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Essex CCTV co-operation

The recently installed CCTV in Theydon Bois shows how community co-operation can overcome cost restraints.

Without the co-operation of businesses of the town it would not have been practical for the Samsung cameras to have been economically installed. It has been very much a community affair. The Bull Public House allowed radio transmitters on its walls to allow the images from various cameras to be transmitted to the Samsung SRD-1670D digital video recorder located within the pub. The Bull has also provided a broadband connection to allow authorised Theydon Bois parish councillors and council staff to remotely retrieve and view recorded video. Various shops around the town have let cameras and transmitters be mounted on the outside of their buildings.

The CCTV was installed by local firm Essential Security Systems Ltd. Set up in 2009, its two directors are Tony McGurk, who has more than 45 years experience of electronic security; and Michael Slade, who before setting up Essential was General Manager for another Essex-based installation company.

Tony McGurk said: “Being a locally based company we were particularly pleased to be entrusted to provide the CCTV system for Theydon Bois. As is the case with most local authorities there was not a huge budget for the system, but working closely with Councillor Paul Vincent and his council colleagues we have been able to design a highly effective system and specify cameras and other equipment, which whilst competitively priced, has delivered against all expectations.”

Theydon Bois is a charming Essex village bordering on Epping Forest which has a population of about 4,000. Councillor Paul Vincent said: “This is not normally the type of place where you would expect too much trouble to take place. We are however determined to deter anyone who wants to hang around the town centre and get involved in anti-social behaviour or any other criminal activity. In this respect we have invested in the CCTV system in order to provide the police, if necessary, with video evidence to help them successfully prosecute any wrong-doers.”

Essential’s installation engineers have taken care that the cameras do not jar with their surroundings. Some of the weather-proof camera housings were sprayed to a colour which matches the character of the buildings on which they are installed. Despite budget restrictions, where possible, the cables have been neatly housed in weather-proof conduit.

Samsung SCB-3000 day/night cameras have been installed at various points around the town centre. These capitalise on the advanced technology built into Samsung’s SV-V DSP chipset to capture superb high resolution colour images during the day and equally impressive monochrome images in night-time conditions.

The SCB-3000 also features 12 polygonal privacy zones which means that certain sections of a camera’s field of view can be masked where necessary, such as the children’s’ playground area or where the camera may be pointed in the direction of the windows of residential accommodation above one of the shops.

Essential has also installed in the high street a Samsung SCP-3370 PTZ dome camera which has a 37 x optical zoom feature allowing users to observe close up detail.

The motion detection feature of both camera models ensures that when an alarm event occurs it is at once transmitted to the SRD-1670D DVR which has a 10TB video storage capacity allowing images from all the cameras to be stored for up to 30 days.

Michael Slade said: “We take a very keen interest in the performance of the CCTV system. Although it is not normal practice to do so, our service engineers inspect the cameras every month. When there is an incident we are also pleased to be able to offer a free service to the Police by way of extracting video evidence of any incidents from the SRD-1670D and burning it onto a DVD which we pass onto the police.”

There may not at first glance appear to be anything particularly significant about the recently completed CCTV in Theydon Bois. However, take a closer look at how the system has been installed, and how it all became possible, and there is much more than immediately meets the eye.


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