Case Study

SECOM Deliver Bus Depot IP-Based CCTV Solutions

SECOM Boosts a National Public Transport Company’s Security with IP-Based CCTV

Many progressive companies are enhancing their security by moving from traditional analogue CCTV to IP-based systems. A recent example is a national public transport company’s Merseyside division. The company chose SECOM to source and install the new system, as well as new physical security measures. Together, these are proving to be a major deterrent to would-be intruders.

The company’s Merseyside division has a workforce of over 2,000 employees and a fleet of some 600 buses including seven large bus depots, situated in Bootle, Birkenhead, Green Lane, Southport, Speke, St. Helens and Runcorn. Until recently, each of these sites was protected by analogue CCTV and manned security. Most of the sites were highly vulnerable to intruders as they didn’t have secure gates or the means to securely close the entrance and exits fully.

The security need

The company started searching for a single supplier, as it wanted to move to an IP-based, monitored CCTV solution as well as improving the physical security of its sites. The physical security would provide enhanced protection, especially out of hours when manning levels are at a minimum.
During these times, it also wanted to have full CCTV monitoring to protect staff and assets onsite.

A representative from the corporation, explains: “Our sites weren’t secure and in some cases had open access. Members of the public could walk in unchallenged. We had instances of break-ins, resulting in both damage and theft. We also had a major risk from arson attack, as the buses are parked tightly together overnight.”

He continues: “Our existing CCTV was out of date and the ongoing maintenance costs meant that it wasn’t cost-effective. We wanted to make our sites more secure through the installation of lockable gates, monitored analytical cameras and a manned response to incidents onsite.”

One key issue was that the company’s existing CCTV system couldn’t be monitored – and the picture quality had become extremely poor. The company therefore looked at six or seven different security suppliers and quickly reduced these to a shortlist of two. A representative from the corporation comments: “We went with SECOM because they offered a one-stop shop with both electronic and physical security. We wanted to work with a large, experienced company with whom we could develop a long-term relationship. SECOM’s use of Avigilon technology also met our requirements.”

SECOM’s solution

To provide physical security, SECOM installed vehicular and pedestrian entrance gates in several of the bus depots to secure the sites’ perimeters. At the Speke depot, a bespoke bi-fold gate – one of the largest of its type in the country – was installed.

For monitoring the sites, SECOM proposed an IP-based CCTV solution using Avigilon IP CCTV video analytics and monitored by SECOM’s Control and Command Centre.

IP-based CCTV systems have several key benefits when compared with analogue systems. The video images are of much higher quality, and provide the high resolution needed to be able to identify people or vehicle licence plates. They are also much more versatile in terms of both the options available for the field of view and the capabilities of being able to zoom in on specific areas. In addition, they are more secure and reliable than analogue systems and need less cabling. Crucially, they can be managed and monitored remotely.

Mal Fairless, SECOM’s Major Projects Consultant, says: “Avigilon was the natural choice, as it’s one of our high-end solution providers of choice and met all of our key requirements. We needed a monitored CCTV solution that integrated seamlessly into our Control and Command monitoring centre and provided a reliable video analytic capability – and Avigilon’s is world-class.”

He adds: “The analytics are machine learning and are very sophisticated, as they can learn their environment and detect people trying to penetrate the boundary. Strategically placed cameras with built-in analytics survey the fence line, looking for any potential breach. As Avigilon’s analytics are so reliable, this eliminates a lot of false alarms and means that when we receive an activation, there’s a high probability that it will be a genuine alert.”

SECOM was able to provide monitoring services that will safeguard the sites against trespass as well as any associated fire risks. The placement of the monitored CCTV cameras with video analytics was crucial to provide effective perimeter protection.
SECOM also installed new cameras in the buildings to provide general surveillance, and in some cases increased the security level by adding analytics to key entry and exit points within the building. SECOM and the national public transport company worked collaboratively to design the right system for each site, ensuring that the right level of protection was provided for the perimeters and key entry/exit points. This was achieved through the use of analytics and with the right level of general overview cameras for the key areas of the site.

All of the cameras are recording 24/7 to a securely located network video recorder (NVR) that can be accessed remotely to view live feeds or recorded footage. This not only provides monitored, analytical security coverage but it also gives the national public transport company’s management and employees a viewable record of any other instances on site (e.g. accidents, mishaps or vandalism). On average, each site has over 20 cameras installed, with the most being at Green Lane, one of the largest sites, which has over 40 cameras.

Overcoming issues

SECOM had to overcome various issues when developing and installing the new security system. This included the difficulty of deploying video technology in very different and irregularly-shaped depots, all of which had compounds that were full of buses during the night. This meant that the height of the buses needed to be taken into consideration when installing the system, to ensure that the cameras and analytics would operate effectively.

Due to the size and scale of the sites, SECOM had to use specialist wireless technology for connecting the cameras to the system, placing the cameras strategically around the perimeter, ensuring that each receiver had a clear line of sight from the camera. SECOM’s system is integrated within the national public transport company’s network infrastructure and therefore had to meet the company’s specific and stringent IT governance and compliance requirements, including the latest GDPR regulations for keeping data secure at all times. The cameras, and particularly the analytics used, are unique for each site so that they suit the way in which each depot works.

SECOM is also providing a keyholding/manned response service for all of the sites. This means that if there’s a confirmed CCTV activation, SECOM will be able to meet the police onsite, rather than having to disturb the transport company personnel.

Making a difference

satisfied with the solution provided by SECOM, A representative from the corporation confirms: “We’ve achieved everything we set out to achieve. Our confidence in the CCTV installation and analytical technology has enabled us to make our sites secure. The ability to close and lock the gates has given us peace of mind, backed up by the knowledge that the cameras are being monitored to prevent any theft or damage being caused by potential intruders. The new gates and fencing certainly look the part and are a great physical deterrent.”

He adds: “The work SECOM has done across our sites has also been received very well by our staff. We have upskilled our management teams in the use of the new technology and they’re all impressed by the quality of the CCTV images and the ability to remotely access the system at any time. Our IT teams and SECOM’s IT department worked collaboratively, supported at every step of the way by SECOM’s Technical Director and the staff at the SECOM Control and Command Centre in Kenley.”

He concludes: “The guys at SECOM have been great to work with. They have a great team ethic and their work is of excellent quality. Any issues were quickly sorted out with a phone call to the account manager or installation manager. Even now that the install has been completed, we still receive an excellent amount of support from SECOM. They really have put a great amount of resource into our project.”


A National Public Transport Company


Public Transport


Physical And CCTV


IP-Based Video CCTV Monitored By SECOM And Entrance Gates

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