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QIC shopping centres find new ways of using video tech and create Project Safe-Guard

novembre 24, 2023

QIC had existing security infrastructure across all their commercial sites, which has been used to monitor shopping centres in a traditional way - watching and scanning live from a Control Room and collecting footage after an incident. However, the way of thinking changed after an investigation into a self-harm incident.


Queensland Investment Corporation (QIC)



Milestone XProtect® Corporate VMS

Video analytics, access control, speaker

PMT Security
The Situation: passive and reactive to proactive
The investigation that followed the self-harm incident led me to conclude that we were using our cameras in a dumb way. When the incident occurred, our partners at Milestone Systems, along with integrators PMT Security and camera vendor Axis Communications, came together to look at high-risk areas throughout the infrastructure. And Project Safe-Guard was created.”
Deb Palmer, National Programs Manager at QIC

A full survey of the shopping centre was conducted including data from a Self-Harm Audit Tool, created with assistance from Lifeline, reviewing two years of Incident Reports to identify security breaches and potential self-harm areas. These were plotted onto a map of the shopping centre and used as a guide for the Safe-Guard Team, and this is the template when surveying each shopping centre for Project Safe-Guard.

Old vs New

The team also investigated the data sets around certain types of anomalous behaviour and looked at ways for the system to identify these, learn from them and set up automated alerts.

The question was, how could we trigger on those actions? We looked at using technology that was quite new in the industry, including some deep learning cameras. Should a person or vehicle enter an area in a certain manner, or at a certain time, the system could alert the operators.
Ben Tooth from Axis Communications

Although functional, the legacy system relied on hardware in a traditional, passive setup geared towards centralised, human viewing and intervention. With the evolution of technology, it is increasingly common to use an enhanced, integrated system of cameras and data analytics for more sophisticated and automated monitoring, with the Video Management Software (VMS) at the core of the solution. Moving from a reactive system to a proactive one would allow QIC to innovate even more on objects that wouldn’t have been picked up if they were just watching screens in a typical operations centre.

I'm not historically a security person. Based on my background I am more of a problem solver and project manager. So, I didn't understand why we couldn't proactively stop incidents from occurring with the existing system.
Deb Palmer, National Programs Manager at QIC
The Solution: analytics and alerts

This thinking led to the development of a high-tech security system for QIC shopping centres, using advanced devices at the edge of the network, along with smart analysis and automatic notifications to help keep the public safe and enhance property protection.

The heart of this solution is Milestone XProtect, implemented by PMT Security and connected to cameras from Axis Communications. The QIC Control Room was also revamped. Previously vulnerable areas now have protection, and the system can detect vehicle and human movements and behaviours in the shopping centre, helping to prevent potential self-harm incidents and security breaches.

With its open-platform architecture, Milestone XProtect software can be integrated with thousands of complementary products and services. This includes speakers in some areas, which allow the Control Room to communicate to remote parts of the shopping centre like external car parks.

The Result: Return on Investment

Based on months of monitoring and analytics, Deb Palmer and her team are convinced the system has worked and saved lives, proactively stopping many security breaches from occurring. It has detected anomalous behaviours in specific areas and enabled staff to intercede.

With the deployment of Milestone XProtect and associated technologies, QIC has significantly upgraded its retail environment. Automated alerts have enabled security guards to be proactive in their monitoring of the properties and increased the efficiency of the entire system.

Milestone XProtect is infinitely scalable, and its open platform architecture can be integrated with current and future technologies to continue the evolution of QIC’s security and customer experience mission.

Project Safe-Guard has gone beyond the way the hardware and software were originally intended to be used — thanks to the collaboration of the three companies and QIC. Nobody said, ’No, it can't be done.’ It was ‘Let's find a way.’
Deb Palmer, National Programs Manager at QIC
About QIC

QIC was developed by the Queensland Government in 1991 to serve its long-term investment capabilities, and now supports 115 institutional investors across commercial real estate, infrastructure and private equity. The entity holds over $100 Billion in assets as of 2023.

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