Aspiring to be the safest and most secure carrier in the parcels industry, City Link recently initiated an integrated CCTV solution across its depots, and on board its fleet of vehicles.
Known as 'Van Cam', the pioneering mobile surveillance system secures parcels in transit via state-of-the-art camera, recording and transmission technology supplied by Vista.
Handling over 350,000 parcels each day via a fleet of 2,500 vehicles across the UK, City Link approached Unique Integrated Systems (UIS), to provide an integrated system capable of verifying and confirming all shipments placed upon and removed from a vehicle, along with a corresponding time & date, and GPS location.
Russell Mannix, Head of Security & Compliance at City Link explains: "We required a solution that would provide protection for delivery drivers through deterrent means. We reasoned that obtaining good quality CCTV images of any offenders in the event of a vehicle being attacked, stolen, or stolen from, would provide us with a very effective solution."
The Vista solution
The high-resolution footage from the vehicles is used in a variety of ways; from security, to health and safety, as Russell Mannix continues: "The systems help us to quickly investigate and resolve any loss or claim issues. In addition to security and theft-deterrent benefits, from a health and safety point of view the ability to retrieve CCTV footage of any road traffic accident, vehicle damage, or employee accident, is invaluable for evidential purposes. So far, we have seen losses from vehicles fitted with the new CCTV systems drastically reduced."
After the initial success of the installation of 'Van Cams' to 50 of the company's vans, City Link plan to expand the initiative across their entire fleet of vehicles.
A series of high technology dome cameras from Bosch Security Systems have been installed at a new KFC restaurant in Blackpool following a successful trial at another location in the town. The owners of the franchise, which includes three other restaurants, were becoming increasingly frustrated with the existing CCTV systems, so turned to Mark Ashall, Operations Director of Skelmersdale based Unique Integrated Systems (UIS) to provide a solution.
Mark specified a combination of three external Day/Night fixed, vandal resistant flexidomes (VDN-498) to be installed externally and 12 internal colour fixed flexidomes (VDC445) because of their reliability, image quality, and the technical support available throughout the installation process.
"At first we trialled the day/night camera on the ‘drive thru' - a notoriously difficult area to monitor - and the owner was very impressed," Mark explains. "When he realised the difference in quality of the images, he wanted Bosch cameras specified throughout."
Cameras have been positioned at key locations inside the restaurant to protect the premises against theft, break-ins, vandalism and anti-social behaviour. Additionally, the traffic entering the ‘drive thru' is monitored to ensure the main access road is not causing a build up of traffic.
"The quality and clarity of the image offers a versatility which is not found in other cameras," he says. "Fast Food restaurants across the country are blighted by abusive and drunken behaviour towards staff and vandalism against the property during the weekend, and these cameras act as a major deterrent."
The trial has proved so successful that plans are in place to replace the CCTV system at the other three restaurants in the franchise in line with the solution specified by UIS.
Following a major investment programme at Cansfield High School, Wigan Council now relies on vandal resistant cameras from Bosch Security Systems, which have been installed by UIS as part of a new CCTV system to safeguard staff, students and property.
UIS was approached by Wigan Council to install a new surveillance system that includes more than 30 Bosch FlexiDome cameras set up to monitor the school’s corridors and hallways, to prevent vandalism and improve security.
The project was carried out over the Easter holidays to minimise class disruption and was successfully completed within two weeks. Images are monitored two days a week by a Community Support Officer and recorded for reference in case of an incident.
Tony Hollinrake, Principal Officer of the Risk Management Team at Wigan Council explains: “Following on from from the CCTV system installed at St John Fisher High School last year, we wanted to install Bosch cameras at Cansfield to help deter anti-social behaviour like loitering, smoking and general misbehaviour.
“The cameras are working as we had hoped, the images are of a very high quality. We haven’t had any incidents to date but as and when the cameras are called into action I am confident we will be pleased with the recordings.”
Established as a flagship Specialist College and from 2007 as a Specialist Training School, it has undergone a multi-million pound investment programme. The school has state of the art class rooms with interactive whiteboards, along with technology workshops, specialist art rooms, science laboratories and dedicated ICT suites, and a new CCTV network was crucial to safeguard the investment in these facilities.
Operations Director at UIS, Mark Ashall adds: “As with all such projects, we use Bosch cameras as they are very reliable and the pictures are very high quality. These particular FlexiDomes are extremely compact which is a major advantage as space was at a premium in some of the school’s corridors.
“We are confident that we will rarely if ever have to revisit a site once we have completed the initial installation. This gives us and the client the reassurance that they will not need further maintenance or repair work and reducing the overall cost of ownership.”
Wigan Town centre experiences the same anti-social problems as every small town in the country and when the existing camera network was in need of upgrading, Unique Integrated Systems installed more than 50 Bosch Dinion XF Day/Night cameras for the project.
Wigan Council approached UIS on the basis of its proven expertise on a number of previous installations, including work on several high schools in the area and the town centre.
The entire 500 plus camera network that covers the town centre is being revamped as the pictures being captured were not of sufficiently high resolution for easy monitoring and recording.
Tony Hollinrake of Wigan Council’s Security Solution Section explains: “King Street in Wigan is one of the most popular places to go out on a Friday and Saturday night and can attract more than 10,000 people. It is not uncommon for anti-social behaviour to occur and it is vital that we can record good quality images to aid the police in prosecution should they need it.
“The Bosch cameras that have been installed are working fantastically; the night time images are so clear it is almost like they were captured in broad daylight. We are very pleased and will be using the same cameras on the remaining upgrade.”
Mark Ashall, Operations Director at UIS comments: “The existing network was 10 years old and the council was finding that the images lacked clarity and were becoming a bit sluggish when operating.
“We invariably specify Bosch cameras for projects as the reliability is second to none. We know that once the project is completed we will not have to go back to fix anything and the quality of the pictures is excellent.”
Bosch Security System engineers visited Wigan days after the installation was completed as Tony Hollinrake continues: “The project was completed in less than three weeks so we were running the cameras by the end of April, and there have not been any problems with the installation nor with their performance since.”
Images from the cameras are transmitted to the Council’s new monitoring suite in the dedicated control centre in the town hall. The CCTV monitoring suite – supervised by six Bosch vandal resistant domes - rates among the best in the country, and the 550 cameras covering the town centre, public areas, council properties and various civil amenities make Wigan one of the safest town centres in the country.
Tony Hollinrake concludes: “Following the large investment of new equipment in the control centre, it was important to have this safeguarded with CCTV. As we use Bosch cameras throughout the town, it was an obvious choice to use Bosch technology in the monitoring suite too.”
Videoswitch DVRs have been specified as part of the CCTV system upgrade recently carried out by UIS at 45 City Link depots and are to play a key role in the future rollout programme of new depots.
“City Link is committed to protecting its properties against security, operational and business risks,” said Stuart Godman, Sales & Marketing Director, “We have worked closely in partnership with Unique Integrated Systems to ensure that we invest in quality security systems and that they are upgraded continually. We have been happy to accept Unique Integrated Systems’ advice that the Videoswitch DVR should be deployed because of its reputation for reliability and ease of use, as it is primarily a tool used by non security management personnel on a daily basis.”
The CCTV systems which are remotely monitored 24/7 by City Link’s own central control room, are mainly used by City Link to prevent and detect security incidents. The systems, however, are also used to monitor Health & Safety, operational and security procedure compliance, and as a general management review tool, it provides data to identify preventative and corrective actions in many areas of operational activity.
“We have been pleased with the results achieved so far due to the quality of the images recorded,” added Stuart Godman. “Video evidence has been used by the police in criminal prosecutions and by City Link management in disciplinary cases, as well as in reviewing many Health and Safety issues.”
City Link is one of the UK’s leading premium express
delivery companies and is this year celebrating 40 years in business.
It has a network of 100 depots, employs more than 6,500 people and operates
a fleet of 3,500 vehicles. In recent months City Link has enjoyed a number
of significant contract wins, invested over £2.5 million in I.T.
development systems and continues with its investment in its depot refurbishment.