Protecting a School’s Assets with MOBOTIX Cameras

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Edmund Rice, formally Christian Brothers College, was established in 1926 and is an independent Catholic high school for boys located in the heart of the picturesque Illawarra district, to the south-west of Sydney. The founder of the Christian Brothers, Edmund Rice, lends the school its present-day name.

A new video surveillance system

Since 2013 Edmund Rice College have invested millions to bring cutting-edge facilities to their students, including a first class sports hall, state-of-the-art computing facilities, and new learning spaces both inside and out. The school’s current 1980s analogue security system was only semi-operational and not up to the essential task of protecting these assets. So the headmaster called in Dean Scanlen from Forcefield Security to carry out repairs. Dean knew that continuing to repairing the increasingly defunct technology was not a long-term solution: “I suggested, why not include the installation of a brand new security system in the Sports Hall into the construction cost? I explained the savings that would be seen in the long term and how it was a perfect time to incorporate into the larger project.”

MOBOTIX saves time and money

The decentralised design of the MOBOTIX cameras with intelligent low bandwidth requirements allowed integration into the school’s existing network and MOBOTIX hemispheric technology meant fewer cameras cover larger areas. With license-free regularly upgraded firmware, and cameras built to last and to stringent quality standards, MOBOTIX technology offered an economical long-term solution and was perfect for the school. Furthermore, as many areas to be covered were internal, the competitive pricing of the indoor range brought even greater savings upfront. “In order to convince them, I suggested that they try out one MOBOTIX camera. They used it for a month, and came back more than happy and ready to go ahead with the entire installation,” Dean explains.

Installing MOBOTIX

A modern alarm system was fitted in the Sports Hall and MOBOTIX cameras were installed around the outside and inside of the building. A combination of M15s and D15 easily protected the exterior of the building and only a single i25, MOBOTIX hemispheric indoor camera, was needed to cover the entire sports hall arena. Positive results were seen quite soon afterwards, with the access reliable footage acting to reduce incidences of bullying and fighting. Extremely happy with the installation, the school were eager for the newly refurbished library to be secured next. By this stage the VMS (video management software) had been upgraded to the newly released MxMC (MOBOTIX Management Centre), making installation even simpler. In spite of its size, the library
only required 2 indoor hemispheric c25 cameras to monitor the whole area. Q25s and D15s were installed to keep a watchful guard on the entrance and exterior respectively. Thanks to MxMC’s intelligent sorting of all parameters, which supports visual control and drag&drop, installation time was significantly cut.

The benefits of MOBOTIX decentralised technology

MOBOTIX decentralised technology keeps bandwidth requirements extremely low, allowing a secure subnet to be installed on the school’s existing network without causing any extra burden. Indeed, at busy times, such as during class when students are using computer equipment, the cameras delay sending footage, storing it in a buffer designed specifically for this purpose. “IT didn’t even see an imprint of MOBOTIX on their network,” Dean explains.

Protecting Privacy

Live monitoring takes place in a local control room performed by security staff, and only authorised members of staff have access to review or download footage, with neither students nor teachers able to do so. Further measures were taken to protect the privacy of students in view of the new system, by disabling all microphones on the cameras during teaching hours. However at night time, the microphones are switched on through a custom setting, so that the control room can speak to anyone on site using remoteGUARD.

Seeing results

The cameras have already had their first major win protecting computer equipment from vandalism. “Someone had been swapping the letters over on the keyboards in the computer room,” Dean explains. “Using MxMC, we reviewed the recordings and found perfect footage of the culprits in action. They were reprimanded and asked to pay for new keyboards. It had happened in the past and the school hadn’t been able to catch them, until now.”

Built to last

Edmund Rice College can now look to the future with reassurance, knowing that they have a scalable, flexible security system built to last. MOBOTIX decentralised technology made installation simple, with no new cabling nor additional infrastructure required. This, along with the great coverage provided by hemispheric technology and the lower price point of indoor cameras, meant
a sophisticated security system was also affordable. And, because MOBOTIX firmware is license free and regularly updated, the school have the reassurance of knowing the system will remain cutting-edge for many years to come.

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