Fewer cameras, greater security
July 2017, CCTV, Surveillance & Remote Monitoring
As feelings of uncertainty are on the rise among the populace, demands to expand video surveillance installations and increase the number of cameras in public spaces are growing louder, and are being voiced by representatives of all political affiliations. But would more cameras or higher resolution cameras really offer more security? Regensburg-based manufacturer Dallmeier says no, and presents an alternative with its video solution for the city of Cologne.
Until now, it seemed that the only logical way to successfully guarantee full coverage of large open spaces with visibility challenges was to set up large systems consisting of as many cameras as possible. Unfortunately, in most cases it was found that such an approach can be prohibitively expensive. At the same time, it was often simply not technically possible to create satisfactory solutions.
“This was why in the past at least 30% to 40% of such projects were not even attempted”, says Dieter Dallmeier, founder and CEO of Dallmeier.
Operation site: Cologne
The events of New Year’s Eve 2015 in Cologne are seared into the memories of the entire population of the city. In the wake of countless incidents, including numerous cases of sexual harassment of women, police recognised the need to revise their existing security concept, particularly with regard to securing large public spaces.
A high number of criminal offences had been committed around Cologne Cathedral, and therefore this area of the inner city was selected as the basis for planning new security measures. Their main focus was on situational overview for police to ensure that the deployment of police and other emergency personnel could be improved through the use of video systems, especially in case of large gatherings.
Even in those early stages of planning, the responsible officials encountered a massive problem: with the use of conventional video technology it would not have been possible to fully capture the required 8.800 m² monitoring area. Additionally, there was no camera technology available which would have provided the resolution or pixel density required across the whole area for use in police investigations.
Lastly, officials also realised that a conventional camera system with numerous individual cameras would have resulted in a flood of data and images, which would significantly hamper proactive monitoring and quick reactions by the officers working in the control room.
Less is more
The project was awarded to the Regensburg-based manufacturer, and installation work for the Panomera system began in mid-December 2016. Instead of a system with numerous spread out cameras, which would have meant a complicated set-up as well as high infrastructure and maintenance costs, Dallmeier deployed a system that covers the entire monitoring area, yet remains discreet. The Panomera solution required only two installation points. Hence, setting up the system was easy and the city will benefit significantly financially from much lower infrastructure and maintenance costs compared to the original planning.
The technical capabilities of the Panomera technology and its supporting system components initiated a shift in crime prevention. The multifocal sensor system was specially developed for the all-encompassing video surveillance of expansive areas. With Panomera, huge widths, as well as areas with large distances can be displayed in real time and at high frame rates of up to 30 fps. With Panomera, a huge area can be surveyed from a single location, and depending on the requirements of observation assignments, the resolution can be scaled nearly limitlessly. Hence, one Panomera, equipped with eight sensors, is fully sufficient to replace 35 standard megapixel cameras.
Active monitoring vs. passive surveillance
Instead of simply having to assume that a large number of installed surveillance cameras would somehow bring about a significant reduction in criminality, police in Cologne are able to switch from ineffective passive surveillance to active video monitoring. Potentially dangerous situations are detected even before they threaten to become incidents in a police statistics report.
Fast response forces are alerted rapidly and guided to the site of interest. Meanwhile, a range of technical measures ensure that the data recorded can satisfy any given data protection requirements. And if a criminal offense is committed ‘under the noses’ of the police, Panomera supplies conclusive information which can be used as evidence in a court of law and as the basis for criminal investigations.
For more information contact Dallmeier Southern Africa Office, +27 (0)11 510 0505, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.dallmeier.com