Genie CCTV cameras safeguard St Albans Academy students

Expanding surveillance equipment provider Genie CCTV has supplied surveillance systems to St Alban’s Academy, situated near the centre of Birmingham. With origins dating back to 1871, this specialist engineering and maths academy was opened in September 2009, replacing St Alban’s CE Specialist Engineering College. It now forms part of the ARK Schools Network, which includes seven other academies.

St Alban’s is a popular, mixed, non-selective Church of England academy, offering places to 11-16 year-olds, with a strong pastoral commitment. The welcoming, caring and supportive atmosphere is one of the reasons parents choose St Alban’s. Parents also welcome the high degree of supervision and security that the small school structure promotes.

As part of these efforts, the Academy has upgraded its 10+-year-old black & white/colour surveillance system with brand new Genie CCTV equipment, specified by Midlands-based installation specialist Unison Integrated Technology. St Alban’s IT Manager, Mohammed Asharif, who oversees the Academy’s security arrangements, explains that two cameras from the original installation were retained while 37 others were replaced with Genie CCTV units.

These include 30 AVRCD-5351 540TVL day/night vandal resistant dome cameras for internal monitoring, which make good use of their image quality to monitor areas including corridors, the reception area, main foyer and access through the Academy’s main doors. Meanwhile, 7 of Genie’s C5352 540TVL day/night bodied cameras, with 2.8-12mm auto-iris varifocal lens and external housings are used to survey areas around the Academy site buildings. Images from all the cameras are recorded onto 3 Genie GDVR-M608 8 Channel & GDVR-M616 16 Channel DVR real time Quadraplex DVRs, which offer up to 3Tb of internal storage capacity.

The system has already proved its worth, preventing a reoccurrence of sporadic vandalism, as Mr Asharif explains: “We did suffer repeated stone throwing from the street, which caused damage to glass panels on the side of a building stairway, but since we installed the new cameras there haven’t been any more problems. Day-to-day, we find the CCTV system useful for health & safety functions to care for and protect our pupils and staff, for instance by tracking visitor movements around the site and checking for potential intruders.”

“Unison advised us that Genie equipment would best suit our requirements and was the most cost effective solution offering high standards of reliability and image recording quality, and that’s certainly proved to be the case. Meanwhile, Unison has been a very helpful company, exceeding our expectations in terms of the service and back-up we receive from them. After this positive experience, I’d certainly recommend both Unison and Genie CCTV to anyone else.”