Locarno is a 'milestone' as first Swiss city with pure IP video surveillance

XProtect sofware and Panasonic network cameras installed by John Lay Electronics

COPENHAGEN, Denmark, 22 August 2005

The city of Locarno has responded to growing problems of vandalism by installing a ‘Video-Over-IP’ network solution using Milestone Systems software and Panasonic network cameras. In addition to many technical benefits like flexibility and future scalability, the surveillance provides a feeling of personal safety without being obtrusive.

A public community cannot just stand by and watch as vandalism and crime figures steadily increase - especially if their economy depends largely on tourism. This was the realization of sunny Locarno, Switzerland, when such growing problems also included popular areas of town. This development undermined the feeling of personal safety for tourists and citizens alike.

An additional problem arose at the town’s four waste depots. Unauthorized refuse was being dumped on a regular basis, resulting in escalating costs for the town’s administration.

These were reasons enough for those in charge to enter into cooperation with the county’s Information Technology Centre, the Police Department, and the Technical Law offices, to implement a new security system. They focused on safeguarding three strategic zones: the waste disposal area, high-traffic areas, and the so-called ‘hot zones’ which cover the historical parts of the town. The vision was to get a surveillance system to act as a deterrent, but not to give any ‘Big Brother’ feeling to respectable people that could have a negative effect on the picturesque image of the old town.

John Lay Electronics, part of Gruppo Sicurezza SA, with a «Panasonic/Milestone» solution were awarded the contract for the installation. The excellent picture quality of the Panasonic industrial video cameras, the simple operation of the Milestone software solution, and a professional storage solution from EMC were decisive factors. The system is scalable for the future, enabling easy integration of additional surveillance cameras, if needed.

The new security system is operating 100% with Video-Over-IP (Internet Protocol). This project marks the first time a town surveillance system completely based on IP technology has been installed in Switzerland.

"Acts of vandalism no longer have any place in our town, thanks to leading-edge technology, which provides the requisite deterrence with the utmost discretion," says Clemente Gramigna, Ing. Dipl. EPFL/SIA, Centro Informatico Comunale di Locarno.