Birmingham schools Genie surveillance benefits

Expanding surveillance equipment provider Genie CCTV has helped a Birmingham school to improve its security, providing a more secure environment for pupils and teaching staff, as well as deterring future threats including on-site thefts that had previously posed a concern for the school.

Working in collaboration with local installation specialist Unison Integrated Technology, Genie has supplied surveillance systems including future-proof and flexible equipment that now enable Bordesley Green Girls’ School managers to keep a close eye on daily activity and provide a recorded activity log for use in potential prosecutions.

Bordesley Green is a four-form 11-16 multicultural comprehensive school situated on the eastern side of Birmingham. It has 600 students on roll and around 100 teaching, support and administrative staff. On-site accommodation includes five science laboratories, four specialist design technology and art rooms, and six computer rooms, as well as a new sports hall and business & enterprise suite. The school’s Business Manager, Jeremy Datson, reports that continuing investment is being made in facilities for 200 post-16 age students as part of the government’s ongoing ‘Building schools for the future’ project, the biggest ever schools investment programme, which aims to rebuild or renew nearly every secondary school in England.

Combating threats

Mr Datson adds that the school’s location in a built-up urban area has meant it’s potentially vulnerable to significant external threats. Existing on-site surveillance measures required upgrading and installation company Unison accordingly recommended the use of Genie equipment including vandal resistant dome cameras and digital recording systems. These measures allow the monitoring of areas where staff and pupils regularly congregate, such as corridors, with strategically positioned cameras providing a theft prevention role. “We were looking for a system that delivered high quality images together with a fast frame rate to enable identification if required,” Mr Datson comments.

Matthew Rodden of Unison explains that to achieve these aims he specified equipment including Genie’s 540TVL VRCD-5351 day/night vandal resistant dome cameras for internal observation duties.Working in conjunction with these cameras is Genie’s GDVR-160 16-channel Quadraplex digital video recorder, which offers hard disc recording capacity ranging from 500Gb up to 3Tb. This DVR’s operating benefits also include an integrated multi-format DVD re-writer, network access with Internet Explorer and Client, and free multi-site network client software. Since the initial installation the system has been extended and also now involves Genie CCTV’s TPC-8389 540TVL day/night camera enclosed in a camera housing integrated with IR LEDs and the VRDD-5351IR day/night vandal resistant dome camera with IR LEDs and mechanical IR cut-filter.

Early results

Jeremy Datson notes that since the system’s installation four people have been confronted – including one incident involving an attempted bag theft – as a direct result of the cameras’ presence: “The equipment’s network connectivity allows us to view and control the system using desktop PCs, which is much more adaptable, and this also gives us easier access to recorded video.

We are very pleased with the Genie system’s performance, which has delivered what we wanted from it,” Mr Datson comments. “The software is easy to use and the equipment has proved reliable in daily use. We’re also happy with the service provided by both Genie and Unison, in terms of the design and specification process, as well as the post-install support and back-up we’ve received.

Binit Shah, Marketing Manager at Genie, adds that the Bordesley Green project proves the value of Genie surveillance measures. “As more schools roll out similar investment programmes we’re ready to help lend our experience of specific installations like this and help other customers in the education sector to reap the benefits,” he says.