Community safety through IP surveillance

July 2012 Surveillance

After break-ins became an ongoing problem for a gated community in Centurion, they decided that they needed to implement a security solution. Other problems they faced were people driving across parks, driving the wrong way around circles and also fast and reckless driving. People were also damaging the playground equipment and jungle gyms in the parks.

The community needed a cost-effective solution that requires little maintenance, was quick to deploy and would cause the least amount of impact on the infrastructure and the community.

When the committee first started looking at options, it came across a few concerns. The first concern was the need for trenching to lay fibre-optic cables. This would have been a costly and time-consuming endeavour, not to mention unsightly. They therefore decided to investigate wireless solutions.

Another need was a dependable and maintenance-fee recording solution. There were concerns around maintenance and usability by the guards should they implement a PC-based recording solution.

They contacted a number of suppliers and in the end selected a solution proposed by the Fidelity Security Group. After measuring up all the problems and concerns, Fidelity proposed the following solution.

Fidelity chose the Vivotek IP7361 bullet camera as it is compact, aesthetically pleasing, weatherproof, offers high resolution and it is easy to mount and configure. Due to its high resolution (two megapixel) it is ideal for identifying people and vehicles after an event has occurred. 14 Vivotek IP7361 bullet cameras would be installed on the poles at the traffic circles, in the streets as well as the parks.

The 1 Megapixel Vivotek FD8134 dome camera proved to be a cost-effective choice to monitor the guards on duty. Hence, one Vivotek FD8134 dome camera was to be installed inside the guard house.

For the recording solution they chose the QNAP 16-channel network video recorder. It holds four 1-terabyte drives and this gives them about 30 days of recording. The QNAP NVR is also very user friendly and therefore the guards are capable of using the software easily especially for things like quick playback as well as live view.

It is an integrated solution and therefore requires no maintenance. Another benefit is that the QNAP connects directly to a monitor, keyboard and mouse and therefore requires no extra PC hardware in the guard house. One QNAP VS4016Pro was installed as a recording solution with a 1100VA UPS for back-up power.

As the estate was working off a small budget, they selected Ubiquiti as a cost-effective solution to build their wireless IP network. It is also a user-friendly solution for the short distances that needed to be covered as it is easy to install, configure and maintain. Two Ubiquiti RocketM5s with Ubiquiti 17 dBi 90 degree 5 GHz sectors were installed at the guard house to carry the load of the four Ubiquiti Nanostation M5s installed on the various camera poles throughout the estate. This provides a reliable, high-speed IP network throughout the estate.

A few months after installation, the client reported that there have been no break-ins since the installation has been completed. They were also identifying residents breaking the traffic and social rules and fining them accordingly. Since the system was implemented in July of 2011 it has been running non-stop without any downtime.

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