It seems there isn't a week that goes by where some type of horrific school-related incident is in the news. This phenomena isn't linked to any country, but the unfortunate script usually includes someone - often a student - arriving on campus intent on doing harm to fellow classmates and faculty.
While this represents the absolute worst case scenario, there is also a less dramatic variety that has recently gotten a great deal of traction: bullying.
A great deal of effort has been put into the elimination of student bullying. Much time has been spent on the best possible methods to reduce this phenomena, and one tool that is gaining popularity is the usage of professional CCTV solutions.
South African Campus
In South Africa's Western Cape Province lies the town of Strand. Known for its beautiful beaches, the town also has excellent academic facilities, with one of these being Strand High School.
Fortunately, Strand High School offers a peaceful learning environment to provide an excellent Afrikaans school education for its student body.
Recently however, as a proactive measure, school administrators drew up plans for a security solution that would:
• make sure that school rules and regulations are adhered to
• decrease occurrences of bullying
• offer clear video surveillance of school entrances and exits
• monitor any individual entering onto, or leaving, school property
• offer clear video surveillance over athletic fields and general school grounds
From Idea to Reality
In essence, administrators wanted a CCTV solution that would provide surveillance over access control and the school's general grounds.
To turn this idea into a reality, Hikvision's Official South African Distributer, Sensor, and South African security installer Cam Live Vision combined to design, and install, a solution that addresses these security goals.
Ben Bekker, Director of Cam Live Vision, noted, "It became clear in the initial stages that the specifications of the client, combined with school budget concerns, required that very specific cameras were used ... we had to be very intelligent about designing a solution that addressed these often disparate goals."
PTZ for Close and Far
Mr. Bekker opted for a PTZ model to cover surrounding school grounds (including playing fields, outdoor cafeteria, and parking garage), as well providing optimal viewing of school entrances and exits.
Specifically, Hikvision's Smart PTZ — DS-2DF7284 Series 2MP Network IR PTZ Dome Camera was chosen. With units placed on the front and back of the school building, PTZ functionality offers a full 360° of coverage.
However, this PTZ functionality is only one piece of the puzzle. Another was a 20x optical zoom that provides the coverage needed for all the school, in its entirety. Yet, "It's the DS-2DF7284's 2MP resolution that allows the school Principle and Vice Principle to accurately identify an individual ... regardless if they are at the main front entrance or behind the rugby field," explained Mr. Bekker.
One additional bonus is this model's Smart IR capability and 150m of IR range, a tool "that is definitely of use during the night, to give us security even if students are not present," Mr. Bekker added.
Box Cameras for Indoor and Other Areas
Hikvision box cameras were chosen for indoor locations and specific outdoor areas. The DS-2CD864F-E(W) 1.3MP Network Box Camera was combined with Hikvision's TV0309D-MPIR Lens to view indoor school hallways, indoor cafeteria, and outdoor courtyard space. As this courtyard is largely covered,
weatherproofing was not a camera issue.
As with the previous speed dome, great megapixel resolution was also a must.
However with the addition of the TV0309D-MPIRlens, spaces that experience difficult lighting are properly addressed. This is due to the lens' vari-focal IR function and auto iris - providing clear images in quickly-changing lighting environment.
One example is "Strand High School's interior hallways," said Mr. Bekker. "These hallway doors open directly to the outside ... so when a door is suddenly opened, normally dark areas are immediately saturated with bright sunlight, requiring this Hikvision lens ... and IR functionality when returning back to the dark."
A Sense of Security
Since Strand High School's Principle and Vice-Principle use their PCs to conveniently monitor this IP solution, Hikvision's iVMS Software was combined with the DS-9632NI-ST Embedded NVR. As this NVR supports 32 IP camera channels, it is an excellent tool to allow these administrators access to whichever camera that is currently needed.
This comes in particularly handy during peak hours, such as the morning (with students arriving) and the afternoon (with them leaving for the day). And the results are already in: after only one week using this solution, instances of bullying decreased. Mr. Bekker noted this was confirmed by both students and Strand's principle. Furthermore, teachers can now review high-quality video to easily identify students who break school rules, such leaving school grounds during breaks.
Importantly, everyone entering and exiting school premises is closely monitored - bringing Strand High School both security and a sense of confidence during these changing modern times.