US schools want integrated security solutions to protect staff and students

cctv-camerasA new report claims the market for integrated video surveillance solutions in US schools and colleges is set to rocket over the coming years in the wake of shooting tragedies.

Events such as the Sandy Hook massacre, which saw 20 children and six adults shot dead by gunman Adam Lanza in the Connecticut elementary school in December 2012, have seen security in US education establishments pushed to the fore.

The ‘Vertical Insights: Video Surveillance & Security in Education’ report from IHS predicts the US market for integrated security systems in schools will rise by more than 80 per cent between 2012 and 2017. It is set to expand from $2.7 billion in 2012 to $4.9 billion in 2017, complete with double-digit growth predicted for every year.

Paul Bremner, video surveillance and security services market analyst at IHS, said events like Sandy Hook and the Santa Monica shooting – which left five people dead when a gunman entered a college campus in June 2013 – have changed how schools and colleges view their security systems.

“Instead of serving as forensic tools that provide evidence of events that have already occurred, security systems now are expected to help educational institutions detect and mitigate problems as they happen,” he said.

“Because of this, schools are employing security system-integration providers, which provide technologies and services that combine multiple safety mechanisms into a cohesive solution.”

A recent study by Ipsos Public Affairs, commissioned by Avigilon, found a preference among North Americans for schools with cameras. The research found 60 per cent of people in the US and 52 per cent in Canada would prefer their children, or children of their loves ones, to go to a school with surveillance cameras over one without.

school-corridor-lockersIntegrated systems within schools include the provision, installation and maintenance of video surveillance, physical access control and intruder alarm systems.  The IHS report cited a higher demand for video surveillance, as a system integrating such technology is seen as advantageous as it can reduce the likelihood of events and provide quicker response times to incidents.

Bremner warned that video surveillance security systems within school are required to be flexible, with different challenges ranging from access control responsibilities during the day time to combating vandals at night.

He added: “Video surveillance systems in the education sector have the added advantage that they can be used for a broad range of tasks, including gathering evidence for a criminal investigation; acting as a deterrent for theft, assault and vandalism; or simply by providing greater visibility to the school’s security staff.”

In the Colorado district of Aurora, CCTV cameras are being rolled out across every elementary school over the next three months as part of a partnership with Aurora Police Department to improve school safety.

The West Aurora School Board has approved for surveillance cameras to be installed at all 10 elementary schools in its jurisdiction and they will be fully monitored by the Aurora-based Alarm Detection Systems.

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