From the inside out

May 2017 Editor's Choice, Perimeter Security, Alarms & Intruder Detection, Integrated Solutions

In the traditional layered approach to security, securing the perimeter is a critical aspect of the full security solution. When it comes to large areas that need to be secured, however, such as one finds on mines, ports, game reserves, borders and large industrial plots, protecting your perimeter is a complex task.

Charles Harrison, MD of local system integrator Secu-Systems explains that while there are many products that can detect a perimeter breach and raise the alarm, there are few which can then track the suspect once inside the perimeter of large environments. Due to the large open spaces of these environments, by the time security personnel get to the breach location, the suspects will have moved off and can be anywhere on the site.

Secu-Systems’ Spotter is a solution to this problem that uses thermal and visual surveillance cameras, as well as Panoptes MTI software to set up a perimeter protection solution from well within the perimeter. The system needs to be set up on a high site where it can view the area to be monitored, and from where it provides 360-degree protection.

Due to the combination of visual and thermal cameras, the system works 24-hours per day, irrespective of light or weather conditions. Moreover, the Panoptes software, developed for the Australian military, will identify intruders from kilometres away

and then track them as they breach the perimeter and move into the area. Security personnel can therefore be sent to their exact location.

Security and safety

Spotter can also be used to monitor specific sites to prevent theft of anything from fuel to pipes and cabling, as well as malicious damage to property. Keeping an eye on the movement around vehicles and diesel pumps will quickly identify unauthorised movement after hours, for example, preventing theft and damage.

From a safety perspective, the Secu-Systems solution also provides an additional layer of security in dangerous environments. In the mining field, for example, illegal miners are a problem throughout Africa and are often injured or killed during normal mining operations – such as dumping. With the solution in place, Harrison says it is easy to identify where people are and ensure there are no injuries and therefore that the mine will not have to lose money from being forced to shut down while an investigation is conducted.

Harrison provides an example of a solution installed at a mine with a perimeter of well over 50 km. Ten Spotter systems (in other words, 10 camera installations at high points) were installed and they cover the whole mine, and area of about 150 square kilometres.

Another example he offers is from a West African mine in Guinea. This mine is plagued by over 100 000 illegal miners. Six Spotter systems were installed to cover an area of about 63 square kilometres. Image 1 shows an illegal mining camp on the mine, while Image 2 shows a few of these miners at work.

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Image 2.

In all cases, Harrison says the savings customers have experienced as a result of installing the Secu-Systems’ solution has been substantial. In fact, he says that not only is the solution the cheapest per square metre in the industry, it delivers the best in terms of measurable reduction in losses in the mining environment – not to mention the life safety aspect.

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Spotter solutions are housed in self-sufficient containers fitted with their own power reticulation, which includes solar panels mounted to the roof of the container and battery banks installed within the container. Security systems are integrated with the camera solution and include wall-top and/or additional freestanding electric fencing with energisers operating off the internal power reticulation. All sides of the container are equipped with nozzles and high-pressure hydraulic piping. It also includes wireless communication back to a centralised control room (as long as line of sight can be attained).

The cameras can detect movement in as little as four pixels. Therefore, with high-powered, PTZ thermal cameras placed on high sites, intruders cannot hide and are followed throughout the location until removed, thus giving management complete 360-degree situational awareness and peace of mind.

For more information, contact Secu-Systems, +27 (0)11 794 7834,,


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