There are millions of surveillance cameras across the UK. They are a feature of shops, cafés, schools, bars, clubs, care homes, offices and manufacturing premises. Very often, these venues don’t have a specialist person employed to use and manage the video surveillance solution. They rely on whoever’s available. This means the value and usefulness of the solution depends largely on how user-friendly it is.
A false sense of security
Having video surveillance in place doesn’t guarantee security. Outdated interfaces can leave users scratching their heads over management tasks, which means the system may be less than fully functional. On older systems, searching through footage to find a specific incident is often very time-consuming. This can be a productivity killer for employees who have to fit video camera management into their working day. And what about the quality of the footage? If it’s not good enough to provide clear evidence when incidents occur, then that system simply isn’t working.
Opportunities in the market
The UK has around 1 camera for every 32 citizens. We are one of the most surveilled countries in the world, but it’s still a growth sector. The quality of video surveillance has improved significantly in recent years and this is enticing organisations to ditch old, analogue systems. Concerns over the security of older equipment are also prompting companies to upgrade to the latest video surveillance, especially in sensitive venues, such as schools and care homes. It’s a hot topic. In June this year, the Surveillance Camera Commissioner for England and Wales announced ‘Secure by Design, Secure by Default’ minimum requirements for the manufacturers of surveillance camera systems and components. It’s certainly a good time to be talking to customers about their video surveillance solutions.
Easy does it
For any organisation without a dedicated surveillance system manager, ease of use has to be the priority when choosing a new system. With a range of solutions created for small-to-midsize organisations, Axis Communications knows what it takes to ensure their technology suits the non-specialists who use it every day. Automatic camera discovery and setup wizards get the system online as quickly as possible. An intuitive user interface includes on-screen controls for commonly used camera features. You can view live and recorded video simultaneously. And there’s an ‘always on’ timeline for easier investigation after any incident. Axis technology can also send email alerts to staff members, who can then access live surveillance via a mobile viewing app. This is especially useful for organisations where there isn’t a fulltime video surveillance operator. Overall, there are many operational and security advantages from this level of convenience and low-touch management.
Back to school
The benefits of Axis video surveillance solution are being seen at Washington Community High School. The school’s previous system was made up of a variety of different analogue cameras from multiple manufacturers. It was difficult to use, there were gaps in coverage and it generated a large number of false alarms. Upgrading to an Axis’ IP-based system swept away old issues around usability and blind spots.
It’s also proving a big timesaver. Rather than spending an hour reviewing analogue video to find five minutes’ worth of relevant footage, the school’s security officer can skip back quickly to an incident and address it fast. What’s more, the quality of the images from Axis cameras is much higher, providing much greater detail, even at farther distances, so there’s no question over what’s happening. Axis camera station also means that exporting footage to relevant authorities is also simple.
We’ve already seen hackers break into UK schools’ CCTV systems and stream footage of pupils live online. It was an issue of cameras not being properly password protected. This demonstrates the importance of video surveillance that has simple system management. It shouldn’t be tricky to set up passwords.
With the GDPR now in effect, ‘data protection and security by design and default’ is a legal requirement. Organisations must ‘put in place appropriate technical and organisational measures, designed to implement data protection in an effective manner, and to integrate the necessary safeguards into the processing.’ Axis takes a ‘Secure by Default’ approach to all its technology, making it a useful recommendation to customers in any sector, who are concerned about video cameras and the GDPR.
In summary, simplicity of operation and management is a ‘must-have’ for any video surveillance solution. It has to be user-friendly for the non-specialists who interact with it.
Axis offers intuitive, end-to-end solutions for a wide variety of sectors, and the team at Ingram Micro are ready to support you on any sales opportunities. To find out more, get in touch with us on 0371 973 3000.