City Surveillance Limerick City
The City of Limerick is an ever evolving urban region home to Munster Rugby. Limerick is ranked the 2nd largest city in Ireland with a population just under 200,000. Because of its growing popularity, Limerick recently undertook an expansion plan with the objective to “provide an integrated solution for environmental consideration, while at the same time attaining optimal levels of quality of life, comfort and social, economic and cultural values.”
Limerick 2030 plan is a plan for urban development plan can be read at Limerick 2030
Part of fulfilling this objective meant that the city needed to complement its urban spatial planning with modern surveillance technology to heighten safety for residents and businesses, without disrupting daily lives. While they had an existing video surveillance system, the City of Limerick was looking for a state-of-the-art solution that would be able to expand in lockstep with their urban growth. The city wanted to upgrade its existing devices to the latest IP cameras, and was looking for an open-platform video surveillance system which would offer centralized management and real-time monitoring from a brand new central control station.
Modernization of the City of Limerick’s city-wide surveillance started with a public tender. local integration and installation specialist, was awarded the contract by providing a Bandwidth for Limerick City and County – Bandwidth Telecommunications Limited are this company.
To date, Omnicast™ manages over 40 IP cameras which are strategically installed throughout the city with protective enclosures. All captured video is sent back to a new surveillance center, which is located in an existing building called City Hall, which has been newly repurposed to house offices for public space management.
The ease of use of the video management system has been most advantageous for the City of Limerick. From a surveillance room, five workstations are running Omnicast™ and video feeds are projected onto an expansive video wall. Operators easily navigate through the system, and can swiftly prompt specific camera views on the video wall during an emergency.
Finding cameras has been simplified with the use of Plan Manager, the map-based interface of Security Center. When responding to an incident, operators can quickly use the city map to locate other cameras nearby and access live video within moments. Plan Manager uses simple camera icons with PTZ field-of-view to provide immediate indication of the best vantages when responding to the incident. Instant playback also offers one-click access to 10, 15 or 30 seconds before the actual live event, enabling operators to quickly see what happenings have led to the incident in question.
With simple task-based navigation, operators can quickly bookmark different events in the system for easy retrieval later on. Bookmarking also allows operators to attach notes and tag event categories or types such as ‘theft’ or ‘from vehicle’. These tags can be used later on to facilitate speedy searches and to generate reports.
To further simplify reporting, Bandwidth ISP used the Genetec software development kit (SDK) to build a plugin called Bandwidth DIS that automatically generates reports for management. The flexibility of the reporting plugin allows authorized users to select various criteria to create custom reports that include data graphs and diagrams alongside any instance of video that is associated to those criteria. The detailed event reports from the Bandwidth DIS module provide both qualitative information for police and statistics by means of quantitative information, offering information about cameras’ use and event monitoring.
The city’s police supervisor, the senior enforcement officer and the city manager all have their own monitoring stations available in the surveillance centre in case urgent investigations or incident response requires their involvement. Setting highly-granular user permissions and privileges within Omnicast™, the City of Limerick is able to ensure that only those with the correct authority have access to specific cameras and various system functionalities. This added layer of access privileges helps to ensure that citizen privacy is protected at all times, and that video evidence goes through the correct chain of custody.
From a secure technical hub, police supervisors are able to securely and efficiently export video evidence to help build cases against city perpetrators. Video is also accessible from a situation/crisis room, where another video wall also displays camera views, allowing city management and police to congregate if ever more critical events require a full consolidation of resources.
As the city’s expansion plans are underway, so too are discussions about growing the city-wide surveillance system. The open architecture of Security Center not only allows the city to continue adding the latest video surveillance devices, but also enables city management or police to eventually merge other systems within the unified security platform to evolve its city control room. These systems might include IP access control for better security through the city’s public services and utilities buildings and automatic number plate recognition for improved vehicle roadway monitoring.