Residents of Danish Housing Association want Surveillance.

TOPNORDIC to install Milestone IP video to manage vandalism.
The residents of Hoejstrup Housing Association in the Danish neighborhood called Vollsmose have chosen by a definitive vote to invest in a surveillance solution from TOPNORDIC, who will help ensure that their budgets from now on can be used for playgrounds instead of vandalism.

A majority of residents in this Danish housing association in Vollsmose have decided that the association should install 120 video cameras, set up in hallways, elevators, basement areas and laundry rooms over the coming month.  The surveillance solution from TOPNORDIC shall reduce vandalism and make life for the residents safer.

“This surveillance is large for a housing association, and actually is only surpassed by DSB (Danish Railways) and Copenhagen Airport, but it is necessary for the residents to feel safe and prevent vandalism. At TOPNORDIC we do our utmost to produce a security policy for our surveillance customers in a way that all ethical rules are upheld and the surveillance therefore becomes only beneficial for the residents. All of our employees in this sector have certification from the Security Association in the Danish Standard for video surveillance,” says the Divisional Director at TOPNORDIC Henrik Hviid.

The 445 rental units in this housing association in Vollsmose are a mix of both small and larger apartments of up to 5 rooms. This means that the combination of residents is a good balance of families with children, couples, and singles. Altogether about 1,200 people live in the association, and it was a majority of the residents who decided in a final vote that there should be an investment in video surveillance.

“We have had surveillance in the elevators the last ten years, which have had a surprisingly positive and preventive effect. Basically, there’s almost no more vandalism in the elevators anymore.  The new video surveillance solution is going to prevent more vandalism, which is the main focus for ensuring greater safety for the residents,” states Inspector Joergen Kristensen, Hoejstrup Housing Association, and continues:  “Last year we used almost ¼ million crowns on vandalism, and these are expenditures that are vexing.  It means among other things that less money gets used for improving playgrounds and other community areas that can help build up the neighborhood in the long term and make it more attractive to live in Vollsmose.”

The residents and Foreman Inger Aagaard can definitely see where they would like to use the money that is saved from decreasing vandalism repairs: “Over a number of years we have been renovating and improving the situation for all of us who live here, but the money saved from less vandalism will be used to create some new activities for all the young in this residential area.  For example, we have some children and youth centers that are open from 1-5 p.m. that we'd like to have open in the evenings, as well as expand the offerings of things to do.  We can accomplish this by minimizing the vandalism with the new video surveillance,” says Inger Aagaard.

Ethics in top focus
The ethics around the video surveillance have been discussed heavily here because surveillance is becoming more and more widespread in the Danish society.  TOPNORDIC therefore has a strong focus on being certified in this area, which ensures that all their consultants know what the relevant laws demand.  For example, one may not record more than 30 days of video at a time, and there must be a legitimate reason to set up video cameras.

“In collaboration with TOPNORDIC we have made a surveillance policy, and when the implementation is ready we will have clear and strong guidelines as to how the surveillance is handled.  For example, there will only be three people who have access to see the images from the surveillance.  We guard the residents’ privacy and therefore have sharp rules in this arena," states Inspector Joergen Kristensen.

The 1,200 residents and 270 people employed by the community who are daily in the area, including children’s daycare institutions, will feel much more safe from now on.  Hopefully, this residential quarter will develop into one of the better ones because the money previously used to deal with vandalism now can be utilized for improvements of community areas and projects.

The new surveillance solution from TOPNORDIC will be using an IP video management software platform from Milestone Systems.  TOPNORDIC is an authorized and certified Milestone Partner.

About TOPNORDIC
TOPNORDIC is Denmark’s and Scandinavian’s leading IT infrastructure supplier.  Their business areas are spread over the entire value chain from hardware and software to service, project management, installation,  infrastructure, operations and education – including an award-winning eSHOP. In Denmark TOPNORDIC employes over 1,000 employees with the headquarters in the Copenhagen suburb of Ballerup and divisions in the country’s largest cities. TOPNORDIC has the highest number of certified IT Consultants. As part of the Ementor concern that employs over 4,000 personnel, TOPNORDIC/Ementor/Atea/Sonex has presence in all of Scandinavia and the Baltics with 70 local divisions placed strategically in Norway, Sweden, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Russia and Denmark. Ementor is listed on the Oslo stock exchange. www.topnordic.com