VCA deployed at Cyprus prison

VCA Technology Video Analytics has been deployed in support of a laser-based perimeter protection system at the Central Jail of Nicosia.

The system, which  has been and implemented by Sicura Systems and its  technology partner, CBC Europe Ltd,  uses behavioural algorithms as a first line of validation to alert staff to unusual or unexpected activity. It also integrates with laser scanners to trigger the IP pan/tilt/zoom cameras to follow threats around the site.

The central jail is the only correctional facility in the Republic of Cyprus and is located to the west of the walled section of the city of Nicosia. The Cyprus Prisons Department required the securing of a new wing being built to improve inmate welfare and relieve overcrowding.Local integrator and consultant Wave Electronics worked with Sicura and its technology partner CBC Europe to install 132 latest generation GANZ IP cameras with embedded VCA Technology  video analytics to monitor inmates and prison guards at the perimeter of the site. The cameras are a combination of PTZ and fixed units covering interior walls, exterior chain link and razor wire fencing and an intervening sterile zone.

Approximately 70 of the cameras use the edge-based  VCA Technology video analytics to report on possible breaches of the perimeter or sterile zone and other typical incidents. Independently tested against the UK Home Office i-LIDS image library for sterile zone environments, VCA Technology Video Analytics is able to work exceptionally well in sterile conditions in which activity or motion is not expected.

Within the Sicura information management system, DigiLive, users can specify their own alarm zones and exploit object tracking scene analysis with pop-up menus and snapshots of camera views. Unexpected motion in these zones will appear as an alarm to all stations. Crucially, the system allows fine-tuning of the sensitivity of the VCA Technology software in order to filter out ambient activity and specify size of object and pattern of movement. In this way, nuisance alarms are minimised. Movement falling within the specified parameters sends a signal to an events list and alerts prison staff.

Sicura Systems’ engineering team deployed customised 1 petabyte NVR assemblies which are used from nine client stations. The system employs Cisco switching, Dell servers and RAID5 storage. Integration of DigiWall, the video wall function of the DigiLive software, to the prison control room includes a ‘carousel’ whereby instead of trying to view all 132 cameras at one time, prison officers observe footage from one area of the prison for a pre-agreed number of seconds before turning their attention to another part of the site. Wardens can record locally, take still snapshots and quickly and quickly export footage to removable media for use by police and judiciary.

Emi Roberti, Director of Sicura Systems, said: “The key task in this project was to combine the complementary technologies of video analytics and laser scan detection in order to give the client a dual level of protection in tracking alarms and movements within the prison perimeters.”

Nicosia Central Jail was built in 1894 and the period architecture is a part of the city’s heritage. Sicura’s use of Redscan laser technology has meant that the visual impact of the project on the exterior of the building has been minimised. Innovative technology is being used throughout.