Eden Shopping Centre, a large retail and entertainment complex in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, UK, has taken the giant leap from an analogue to a HD video surveillance system.
Ryan Mitchinson, head of commercial operations at installer Link CCTV advises: “When we originally inherited Eden Shopping Centre’s CCTV system, we were tasked with providing a solution to upgrade the existing analogue platform with a HD solution that was not only capable of capturing and controlling CCTV cameras, but also of a multitude of modern functionalities that would enhance the security operation on site. We opted to install a FLIR Latitude virtual matrix and recording solution.
“Security technology is constantly developing, so from the centre’s perspective it was imperative to develop a future-proof system, preventing the need for expensive replacements down the line,” says Paul Maddox, security manager at Eden.
As security within shopping centres turns towards bodycams, FLIR created Truwitness software that allows remote guards to stream video directly to the control rooms monitor wall from anywhere within the centre using their smart device. This is a two-way communication which also allows the control room staff to transmit video streams to playback on their smart device. The software can also track staff members, display their location on a map and panic buttons can also be programmed to alert the control staff of any issues.
Mitchinson comments: “People counting software upgrades can also be integrated alongside ANPR, facial recognition and many more analytic packages. This flexibility coupled with the ongoing software upgrade package that FLIR provide allows Eden Shopping Centre to always have the latest technology in use when required.”
Better images, better evidence
Prior to their system upgrade, the Eden Shopping Centre was confronted with insufficient image quality from the surveillance cameras. In addition, the limited resolution of the obsolete camera technology resulted in the fact that not all critical areas were completely covered.
One of the new technologies that Link CCTV Systems brought into the Eden Shopping Centre was the FLIR Quasar 4K (Ultra HD) mini-dome camera. The Quasar camera has provided the centre with broadcast quality video and multi-streaming at zero frame drops. Mitchinson confirms this improvement, stating that “the Quasar 4K cameras have not only significantly improved the overall image quality; thanks to their high resolution, they also cover twice as much floor space in comparison to the previous systems, so the evidentiary use of the video surveillance system has improved tremendously. Every critical square metre is now covered.”
Ray Walker, centre manager at Eden Shopping Centre, agrees that the upgraded system has had a considerable influence on the centre: “We are very proud to have such an innovative and impressive surveillance system here at Eden. From the beginning we were excited with the image quality and our local police force has found the improvements invaluable, often requesting to share video evidence.”
All camera video feeds terminate in the centre’s control room, which is manned 24/7. Maddox comments, “Moving from an analogue system to a digital system has had a positive reaction from the controllers using the equipment and also a very positive line of feedback from the local police that come to view footage for various reasons. The easy-to-use client software has allowed the centre to easily hand over high-quality evidence to the police force in just a few clicks, which is exceptional.”
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