Mobotix Forcefield For Edmund Rice College

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Edmund Rice College enhances security with Mobotix
Edmund Rice College enhances security with Mobotix

Forcefield Security has installed a Mobotix video surveillance solution at Edmund Rice College near Wollongong. The solution provides high quality image streams with a indiscernible network footprint.

EDMUND Rice College is an independent Catholic high school for boys established in 1926 just outside Wollongong, a medium sized city to the south-west of Sydney. Since 2013, Edmund Rice has undergone a number of major developments: A first class sports hall has been built, which seats 1500, as well as housing 2 indoor basketball courts and a mezzanine level gymnasium, drama and PDHPE classrooms, and a large communal foyer; a significant upgrade to IT infrastructure, including the adoption of a 1:1 computing platform, has granted all students access to computing facilities at all times. 

In 2015, extensive works were carried out on outdoor areas, with new gardens being built and the construction of COLAs (Covered Outdoor Learning Areas). In addition, the library was recently refurbished and expanded to include a state of the art e-learning centre. Having invested millions of dollars bringing cutting-edge learning facilities to the students, it was vital to protect the school’s assets. With its current 1980s security system only semi-operational, the headmaster called in Dean Scanlen from Forcefield Security to carry out repairs. Scanlon knew that continuing to use ageing equipment, which was reliant on increasingly defunct technology, would not be a lasting solution.

“I suggested why not include the installation of a brand new security system in the Sports Hall into the construction cost and explained the savings that would be seen in the long term and how it was a perfect time to incorporate into the larger project,” Scanlon explains. 

When it came to cameras, Forcefield turned to Mobotix. The decentralized design of the cameras with intelligent low bandwidth requirements allowed integration into the school’s existing network and MOBOTIX hemispheric technology means fewer cameras cover larger areas. MOBOTIX decentralized technology made installation simple, with no new cabling nor additional infrastructure required. With license-free regularly upgraded firmware, and cameras built to last, it offered an economical long-term solution. Furthermore, as many areas to be covered were internal, the competitive pricing of the indoor range brought even greater savings to the fore. 

“In order to convince school faculty, I suggested that they try out one MOBOTIX camera. They used it for a month, and came back more than happy and ready to go ahead with the entire installation,” Dean explains.

A modern alarm system was fitted in the Sports Hall and MOBOTIX cameras were installed around the outside and inside of the building. A combination of M15s and D15s protected the exterior of the building and only a single i25, MOBOTIX hemispheric indoor camera was needed to cover the entire sports hall arena. Positive results were seen quite soon afterwards, with the access reliable footage acting to reduce incidences of bullying and fighting. 

 

“In order to convince school faculty, I suggested that they try out one MOBOTIX camera. They used it for a month, and came back more than happy”

 

Extremely happy with the installation, the school was eager for the newly refurbished library to be secured next. By this stage the VMS (video management software) had been upgraded to the newly released MxMC (MOBOTIX Management Centre), making installation even simpler. In spite of its size, the library only required 2 indoor hemispheric c25 cameras to monitor the whole area. Q25s and D15s were installed to guard the entrance and exterior respectively. Thanks to MxMC’s intelligent sorting of all parameters, which supports visual control and drag & drop, installation time was significantly cut. 

MOBOTIX decentralized technology keeps bandwidth requirements extremely low, allowing a secure subnet to be installed on the school’s existing network without causing any extra burden. At busy times, such as during class when students are using computer equipment, the cameras delay sending footage, storing it in a buffer designed specifically for this purpose. 

“IT didn’t even see an imprint of MOBOTIX on their network when the system was commissioned,” Scanlon explains.

Live monitoring takes place in a local control room performed by security staff, and only authorized members of staff have access to review or download footage. Further measures were taken to protect the privacy of students in view of the new system, by disabling all microphones on the cameras during teaching hours. However, at night time, the microphones are switched on through a custom setting, so that the control room can speak to anyone on site using remoteGUARD.

The cameras have already had their first major win protecting computer equipment from vandalism. “Someone had been swapping the letters over on the keyboards in the computer room,” Scanlon explains.  “Using MxMC, we reviewed the recordings and found perfect footage of the culprits in action. They were reprimanded and asked to pay for new keyboards. It had happened in the past and the school hadn’t been able to catch them, until now.” ♦