Case Studies

Coating saves in North Lanarkshire

by Mark Rowe

TCA, the provider of security services for North Lanarkshire Council, reports that it has seen savings of around £50,000 a year, after installing 300 Panasonic CCTV cameras, waterproofed with a coating.

East of Glasgow, North Lanarkshire’s challenging weather (pictured; Quadrant Shopping Centre, Coatbridge) includes rain which has resulted in water marks, dust spots and condensation, which meant costly maintenance and the potential for missing incidents. When considering an upgrade to the system, TCA sought to combat these issues , given the era of local government austerity.

TCA (Town Centre Activities) Limited secured the lower total cost of ownership they were seeking by fitting Panasonic PTZ cameras. The ClearSight coating forms an invisible layer over the surface of the dome preventing water droplets from obscuring footage, while also eliminating dirt and dust build up on the dome cover.

Nikola Graham, Operations Manager, says: “On many models, when the rain stops, you tend to get a coating of dust on the dome, which the camera then focuses on. We just haven’t seen that with the Panasonic cameras. In fact, we have actually halved the number of maintenance visits, which we think probably equates to a £50,000 annual saving.”

An initial installation over two years saw the bulk of the cameras installed on 27 high rise blocks, identified as having problems with crime and anti-social behaviour. Some cameras fitted within the tower block lifts allow TCA to manage any faults. The two-way audio on the Full HD cameras mean it’s possible for operators at the TCA control centre to talk to anyone stuck in the lift and raise the alarm with lift engineers. Since install, the average time to have an engineer on site has been cut to between 20 and 30 minutes.

Graeme Good, Business Manager at TCA, says: “The result has been impressive. The council has seen a reduction in the number of criminal and anti-social incidents within the residential blocks, the cameras have contributed greatly to this. The people living in the blocks feel safer as a result. A camera in the Motherwell area has on several occasions been used to catch vehicles that were used in some pretty serious crime. The quality of the footage and the evidence packs that we are giving the police is exactly what they are looking for.”

A control room in Coatbridge with 21 Full HD monitors, monitors 875 cameras round the clock using tours and salvos. A further 300 cameras are linked in and monitored out of hours, if an alarm is triggered. Various triggers, such as alarms within the lifts, will show as priorities for the operators.

Graeme Good adds: “It’s great credit to our integration partners that some of the cameras we monitor are 16 years old. Every time we have a fault we will appraise whether it’s cost effective to repair the unit. If not, we’ll continue with the roll out of Panasonic, which have been virtually faultless thus far.”


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