CCTV is an important business tool, writes video surveillance specialist Ely Maspero
SCOTTISH pubs and clubs have become even safer in recent years, particularly since the 2005 Licensing Act obliged owners of late opening premises to install CCTV.
Cameras act as a deterrent in many cases, but a comprehensive video surveillance system delivers more than that.
Today’s surveillance systems link high quality video with business intelligence and this not only helps landlords, breweries and club managers to protect themselves against unnecessary losses, it also enhances their operations and increases profits significantly.
One of the greatest advantages is that rather than relying on CCTV to reactively provide evidence after the fact, new generation solutions are fully networked and remotely accessible, providing real-time video and data to door staff, central security, managers and landlords.
At the top of the security agenda is the safety of customers and staff, and the combination of cameras and browser-based client software enables instant notification to anyone, anywhere if a potentially dangerous situation is developing. This allows incidents to be dealt with on the spot.
Security analytics provide information on potentially suspicious events such as unauthorised access and loitering.
A virtual tripwire (enabled by carefully-positioned cameras) placed across a ‘private’ door, for example, will trigger an alert every time it is crossed. Similarly a loitering analytic will initiate an alert when a person is detected moving in a private area of the premises.
For operators, further analytical data can provide insight into activities such as opening and closing times, the cleanliness of the premises and staff activity. Taking the best-performing pubs and clubs and duplicating their success across other premises can yield gains in productivity and profit.
The first step is to find the right security system, ensure it is straightforward to install, simple to use and learn, and demands little in maintenance.
New generation video surveillance solutions will work on existing IP networks and integrate easily with other systems, for example, point-of-sale and access control.
The same real-time data and business intelligence should be available regardless of whether you have just one pub or a chain of 100.
The installer will specify the number, type and position of the cameras and identify the most suitable Network Video Recorder (NVR).
Smaller premises will find that four to eight channels (eg. the number of cameras feeding live video to NVRs) will be more than sufficient, whilst larger ones can select up to 32 channels, positioned internally and on the perimeter of the premises. The NVRs connect via a standard IP network, which is usually separate from any existing network to avoid bandwidth problems.
The software that manages the links between cameras and transactional systems is easy to use so security staff or managers will need minimal training leading to much higher adoption rates. The software will also search till transactions, such as voids, no-sales or deleted items and these can be included in a daily report.
The same solution can provide surveillance on empty pubs and clubs which are at risk from intruders and vandals. These are increasingly a concern for breweries and need to be monitored in real-time to prevent problems occurring.
Video surveillance has evolved from being reactive to being a proactive business tool delivering real-time intelligence to encourage safety and boost profits.
New generation systems provide a bird’s eye view into premises enabling managers and owners to make swift decisions that keep their premises running safely and smoothly.
• Ely Maspero is the product line manager at March Networks.