IP video secures beautiful Monaco

Nestled on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea in Southern Europe, the Principality of Monaco is an international hub of wealth and enterprise. People of 119 nationalities live here together successfully. Bankers, businessmen and entrepreneurs, people from all walks of life, mingle together in Monaco, which over time has developed into one of the most cosmopolitan and popular states in the world. One reason for this popularity is the low criminality in the principality, the result, among other things, of many years of IP video surveillance.
The Monégasque government has been using a video surveillance system for a number of years to ensure peace and security throughout the state. However, the analogue system with a manually controlled tape recording had ceased to be suitable a long time ago. For only a portion of the available cameras were being recorded, while the expenses for the regular maintenance works and the exchange of video tapes were very high. On top of this the search for relevant image sequences within the recording was time-consuming and laborious. Therefore, the decision was made to install a digital system.

In 2005, the contract for the installation was awarded to the German manufacturer Dallmeier, which had already successfully realised the video surveillance system at the Casino Monte-Carlo. The company developed a custom-made video surveillance solution which met the customer's requirements regarding quality and ease of use. Dallmeier had designed a hybrid solution in which the existing system could be converted step by step to a fully digital system. This gradual transition from one system to the other has two advantages: a high degree of investment and cost control as well as simplified integration.

System design
The virtual matrix (digital crossbar) developed by Dallmeier is ideally suited for the requirements on site in Monaco. It enables the transmission and recording of video and audio signals in broadcast quality via an Ethernet/IP network. With this technology the video signals of any number of cameras in public areas are encoded and, if required, transmitted via the IP network.

The core of the system is made up of DIS devices. These are real-time streamers and recorders which transmit and record a total of 520 cameras (fixed cameras and PTZ cameras) with redundant/mirrored storage. They are in operation 24/7. Hence, the entire city area is monitored by video surveillance around the clock and events can be investigated in detail.

When selecting new network cameras the Sûreté Publique of Monaco decided on Dallmeier IP cameras with Cam Inpix technology. The cameras are installed in the Police Headquarters and monitor all entrances to the main building. The detention cells located there are also equipped with cameras that record onto DIS-2/M NSU IP servers 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Technical and operative control centre
In the technical and operative security centre three operating stations are available to the personnel. The evaluation and analysis of the recordings or events are very efficient and fast due to the use of a security management system specially adapted to the requirements in Monaco. For example, it has a user interface custom-made for the customer. Three VMC-1 "Eagle" video management centres ideally complement the management software. All functionalities that can be expected of a modern video management centre are united and clearly distributed on the three components of the VMC-1 "Eagle" (joystick, jog-shuttle and keyboard with monitor). The jog-shuttle is perfectly suited for finding certain snapshots in a video sequence while the joystick allows easy steering of the movable cameras. What sets the VMC-1 apart from products by other manufacturers is the possibility of displaying both recorded video material and live images on the integrated monitor and, for example, showing maps or search functions.

Tested and expanded
Since the video system has proved itself in daily use, five years ago, the persons responsible decided to add an ultramodern number plate recognition system. A total of 15 detectors were therefore installed primarily in the streets leading into and out of state territory. Four cameras are connected to each system: two NPR cameras, one for each direction, and two overview cameras. The NPR systems enable identification of automobile number plates from standing and moving vehicles on 30 traffic lanes within the Principality of Monaco.

If problems arise, the persons in charge can use the interlinked cameras to follow the path of the vehicle involved. In addition, they receive an alert if the vehicle in question has been stolen or is suspicious; of course this greatly facilitates any search.

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