Keeping our students, staff and site safe and secure
The situation at King’s Ely: When first installed, the previous CCTV system was the best available. After time, however, the CCTV cameras across the site were acting only as a visual deterrent. It wasn’t possible to identify miscreants from the images; nor was it possible to export specific parts of the footage to be used as evidence by the police.
Inivatech’s solution: Using the school’s existing IT infrastructure, Inivatech installed an extensive network of up-to-date IP video surveillance cameras, which produce high quality images – useful in identifying wrongdoers. These cameras provide coverage of the school grounds, including key places such as the entrances / exits to the site, the car park and high footfall areas. The technology will also produce recordings which can be used as evidence by the police should that be necessary.
What’s next: “We’re already looking at the possibility of security barriers” says Mark Hart, Chief Operating Officer at King’s Ely, “we’ve had initial discussions with Inivatech and know that they will keep us informed of both trends and upgrade options on a regular basis. Having an ongoing dialogue with Inivatech means that we can budget sensibly.”
The whole story
Steeped in 1000 years of tradition yet with a ‘cutting edge’ approach to education, King’s Ely is a co-educational day and boarding school in the cathedral city of Ely, Cambridgeshire. There are many buildings, over 400 staff and nearly 1,000 students. King’s Ely is a 24×7 operation and has an ongoing investment programme to keep the 24×7 security that the school and the site require viable and up-to-date. Because King’s Ely is located in the city centre there are multiple entrances and access points onto the grounds from public roads and footpaths. These entrances and access points are monitored 24×7.
According to Mark Hart, one of the challenges of the previous camera system was the relatively poor quality of the images and the fact that they couldn’t export footage for evidence. This meant that both the school and the police were challenged when criminal activity was being investigated. The system was working pretty much only as a visible deterrent – modern when installed but in need of an upgrade.
One of Mark’s areas of responsibility is the health, safety and welfare of the students, staff and visitors as well as the protection of the physical site; and, of course, crime prevention. The school now has a state of the art camera system in place monitoring buildings and movement of people and vehicles. Since the system became operational, Mark and his team have noticed much more activity and a great deal more detail. All types of incidents can now be recorded; and, where necessary, photos and recorded images made available to the police.
Mostly though it’s about peace of mind and knowing that everything is as it should be.
The list of incidents/crimes being prevented includes the predictable speeding, theft and break-ins as well as general observation. Peculiar to King’s Ely perhaps is a number of minor incidences of wing mirrors being knocked off by other vehicles operating without due care and attention on the site’s roads. The one way system keeps traffic moving but it does need keeping an eye on!
Mark is delighted to have detailed general observation of the school’s extensive grounds and plant.
According to Inivatech’s Andrew Adams who has worked with Mark on the King’s Ely installation, once schools like King’s Ely realise that they are able to use their existing IT infrastructure and save money on cabling, it becomes a question of not “should we have cameras” but “how many cameras should we have”. Using the existing infrastructure means that budget is spent where it matters, where it does the most good – providing peace of mind and capturing evidence. And because of the nature of most IT infrastructure and networks, upgrading or adding additional cameras in the next budget year becomes routine and easy.