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A case study from Slough Trading Estate, the largest industrial estate in Europe under single ownership. It extends some 500 acres and has 7.4m square feet of business space and 400 companies from small retail units, food outlets, IT data centres, multinational mobile phone providers and the Mars chocolate factory.
The “Slough Trading Estate Business Watch Scheme” was founded in the mid-1990s for site security and against break-ins and thefts, mainly from vehicles. The scheme included CCTV installation, a benefit felt at once, and accompanied by a marked decline in crime. By 2002, CCTV was covering the whole estate.
All the estate cameras are monitored 24-7 by SIA-licensed operators who over the years have received a number of awards for their work. An out-of-hours mobile patrol besides provides a visible deterrent to criminals, and reassurance to estate workers and visitors. Patrols attending suspicious incidents reported through the control room, and monitor anti-social behaviour which sometimes occurs on the fringe of the estate, where they observe and report until a police presence arrives.
The working partnership between Business Watch and Thames Valley Police is such that the Slough Trading Estate is the only privately owned estate that has a Police Airwave (TETRA) radio in its control room and its own call sign on the net. Police are able to view images directly into their own control room.
New operations centre
With the evolution of the security regime and technology, Slough, now known as SEGRO, has spent £500,000 on new premises for Business Watch. Advance Security UK Ltd, a nationwide provider of security services including manned guarding, mobile, key holding and alarm response, were tasked to design and deliver a relocation and upgrade of the control room that also included the delivery of Dallmeier’s SeMSy product. The control room went ‘live’ in November 2013, and has been renamed the Business Watch Operations Centre to reflect that it is more than just a control room. It is the centre of operations, as the name suggests, and Advance Security UK Ltd were awarded the contract to provide the operators at the Business Watch Operations Centre, besides providing the support for all electronic security for all of SEGRO’s estate.
The video system from Dallmeier has been operational for ten years. Business Watch Manager Jim McLaughlin says: “SEGRO has had a relationship with Dallmeier for many years. This has included recording systems not only on the Slough industrial estate but also on many remote sites throughout the UK.”
With the coming of the new Business Watch Operations Centre, it was decided that the video system should also be modernised. SEGRO prepared a shortlist of several manufacturers, and tested them all. Jim McLaughlin recalls: “Throughout the selection process, Dallmeier proved to offer not just the best quality images, live and recorded, as had been the case across the Estate, but also proved the flexibility and future proofing of their video management system, SeMSy®, and also of their emerging, high quality IP-HD camera range. This and their comprehensive knowledge of IP networking were key factors in the process of choosing the right manufacturer, namely Dallmeier.”
Upgrading to HD
Until that time, the entire estate was monitored by just under 200 analogue cameras. Now, selected areas were to be equipped at once with IP-HD cameras – with the option to replace the remaining analogue cameras gradually with HD network cameras. SEGRO uses PTZ cameras from the Domera range and high-resolution box cameras with integrated infrared illumination depending on the deployment area.
Images are recorded on Dallmeier appliances, the VideoNetBox and DLS 1600 with Smavia recording server. Both recording systems can record from analogue and IP cameras. This means the upgrade to exclusive use of network cameras can be carried out gradually, and the recording systems can continue in use.
SEGRO points to the recorders’ PRemote transmission method, with which even HD and megapixel streams can be displayed using small bandwidths. “The transmission method PRemote has allowed Business Watch to provide the same level of service to our 14 remote locations as is given to the main Slough Trading Estate”, says Jim McLaughlin.