This article was first published in the Autumn 2014 issue of Touch
Located on the south-eastern border of the Île-de-France, Sénart is an urban district founded in 1973 to prevent uncontrollable urbanisation in the Paris region and to promote the harmonious development of the Île-de-France.
Recently, the region of Sénart decided to expand its security initiatives with more video surveillance. Within the seven municipalities forming the region, there were already 25 inter-communal video cameras installed in strategic areas where a higher density of people would gather or commute, such as transportation stations and shopping centres.
“This project began with two cities in the region: Moissy-Cramayel et Combs-la-Ville; which were both recently hit with instances of armed robberies,” explains Christelle Jousselin-Lainé, director of Prevention and Security Services at San de Sénart. “It was a matter of assuring frustrated citizens, specifically the business owners who decided to get together with their respective mayors to demand additional means to protect their businesses.”
Even backed by the efforts of municipal police and many security initiatives, the mayors of each municipality were having difficulty addressing the progression of vandalism and minor assaults on businesses. Coming together to support this project, all the municipal mayors in each district turned to their partners, SNC Lavallin (consultant), Spie Ile-de-France Ouest (integrator) et Infodip (distributor). After a comprehensive assessment, it was the unified security platform, Security Center, that was chosen. Developed by Genetec, Security Center seamlessly merges multiple IP security systems, whether video surveillance, access control or other critical systems, in a simple and innovative solution.
Today, 74 cameras are managed from Omnicast, the IP video surveillance system of the unified platform Security Center. 21 dome cameras are spread throughout the municipalities of Cesson, Lieusaint, Nandy, and Réau, 13 domes are in the municipality of Vert-Saint-Denis, 23 domes are in the municipality of Moissy-Cramayel, and another 17 domes are in the municipality of Comb-la-Ville. All the cameras are monitored from an inter-municipal command centre, called CSUI (Centre de Surveillance Urbaine Intercommunal), where physical access to the station is managed from the IP access control system of Security Center, Synergis. The CSUI is a communal service for all municipalities, located in the heart of the region in the Sénart Square.
“There are five stations, two of which have operators monitoring video on a continual basis and the remainder which is manned with technical agents, and not municipal police who need to be in the field. Six massive screens project video that is transmitted to the national police in case a formal investigation needs to be conducted,” said Jousselin-Lainé. “The CSUI is up and running 24/7 because the municipal and national police have urban monitoring stations, which means they can pull up video to see what is happening during the day, but do not have the ability to retrieve highly-protected recorded video. In every case, the agents of Sénart are always in contact with municipal and national police.”
With advanced functionalities, Security Center fulfilled all of the region’s needs. Thanks to its IP flexibility and its ability to federate up to thousands of remote systems, the system was chosen as the ideal solution for city-wide surveillance because it enabled central monitoring. In Sénart, Security Center has allowed for easy central monitoring of distributed cameras, while still providing independent monitoring to local police.
The Federation feature of Security Center also allowed for central management of alarms and reporting, which offers a list of daily events from all cameras alongside recorded video. The main advantage of Federation is the cost savings for surveillance in the city, since security resources can be maximised during peak city events or after hours.
Plan Manager, the interactive map-based interface of Security Center, also allows Sénart region to improve operator efficiency for monitoring and handling events in real time. Operators can easily find cameras, doors and alarms directly from a map of the city.
“Today, we can say that since the cameras have been installed in the highly-trafficked areas that were hit with delinquency, we have seen considerable results,” says Jousselin-Lainé. “In Moissy-Cramayel, we have a delinquency rate of 73%, with a concerning amount of street crime, vandalism and armed robberies. We now have grids set up within city centre and have cameras protecting the businesses. The impact has been impressive: in a ten-month span, delinquencies have dropped by nearly 43%. There was a considerable need to organise the security and management of the city centre so that the cameras could have a real impact.”
The police officers throughout Sénart also use the video to protect themselves in the field. For example, when they are en route to conduct a road security operation or address any street activity, they call the CSUI to ask operators to be vigilant and identify any crowds.
“There is real dynamism in Sénart,” explains Jousselin-Lainé. “For once, the results are not so much in terms of a drop in crime, but in terms of new tools to support police operations in a different and complementary way.”
Concerning the growth of the project, Jousselin-Lainé concludes: “We planned the system for tomorrow, wanting to extend the system with new cameras over time at a minimal cost. Today, the entire fibre network already runs through the whole new region. Thus, the future cost of adding new cameras – seven are currently being validated for installation at the end of 2014 – will be extremely low because we really invested in the future.”
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