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University upgrade

The University of the West of England (UWE for short) has 30,000 students and 3,200 staff, and three campuses: the main, Frenchay, on the northern outskirts of Bristol; City Campus (Bower Ashton, Watershed, Spike Island, and Arnolfini) and Glenside.

Like other British universities, over the past five years the university has invested heavily in its buildings: some £300m; and it sought a video surveillance system that matched. Its CCTV system had become a decade old, wasn’t fully operational and regularly had downtime issues. UWE’s Facilities-Estates department looked for a something new to offer operational security, and that could work across its campuses. KSCM Ltd, the university’s incumbent CCTV maintenance contractor, has been installing new video surveillance cameras and the WAVE video management system (VMS) from Hanwha Techwin.

Keyton Matthews, director and owner of KSCM said: “We have enjoyed a close business relationship with The University of the West of England for many years and are delighted to have been entrusted to design, install, commission and maintain the new system. The new Wisenet cameras and WAVE VMS have equipped the university with much improved quality footage, increased reliability and uptime, as well as future-proofing for the university’s future plans and needs.”

The upgrade has been phased, so having the ability to support the legacy cameras and new Wisenet cameras on a single WAVE VMS was an operational benefit. Three-quarters of the university’s CCTV cameras (around 150 devices) have now been replaced, and recorders and the VMS. The Wisenet solution was also chosen as it had improved quality cameras and footage, with greater cost-effectiveness when it came to the devices’ and VMS’ lifecycle.

Also installed are new CCTV client computers and screens in the Frenchay control room (the previous mix of smaller and inconsistent screens have been upgraded to six 42 inch large, high resolution displays). UWE’s security control room operators view live feed 24/7/365 and can display recorded events from across the three campuses so they can be more proactive and informed about anyone entering and exiting a building, any damages (and who caused it), any potential crimes, and anyone trapped in lifts or in buildings after hours.

The Wisenet WAVE management software, as an open video platform, can integrate with a range of other products. It works from the cloud, desktop, mobile, and server, to fit a user. It’s designed to be intuitive to use, the developers say, and can be installed within minutes. It does not require a system with high specifications, making it suitable for the education sector, the manufacturer says. When an event occurs, UWE can look back through video footage to understand contextual information like when the event occurred, who was present near the event, and any damage. They can monitor any known higher risk areas like campus entrances and receptions, and see who is entering and exiting the property.

UWE has also recently upgraded its automatic number plate recognition system (ANPR) and cameras to better identify the vehicles entering and exiting sites: to detect not only the number plate, but the make, model, and colour of vehicles.

Joe Thorndyke is Engineer of Intelligent Building Systems at UWE. He says: “The Wisenet VMS has been excellent for UWE. We have just hit 100% operational capacity — something that we haven’t had for at least four years. That’s down to the reliability of the Wisenet/WAVE cameras & system, their helpful and knowledgeable assistance, and the hard work of our incumbent installer, KSCM Ltd.”

Wisenet WAVE also has multi-server redundant fail-over built into the software. Mr Thorndyke adds: “The Hanwha Techwin team have been really helpful throughout the whole project, going above and beyond to deliver solutions. We only have to ask for some assistance and they arrive on-site swiftly or remotely guide, to show us how to do something on the system or help us set it up.”

The university is continuing to roll out more CCTV across the estate, particularly into remote areas without normal network coverage, such as car parks and fence lines. This is by using external fibre connected roadside boxes and directly fibre connected CCTV cameras using media converters. All are connected to Wisenet WAVE.

UWE is considering using the Wisenet cameras and WAVE to include some people counting. Specifically, to measure jaywalking on and across the campus roads, to judge what’s better for signage and crossing points at key routes as used by people. Another project is the security control rooms in Glenside and Bower Ashton to create redundancy, should the main Frenchay campus be out of action.


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