Milestone Systems open platform IP video management software (VMS) has been installed with Samsung network cameras in a surveillance system that has brought peace and confidence to the citizens of a neighborhood in Eastern France affected by criminal disturbances.
Mulhouse Habitat is a social housing complex in the Les Coteaux quarter of Mulhouse, France, with high-rise buildings, common around the outskirts of big cities. Most of the inhabitants had long been victims of intentional violence and degradation committed by a minority. They wanted a better environment with peace and security.
The group of buildings is managed by three companies, with nearly a hundred entrances where many problems concentrated. These zones were easy for delinquents and drug traffickers to compromise through the destruction of lighting, access control and video surveillance systems, turning them into hot points shielded from the eyes of security patrols and outdoor cameras – and a daily hell for residents.
Certain entrances had a higher concentration of these problems, depending on the logistical needs of the traffickers. Attempts at renovation and better lighting had poor effect, and isolated success would be met by migration of the problems to other entrances. In the scope of securing the property and bringing more peace for the residents, Mulhouse Habitat decided to renovate all of its building entrances and equip them with new video protection.
This operation received subsidies from the Inter-ministerial Fund for the Prevention of Delinquency (FIPD) for the entrance video protection, and from the National Urban Renewal Agency (ANRU) for the replacement of entry doors, mailboxes and intercoms, bringing the entrances electrical installations up to standard, and repairs in the corridors and stairwells. The housing company called for bids to furnish the new video system with fixed IP cameras, a data transport network, and a local storage and processing solution, as well as a centralized management system.
The French systems integrator Spie was retained for several advantages. Steve Lohr, Sales Manager for Security Systems at Spie East, explained: “We answered this tender with top names in video surveillance: Milestone, world leader in open platform IP video surveillance software, and Samsung, renowned for their high definition (HD) and megapixel cameras that integrate numerous functionalities based on Samsung processors. Spie responded as a complete solution provider with video surveillance, electricity and intercoms.”
The system was deployed over 2012. It is a scalable solution, the specifications requiring expandability to allow for the later addition of at least 25% more cameras and 30% more capability in data processing and storage without additional cost other than that of new cameras and their wiring connections.
134 IP cameras were installed over 31 entrances. Each entrance holds one outdoor camera incorporating infrared lighting that films only the intercom plates and the front of the entry hall. Other cameras were installed inside, and in elevators. The chosen Samsung iPOLiS IP camera models are vandal-proof fixed-dome SNV-5080R and flat-dome SNV-5010, both with 1.3 megapixels and HD 720p progressive scanning, in H.264 format. Housed in solid cast-aluminum cases with polycarbonate domes, they are very resistant to vandalism, dust and water spatters.
The SNV-5080R domes are effective even in the dark thanks to 15 infrared LEDs, and feature a motorized variable-focus glass lens. The flat SNV-5010 domes have a fixed lens with a wide field of view that is perfect in elevators. Both cameras have SSDR extended dynamic range, BLC back-light compensation, SSNR III noise-reduction, and integrate intelligent video-analysis algorithms for the detection of scene changes, line crossing, entering/leaving a zone, and appearance/disappearance of objects.
Since the buildings under surveillance are scattered and far from the recording and processing locations, the new cameras were connected to a fiber-optic network, which was already in place for the parking lot cameras. On-site, the cameras are connected through network switches and the cables are protected by metal or armored ducts.
Milestone was chosen for its ability to work with a large number of cameras and devices in the network, which ensures great expandability to the system, and for its high performance in large installations with multiple servers: the software optimizes the bandwidth usage by reducing the amount of data throughput in the network. Continuous recording is done by the Milestone XProtect® Enterprise software running on Windows servers installed in a secure bay. The video images are retained for 2 weeks and set to be automatically deleted thereafter. Milestone XProtect software also fully supports the Samsung HD and 1.3 megapixel images.
Milestone XProtect provides functionality for quickly finding an event in the recordings, which saves a lot of time and conserves operator resources better allocated to surveillance. Furthermore, transfer of encrypted video evidence to CD guarantees the authenticity of images, and includes a software viewer that enables the police to use or share them easily.
Pooling surveillance resources
A full surveillance center is operational, with admittance through an airlock chamber with access-control. The center is operated and managed cooperatively by a non-profit organization created by the three neighborhood housing companies, together with several associations of tenants and residents, the board of a neighborhood condominium, and the City of Mulhouse. The viewing screens are monitored 24/7.
The Spie/Samsung/Milestone solution best answered the needs of the client through the combination of integrator experience with the products of the two technology leaders, Samsung and Milestone.
The clients are extremely satisfied, as noted by Philippe Alves, Operations Manager at Mulhouse Habitat: “The new video surveillance system fulfills our expectations. The visibility is optimal by day as well as by night; the viewing angles are sufficiently wide. The Samsung vandal-proof domes are solid and fit well into our environment. The image quality is fantastic and allows us to see precisely by zooming into the image. When we had damage, it was possible to recognize the people quickly. And thanks to the functionality of the XProtect software, we can easily export the images and save time.”
The people of the neighborhood are very happy to have the cameras and feel protected. They are gradually taking back the common areas in a climate of confidence and tranquility. Crime has been reduced, and the security operation serves as an example of efficiency between human surveillance teams and the technology employed. A new project for another 13 entrances will be installed by Spie.