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Gardiner Security Introduced one of their ‘Network Video Integration Partners’ to the First Bus Group. They installed Milestone XProtect Enterprise surveillance software to operate a mix of Axis 2120 network cameras and Panasonic PTZ analogue cameras converted to digital by Axis 2400 video servers, all running over Cisco Local Area Networks in multiple depot locations.
The IP Surveillance System covers physical perimeters, entrances and exits, offices, and monitors fuelling stations, de-vaulting stations (where dedicated staff replace bus cash boxes nightly for collection and counting), the downloading of ‘sign-on’ memory sticks from modules in the bus ticket machine – with route price tables, ticket sales and passenger tallies – and also lost property, which is stored at the depots waiting for claims.
"We’ve a lot of people coming and going in our depots: buying tickets, collecting lost property, applying or training for jobs," explains Alan Pert, the Security Manager at First Glasgow. "So public safety is a main focus and this includes the surveillance of the depots."
"One driver was keeping the vault open bringing it in from the bus, and pocketing about £1500 pounds a week. Others were taking £20-30 a night. Now we’ve got that covered by the surveillance, which can give the evidence to dismiss such people, and exonerate the honest employees," he says.
Before, First Glasgow could also see that the miles-per-gallon ratio to routes driven was not matching properly. There are five or six drivers before each bus has to get re-fuelled, so a culprit could not be identified by vehicle or route alone. Watching on the PC monitor now allows virtual supervision when behaviour is unaffected by a manager’s direct presence, showing what is really happening.
Andy Buchanan, Regional IS Manager for First Group in Scotland explains that when Alan Pert came in as Security Manager in 2002, the industry was just starting to change from analogue to digital. "We were upgrading our LAN and putting in new computers at the Larkfield Depot last year, when Gardiner Security along with their approved partner recommended Milestone to us. Since then, Gardiner’s Integrated Systems division has helped us with specifications and technical support on our expansions."
Now the company has put the same type of system in at the Parkhead, Scotstoun and Larkfield Depots, and more locations are planned for future implementations. Edinburgh has also expressed interest in this approach. Part of the surveillance project includes updating all of the depots to Cisco LANs.
"We are better off standardising on the same technology and software," concludes Andy Buchanan. "The real advantage of this system is that it’s scalable. You can put in one PC server and a few cameras then add new ones quickly and easily. It’s flexible, too: you can change cameras or move them to new locations."
Gardiner Security’s Integrated Systems Division are actively selecting companies that have the required skill sets to understand and install complicated Network Video Solutions. These are then offered a distinguished accreditation. "Working with Gardiner Security can deliver very complex video and security solutions over computer network infrastructures," says Glenn Fletcher, National Sales Manager of the Integrated Systems Division.