Find out more about Genetec AutoVu – advanced ANPR system

October 26, 2010

Genetec’s powerful AutoVu ANPR (Automatic Number Plate Recognition) system is now available from Controlware UK. Find out the main benefits Security Center can provide below.

Unsurpassed Accuracy

AutoVu has some of the highest accuracy rates in the industry when it comes to license plate reads. You can rely on the AutoVu solution to capture vehicles within the camera’s field of view. Thanks to AutoVu’s Fuzzy Matching feature, you can ensure that license plates are correctly identified. You won’t miss a beat with AutoVu.

IP Connectivity

Having an IP-ready solution means you get real-time monitoring and identification of vehicles. You don’t have to wait to find out if a wanted vehicle is approaching your building or city. Data is wirelessly transferred over an IP network so you can take immediate action if a vehicle of interest is spotted.


As part of Genetec’s unified security platform, the Security Center, AutoVu is very user-friendly. Use graphical maps to monitor hits and read locations. Click on a hit to display an image of the license plate, a color image of the vehicle as well as the date, time and location. And use the easy search function to enable quick investigations.

Easy to Install and Configure

Installing AutoVu is easy. Once the AutoVu Sharp cameras are up, you need minimal adjustments and configuration to get your system working. Your databases of wanted vehicles can be uploaded daily or automatically on a pre-set basis. It’s a simple three-step process: install you cameras, configure your system and upload your list.

AutoVu is now available from Controlware UK. To find out more about AutoVu click here or call Controlware UK on 0844 225 9 225 for expert advice and great product deals.

Selling CCTV is like double glazing…

November 20, 2009

Mike Tolley, Principal Consultant at Cogent (fm) Solutions, looks at the issues that concern the CCTV industry today.

Unfortunately my flippant comment about double glazing sales people selling CCTV is true. The approach to selling CCTV is based, by the majority, on How many? and The cheapest price? – not questions such as Why CCTV? Placed where to justify the need? and the issue of cost effectiveness against quality.

As a consultant, I would often get sales staff walking a site with me on a tender specification, and they would try to justify their point for additional CCTV, or an easier mounting point, with no foundation or reason. They where quickly put back in their place. There is no education or training in the security sales industry. It is, typically, ‘in at the deep end’ and ‘use your first customers as your testing grounds’

It is good to see that some manufacturers have taken the initiative in system and product sales training and accredited installer schemes. There are a few installers that take training seriously. They are starting to shine through, recognised as sitting at the front of their field.

Do you agree with Mike? Let us know what you think below.

For more comment and insight about CCTV  click here to read CCTV articles.

The CCTV industry should put its house in order

November 18, 2009

When editor of Security Installer, Alan Hyder, criticised a report that concluded there was no link between crime solving and CCTV it sparked responses from police representatives who criticised current CCTV practices. Now, Mike Tolley, Principal Consultant at Cogent (fm) Solutions, has joined the debate. He says he is “someone who cares about what he does and the industry he is in” and concludes that too often CCTV is sold like double glazing …

I read with interest the articles about CCTV in last month’s edition. I have to agree with the majority of comments from Norman Gibson (independent consultant and retired RUC sergeant) that CCTV is “only one tool in the box”.

I often refer to CCTV as a management tool with security a part of its use. The type and placement of cameras should always be chosen to meet the need – not finding the easiest place to install it. My most valuable lesson on specifying and evaluating CCTV was probably learned whilst working in the manned guarding industry, where the CCTV system is a very important part of their tool box. I deplore this ‘cost of guarding’ Vs the ‘cost of a remotely monitored CCTV system’ argument as a justification to buy CCTV, i.e., just because it’s cheaper.

The best camera in the world will never outweigh a good guarding service. But it’s also about balance, and, as many others do, I refer to the Home Office operational requirement document. If end users only took an hour to complete it whilst assessing their needs, it would answer many questions without them being hoodwinked by the guy who sells CCTV instead of double glazing because it’s an easier sell.

Do you agree with Mike? Let us know what you think below.

For more comment and insight about CCTV  click here to read CCTV articles.

CCTV video released of fatal cash machine raid

November 17, 2009

CCTV footage has been released of the moment that raiders broke into a supermarket to get at cash inside a cash machine.

Minutes later one of the raiders can clearly be seen using an angle grinder to get at the cash. Although alerted that a robbery was taking place police arrived too late to stop the raiders getting away.

In this instance Intelligent Video Analytics could have helped raise the alarm much sooner.  By constructing invisible trip wires in the video security personnel or police could have been warned the moment the raiders entered the store. In this way  Intelligent Video Analytics linked to a flexible open management platform could have helped the CCTV become more proactive.

The break in happened in the town of Driel, Netherlands but the raid ended in tragedy for the robbers when a traffic accident was reported in nearby Maarsbergen. When police arrived at the scene they found five men in the car, which also contained a substantial amount of cash covered in security dye. The men who are all British were taken to hospital where 3 have since died of injuries received.

To view more instances of CCTV in action click here.

IP knowledge is essential for CCTV

November 16, 2009

The second part of  an end user’s response to Mark Harraway’s article “Don’t Go Hybrid” that can be read in full here.

Richard Quinn is Food Retail Loss Provention Manager for the Co-operative Group.

IP has been muted by the industry for some time as the end of analogue and the entry of a new digital age in CCTV. The predominant limiting factors to this are in my opinion restricted firstly to technology and secondly to capability and awareness.

Capability and Awareness

Despite talking about IP for a number of years, it remains still a relatively unknown subject to some installers, who do not have the required skill sets, or knowledge to be able to integrate and communicate effectively with IT functions and appear to have the confidence to install the equipment correctly.

Our own experience of this is relatively mixed and we still seem to have issues with the knowledge and capability of people installing the equipment. Whilst I do not wish to ‘badge’ all installers as not having the capability, we need to ensure that there is adequate knowledge within the sector and from experience across a number of installers – This depth of knowledge is simly not there at the moment.

That said, I am sure that those installers who wish to develop their capability and understanding in this area, should focus their efforts on building knowledge in the short term in order to communicate confidently with Clients, including their IT departments regarding the benefits and drawbacks of such a solution and its implementation.

I also believe that manfacturers collaborating together to develop common standard protocols will also benefit the end user to adapt and migrate across to IP led systems.

In summary addressing these key points will help the market to evolve and conifdence to be generated around identifying whether IP is indeed a viable option. In the current climate the market certainly has to adapt and go the extra mile in demonstrating it’s viability to end users, more importantly end users are becoming increasingly aware of the requirement to demonstrate a rate of return on any capital investment – These systems are not exempt from this and I believe therein lies another challenge, additional spend often requires different styles of thinking, in order to identify whether there is a clear business case for this type of investment.

To read the initial Dont Go Hybrid article that started the debate click here.

Is IP CCTV the next big thing?

November 13, 2009

The first part of  an end user’s response to Mark Harraway’s article “Don’t Go Hybrid” that can be read in full here.

Richard Quinn is Food Retail Loss Provention Manager for the Co-operative Group.

IP has been muted by the industry for some time as the end of analogue and the entry of a new digital age in CCTV. The predominant limiting factors to this are in my opinion restricted firstly to the technology itself.

Technology Capability and Platforms

Whilst in simple terms it is easy to build an IP infrastructure and effective back-up resource to ensure that single point of failures become a thing of the past, the capability and functionality is still not at the same level as analogue cameras, which can easily be bolted into an IP recording solution.  The quality of these devices has improved ten fold over the last few years, but there is still some way to go and the market (Buyers) are not yet demanding IP as a full solution, due to the fact that costs are still relatively high by comparison and they can adopt a hybrid IP solution that meets their needs.  These may include conecting to a data mining solution, taking images/recorded media across a WAN/LAN – In taking this approach it meets requirements both current and in the future.  In any event as the UK has earned the mantle of having more CCTV Cameras per 1,000 population, the likelihood of replacing these frequently is extremely high. Indeed this is something most businesses experience on an almost daily basis and a planned programme of asset renewal when the market requires the deployment of IP cameras, will ensure that systems are changed over time.

As with all good technologies, until a product reaches the market that provides the functional requirements and is as good as an analogue camera – It simply won’t get adopted.

To read the initial Dont Go Hybrid article that started the debate click here.

CCTV video of warehouse accident demonstrates importance of Health and Safety

November 6, 2009

Much has been discussed about the wider merits of CCTV and how it can reduce crime and make people feel safer but a topic that is often over looked is how CCTV can help with health and safety.

It is sometimes a shock to find staff carrying out tasks that completely go against the training, regulations and processes that have been put in place. CCTV if well monitored can therefore be highly important in preventing the occurrence of accidents. Also if employees having received training and been made aware of regulations are involved in an accident, CCTV is a tool that can be used to help clear your company of blame and potential legal action that might follow.

The video below filmed at a warehouse in Russia shows a major health and safety incident occurring. Fortunately no one was badly injured, but five million roubles (£105,000) worth of alcohol was destroyed in the accident, according to the website that posted the video,

If resource for live monitoring is not available technologies such as Video Analysis (Video Analytics / Smart CCTV) can help. When using an open management platform such as Cware, Video Analysis from IP cameras, analogue (analog) cameras or codecs can be easily integrated into the CCTV system. Video Analysis continuously checks for activity, events or behaviours that might be considered suspicious against user-defined policies. When activity is detected the system will classify the objects of interest (people, vehicle etc.), track and identify the direction of moving objects, interpret what the objects are doing and determine if a customer-defined policy has been broken. Once a policy is broken, for instance an intruder climbing over a perimeter fence or a vehicle parking in a forbidden zone, a wide variety of automatic countermeasures can be taken. PTZ cameras can automatically zoom in and track the object to get images of evidential quality, audible alarms can be broadcast to frighten away trespassers and emails or text messages can be sent to notify security personnel.

For more information about IP CCTV, the Cware management platform and Video Analysis click here.

Plus what do you think about CCTV? Is Britain becoming a Surveillance Society? Discuss here.