network speed domes, which provide colour HD images in light levels as low as 0.001 Lux. When it gets darker still, they provide black and white images in light levels down to 0.0001 Lux. When there’s no light at all, the Darkfighter cameras switch to infra-red mode and record black and white images at 0 Lux. They offer 25x zoom capabilities and Deep Learning-powered target classification for automatic tracking and perimeter protection.

Also fitted are some 29 Darkfighter 2 megapixel motorised varifocal lens cameras, 21 ultra-low light smart bullet cameras, and six low light smart cameras. Images are recorded to Hikvision 16-channel Turbo HD digital video recorders which support analogue, HD-TVI, and IP cameras, H.264, H.264+ and dual-stream compression, and can output at up to 4K resolution.

Tim Dyer says: “The Gardens now have a full HD system which can be expanded with additional cameras in the future. It allows them to take advantage of technology advances and newly developed functionality on any cameras or devices they add to the system in future.”

Tim says the Hikvision system has revolutionised Kew’s video picture quality and functionality. “Making the change from an old analogue system to installing a new Hikvision IP system has transformed the Gardens’ picture quality, both during the day and at night. The zoom facility is amazing and precise, and the reliability of them is second to none, making the work of the control room operatives a much easier role.”

At Kew Gardens. John Deer, Head of Security, said: “I am delighted with the installation of Hikvision cameras at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. They are of the highest quality, which has enhanced the overall security across the 330 acre site.”


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