Keeping crime off the streets

April 2010 CCTV, Surveillance & Remote Monitoring

It is all praise for Bosch’s MIC cameras in Bristol.

Bristol is no different from any other major city in the UK in that it has to put up with its fair share of challenges, from inner-city crime through to congestion on its roads. In both cases, however, there is one product that is helping the City Council’s teams to stay one step ahead of the game, a product noted for its reliability and flexibility even in the most demanding environments: the MIC or 'Metal Mickey' Series of cameras from Bosch.

Bristol City Council first started using MIC cameras in 2000 after the technology was recommended by a local installer, Select Electrics. Select had installed the fibre network infrastructure across the city and was the council’s principal contractor for the installation and maintenance of CCTV.

“At the time, MIC cameras were seen as quite a radical design,” explains Select Electric’s MD, Ray Murphy, “and the Council needed to be convinced that it would give them the level of performance and reliability they needed.”

Radical design and performance

“It is a testimony that there are now more than 250 MIC Series cameras deployed in Bristol, not only for security but also in a traffic management capacity.”

Images from the cameras are transmitted to the City Council’s control room in the council offices. The facility is both CCTV User Group Gold accredited as well as having a national accreditation for social alarm monitoring – one of the few councils in the UK to be so recognised.

In charge of the control room is manager Gordon McLanaghan: “Since trialling the cameras we have never looked back,” he explains. “They give us the level of flexibility and reliability that we need, and are robust enough to operate in a number of challenging environments. They are also plug-and-play, which is excellent from an installation and maintenance perspective, and if parts need to be replaced they can be changed with minimum downtime.”

Expanded use

The success of the cameras in a security surveillance capacity led the council to look at MIC cameras for use in traffic management, managed through a dedicated urban traffic control room. “The cameras used across the city – for traffic management or city centre surveillance – can be viewed in either control room,” McLanaghan says.

“Recently, my colleagues in traffic secured funding to increase the number of cameras deployed, and because they could access the cameras we have already installed, they were able to extend their scheme quite dramatically. I recommended they use MIC cameras and after a trial against a range of competitor technology, they agreed that the MICs offered greater performance, and better value for money.

“The quality of images and the effectiveness of the zoom from each of the cameras is second to none,” McLanaghan adds, “but there are also other advantages. It is easy to configure automatic number plate recognition functionality, which gives us tremendous flexibility, and their design makes them unobtrusive and aesthetically better looking. We are replacing the old ‘shoebox’ cameras with MIC cameras wherever we can as budgets become available.

For more information contact Elaine L'Gorman, Bosch Security Systems - South Africa & Sub-Sahara Africa, +27 (0)11 651 9818, elaine.ogorman@za.bosch.com, www.boschsecurity.co.za


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