Centaurus is a mixed use real estate development project designed by British architectural firm WS Atkins. The three 41-storey buildings house offices, a 5-star hotel, and residential apartments, with the luxury Centaurus mega mall running between and connecting the towers. The interior design of the residential building and the shopping mall was courtesy of renowned firm ODEION-Turkey. The striking complex was built at an estimated cost of US$350 million.
All public spaces, particularly those that attract thousands of visitors every day, pose a security risk. As a major shopping hub, the Centaurus mall needs to be able to protect its customers and provide a safe and secure shopping environment.
Ensuring customer safety
The mall’s management tasked Islamabad IP surveillance specialist installer, Digital Links, with providing a comprehensive video security system. The Centaurus security team was facing issues like garbage being thrown in stairways and emergency entry/exits. More seriously, security staff were regularly receiving reports of thieves, shoplifters and pickpockets hiding in stairways to avoid detection. They would be detected once video was reviewed the following day – but by then, of course, it was too late. The new system had to monitor in real-time the key entry and exit points, the interior of the mall, and its emergency access points, as well as providing ongoing alarm monitoring. Hikvision’s cameras were deployed to cover these crucial zones, as well as providing standard overall security views of malls and walkways.
Digital Links project manager, Khuram Chohan, says, “The solution we devised included 400 Hikvision DS-2CD2032-I 3MP Infrared IP Bullet Cameras and 80 DS-2CD2432F-IW 3MP IR Cube Network Cameras, which send video images back to eight 64-channel DS-9664NI-ST high-end NVRs. The whole system is managed using Hikvision’s iVMS-5200 Professional Video Management Software.”
Hikvision’s iVMS-5200 Pro is a centralized video software management system that allows users to manage all of their business security subsystems in one platform. This single platform can control surveillance, access control, license plate recognition, business intelligence, and control room video wall.
Effective real-time monitoring
“The cameras plus the NVRs and the software provide a real-time live view for the Centaurus mall’s security staff,” says Chohan. “This enables them to monitor the mall effectively and efficiently. Powerful recording and remote playback mean video evidence is easily located and exported.
“The iVMS-5200 software provides a smart alarm handling mechanism which helps operators quickly locate and identify alarm incidents – and react quickly and decisively to prevent security incidents occurring.
“The system allows the entire mall to be monitored from the control room, where operators can proactively identify security risks. They are also able to ensure that emergency gates providing important access to the mall and skyscrapers are unobstructed and clear for emergency vehicles.”
The system’s alarm functions, including motion detection, intrusion, video tampering and designated zone line crossing, have resulted in the apprehension of shoplifters and attempted thieves, and have solved the problem of unauthorised waste disposal in emergency exit staircases. The 480 IP surveillance cameras employed in the system send high resolution images to the control room for both live monitoring and recording – in order to investigate any incidents or suspicious activities. Operators are alerted to incidents via the iVMS-5200 Pro software’s built-in video analytics capabilities, allowing resources to be immediately directed to any troublespots.
The 64-channel DS-9664NI-ST network video recorders offer up to 6 megapixel resolution recording, and output at up to 1920 x 1080P resolution in HDMI and VGA formats. They provide up to eight SATA interfaces, dual gigabit network interfaces, and HDD quota and group management, which ensures long-time recording continuously without failure.
The result is a shopping experience unlike any other in Pakistan, and a level of comprehensive security which is, for the mall’s thousands of visitors, both reassuring and highly effective.