“The GPAC System
has removed the need for continual videoing or stake outs, meaning we can
obtain data from areas previously not covered by CCTV and capture quality
evidence”

CITY of Belmont
in Perth has deployed fixed and mobile video surveillance solutions to provide
an environment that is attractive, safe, healthy and prosperous, working
closely with local businesses and the community along with the Police service
and the Office of Crime Prevention to ensure a collaborative and coordinated
approach to crime prevention.

The initial part
of City of Belmont’s video surveillance solution was installed in support of
the City’s security patrol service which operates 24 hours a day, 365 days a
year. The patrols are a proactive effort from the city to reduce crimes like
graffiti. During 2008, 15,295 incidents of graffiti were reported in Belmont,
up from 9955 the previous year, at a clean-up cost of $A212,779.

According to Shaun
Nancarrow, coordinator of the City’s Crime Prevention and Ranger Services, the
City’s Crime Prevention and Ranger Services, recognised that current resources
were ineffective and set about looking for a cost effective, flexible solution
which would allow capture of high quality mobile video data and sharing of this
information quickly and effectively.

City of Belmont
recognised that fixed cameras only allow monitoring of a small area – not ideal
when combating crimes like graffiti. One of the major problems when planning a
CCTV solution is the fact that crime doesn’t always occur in the same area at
the same time so monitoring systems need to be flexible in order to be able to
respond effectively.

Influencing the
direction the City ultimately took with mobile surveillance was the fact the City’s
security patrol vehicles are fitted with analogue cameras and a DVR to record
incidents. Hampering the original solution, there was no way to quickly share
data.

A system that
allowed both internal and external users remote access to the vehicle cameras
would allow the Belmont security patrols to work effectively with government
agencies and security services alike, enable crucial real-time data to be
shared, immediately cutting response times.

Nancarrow was
introduced to the ETCorp GPAC System by the Department of Environment and
Conservation (DEC) officer, Ken Raine. The DEC was already successfully using
the GPAC System to stream live data from cameras and chemical sensors allowing
online environmental monitoring.

After seeing the
GPAC System in action, Nancarrow was impressed by its functionality,
particularly the internet connection which allowed the DEC to remotely access
high quality images and decide on the appropriate level of risk management.

State of the art

ETCorp’s GPAC System
is a unique software platform that allows remote monitoring and control of any
fixed or mobile camera or device. Real time video and data can be securely
accessed from a standard web browser either on a computer or mobile phone, from
any chosen location. The GPAC System is completely flexible, enabling ETCorp to
develop a cost effective monitoring system based on the City of Belmont’s
requirements.

The in-vehicle
GPAC System installed in the “Eyes on the Street” vehicles features the
ability to browse directly into the vehicle from any PC or a PDA. The solution
has an open standards/vendor neutral operating platform, a rugged compact Car
PC and wireless 3G Modem, high resolution Day/Night IP Axis camera to provide
real time video and secure logins & data audit trails.

There’s automatic
data quality and compliance checks, SMS for critical data alarms, scalability
to quickly and easily expand the system and the option to connect to other IP
based cameras at will.

When the Belmont
rangers are on patrol the GPAC System enables them to record real time video of
incidents and share the footage instantaneously with internal and external
stakeholders such as the police, allowing fast response and capture of quality
evidence. Monitoring can be controlled remotely as well as from within the
vehicle and personnel can be notified via SMS or email of any trigger, event or
system failure.

The “Eyes on
the Street” vehicles, which were retro fitted with the GPAC System and an
additional camera was added to bring total camera numbers to four per vehicle.
An Axis converter was installed to allow conversion of the existing analogue
video to digital output. ETCorp completed the installation in just two days,
enabling the operators to continue to serve the people of Belmont with minimal
disruption.

Effective Results

Nancarrow
believes the GPAC System has been a wise investment of City resources. “We
were going to invest $A1 million in CCTV infrastructure; however now with the
GPAC System we can achieve so much more because of the networking capability,
less cabling and less engineering”.

The City of
Belmont’s installation of the GPAC System has resulted in better graffiti
prevention and more successful prosecutions. Cameras can be set to record only
upon sensing activity.

“The GPAC System
has removed the need for continual videoing or stake outs, meaning we can
obtain data from areas previously not covered by CCTV and capture quality
evidence,” he says.

Shaun cites ease
of connectivity and configuration as key new capacities offered by the GPAC
System. The system is easily extended to adapt to future changes; new cameras
and devices can be added and configured within minutes using simple web browser
software. The City now has the option to connect into other digital security
cameras, add GPS duress alarms and head-cams. The communications provided with
the GPAC System will allow for integration between the fixed and mobile
solutions.

Speaking in the
West Australian Newspaper recently, Mayor Glenys Godfrey recognised the
advantages of systems able to directly respond to events as they occurred, with
no need for operators.

“When an event is
triggered, (the software) will notify our Neighbourhood Watch security guards
by SMS, email the last few minutes of footage to our security control room,
while also allowing police and security to log directly into the triggered
camera,” she said.

Fixed camera
solution

Another key
element of the City of Belmont’s electronic security solution is a fixed camera
surveillance system installed at the Kooyong Road shopping area in Belmont.
It’s a popular local retail precinct comprising 13 independent businesses,
including a café, an IGA and a pharmacy.

The area is popular
with the local community, however, like many similar shopping areas, the area
was perceived to have a high rate of anti-social behavior, including criminal
damage (graffiti). Existing CCTV systems worked in isolation from one another,
could not be accessed remotely and were not an effective means of capturing
high quality evidence.

Nancarrow was
looking for an automated way of capturing human behaviour that was currently
being missed by traditional CCTV systems and only really provided post-event
value. The existing cameras were in place at the IGA and café produced images that
were poor quality and not linked to a central location. In addition there was
no easy way to share the video footage with external stakeholders, such as the
police.

Nancarrow had
previously been so impressed by the quality of the images, capabilities and
flexibility of the GPAC System installed in the City of Belmont’s Neighbourhood
Watch Security Vehicles he was keen to implement the same cutting edge
technology in the Kooyong Road project, while also linking the CCTV systems to
the City of Belmont Alarm System Program.

The GPAC solution

Zenien, ETCorp’s
installation partner, worked with the City of Belmont to develop a complete,
reliable fixed camera CCTV solution that was delivered on time and under
budget. The solution provided by ETCorp and installed by Zenien for the City of
Belmont enables the focus to shift from commercial and residential buildings in
response to sensors, duress devices and burglar alarms. When an alarm or event
is detected the nearest cameras move to a pre-determined location.

For example if an
alarm is raised at the café, the GPAC System will move the camera to view the
front of the café from two separate angles. At the same time police and
security can access the live feed from all cameras, including the cameras
inside the café. Simultaneously the GPAC System will send alarm triggers to
mobile guards and security control centre. All relevant parties will receive a
text message and/or email alerting them to the event.

Zenien completed
the installation of the GPAC System, including all new cameras and hardware
within three days. The first stage of the project was to put poles up for the
new Axis PTZ cameras, followed by installation of the wireless network, server
and rack and finally configuration of the internet connection.

The analogue
cameras from the existing IGA and café CCTV system were connected up to the
GPAC System, with potential for four additional cameras to be added in the
future. Phase 2 of the project will involve adding a further two PTZ cameras on
poles to protect the rear of the buildings.

Using the GPAC
System has enabled the City of Belmont to establish a partnership with
community; bringing business and residential communities closer together in a
single innovative and adaptable solution. Immediately following installation of
the new system, criminal damage (graffiti) in the Kooyong Road area has been
significantly reduced.

“Using a hybrid
solution to combine CCTV, alarm systems and other detection devices such as
movement or spray paint sensors adds value to both technologies,” Nancarrow
explains. “The GPAC System brings technology together, essentially making
redundant CCTV systems smart.”

The GPAC System
has provided the City of Belmont with a fast, reliable and cost effective
solution to the problem of monitoring wide areas for criminal damage. The
benefits are being felt by all who live and work in Belmont and now enjoy a
cleaner, safer environment.

ETCorp says the
GPAC System is much more than a simple video solution and has provided the City
of Belmont with an innovative, flexible and cost effective solution to the
problem of monitoring both commercial and domestic properties.

“If an alarm is
raised at the café, the GPAC System will move the camera to view the front of
the café from two separate angles. At the same time police and security can
access the live feed from all cameras, including the cameras inside the café”