- Security TWENTY
- Women in Security
The London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham in west London is thought to be the largest “town centre” CCTV scheme in the UK. This Hammersmith Town Hall project represents a blending of public and commercial CCTV systems that covers public space.
John Baldwin is Managing Director at Chroma Vision Limited, the installers. He said: “Public space partners can be defined as private companies that have a vested interest in the wellbeing of the community and the CCTV system that protects it. For example, Chelsea Football Club is part of this CCTV solution, so public administrators are able to view Chelsea FC’s cameras.”
Hammersmith CCTV system is the culmination of gradual improvement. Roughly ten years ago, Hammersmith and Fulham began switching from VCR units to digital video recorders (DVRs). However, the council’s first attempt did not go as smoothly as it would have liked. Two years after the initial DVR units were installed, a change was in order.
John Baldwin said: “Initially, the council in charge of this transition chose a different manufacturer. Simply put, this manufacturer was not as dependable and the support was not there. As such, Hikvision was chosen because it represents a robust DVR manufacturer that supplies a networked DVR solution capable of recording all of the councils existing CCTV cameras as well as providing 100 per cent expansion capacity. The recorders had to record high quality 4CIF images at a minimum of 12 frames per second and allow the client to install their own Hard Drives and be license free at the point of review.”
Specifically, Hikvision’s DS-9116HFI-ST stand-alone DVR was chosen for this job. Features such as 4CIF resolution real-time recording and HD storage capacity were integral towards this project; but it was not only physical requirements such as these that sold Hammersmith and Fulham – it was also Hikvision’s product support. This support brought confidence, and it enabled both Hammersmith and Fulham officials to build a growing, and mutually beneficial, relationship with Chroma Vision.
Hikvision’s iVMS-4200 video management software (VMS) was introduced. This software acts as the backbone; iVMS-4200 VMS works as a common platform for the DVRs and other hardware (such as cameras) that connect the Met Police, managers, and other administrators to the network. This software allows all of these – in various places around west London – to use PCs to access the system.
Any image deemed of interest can immediately be sent to special monitors in the central control room. These monitor walls allow control room staff to more efficiently, identify any potential threat and respond. Other features include multi-level user management, configurable live-view screen and multiple-screen live view options. All Hikvision devices are connectable.
Since installing Hikvision DVRs and video management software, west London review stations have been able to route four-fifths of all incidents at once to the local police. This, in turn, has allowed CCTV operators to continue to provide active monitoring of the cameras and increase efficiency. In fact, in one recent case, due to this CCTV sharing, police were able to apprehend a murder suspect only 30 minutes after the event. Before the installation, it generally took three to seven days to achieve the same result.
Hikvision cameras are being installed to phase out obsolete hardware.