Security just where it is needed – Together with the company Securitas, Dallmeier has developed a surveillance concept in which vans have been fitted with the very latest in video security equipment. Many of these versatile CCTV vans are already on the roads throughout the UK and Ireland, in the service of the popular retailer Marks & Spencer as well as other operators.
The deterrent effect of video surveillance is indisputable: Many potential offenders are discouraged by a clearly visible video system, so illegal activities can often be prevented before they are even committed. If an incident should take place, however, CCTV systems can be used to provide an accurate reconstruction of the sequence of events and to identify the individuals involved. But suitable mounting sites are not always available at the locations where video systems are needed. Or it is not worthwhile to set up a permanent installation because the need for heightened security only exists at certain times. Now there is a perfect solution for precisely these situations: CCTV vans. These vans can be deployed flexibly for use at precisely the time and place where they are needed. Dallmeier and Securitas have developed and successfully implemented this concept together.
Flexible surveillance unit
Each CCTV van is equipped with four high definition dome cameras, which are mounted on the four sides of the van. The vehicles also carry a mobile PTZ camera mounted on a hydraulic mast that can be extended to a height of 15 m. The PTZ camera is equipped with a 20x optical zoom, enabling more distant objects to be observed in detail as well.
The images from the cameras are recorded on a VideoNetBox, which is built into the van with minimum space requirement. The PTZ cameras can be controlled via a laptop running management software from Dallmeier, which also allows live images and recordings to be analysed conveniently inside the van itself. Remote analysis can also be carried out from anywhere in the UK or Ireland via a 3G network. And sequences of interest can also be downloaded remotely. In this respect, the PRemote-HD function – a routine developed by Dallmeier with which HDTV streams can be displayed even with low bandwidths – is very useful.
The capability of analysing via iPhone or iPad, made possible by the “Dallmeier Mobile Video Center” iPhone app, affords even greater mobility and flexibility. Special transcoding is used to optimise the image data for the iPhone and at the same time ensure a high frame rate. The app includes the intuitive operation typical for iPhones, including multitouch zoom. The individual cameras are displayed in a list with preview images for maximum viewing efficiency.
The CCTV vans stand ready to be deployed anywhere in the UK within 12 hours. And it is not only the video equipment that is state-of-the-art; the van itself is a masterpiece of design engineering.
If anyone approaches the CCTV van, an alert is sent automatically to a control centre, so the security personnel immediately receives a general view of the situation and can call a watchman on site if necessary. Even the question of power supply has been solved inventively: The battery has a service life of five days, so the van is particularly well suited for use in locations where an external power supply is not available. The battery begins recharging automatically as soon as the vehicle’s engine is switched on. Of course, it can be charged with normal mains power as well.
Multiple deployment scenarios
Whether as a versatile extension for a permanently installed video system or as a standalone system, the CCTV vans have already proven their value in many situations. At concerts or demonstrations, in car parks or to prevent the theft of copper from railway and power supply facilities: the CCTV vans serve as an effective deterrent and provide invaluable help in the investigation of incidents.
The retail chain Marks & Spencer also relies on this flexible technology to protect its property from break-ins and shoplifting, as confirmed by David Watson, the Glasgow Branch Manager for Securitas: “Here, the van was particularly effective in the car parks. And we have already received a follow-up order for more vans with the Dallmeier equipment installed.”