IP Video System Helps Manage Retail Operations At Ireland Shopping Center

A complete renovation of the Douglas Village shopping center in Cork County, Ireland, gave Shipton Group the opportunity to lift up its retail operations to the highest levels of customer service, thanks to IP technology from Milestone Systems and Axis Communications.

Milestone XProtect Enterprise IP video management software provides the open platform for integrations with analytics, access control, intercoms, and a sophisticated parking system. Several Axis HD cameras are installed with people counting analytics, as part of the surveillance system that has almost 200 network cameras altogether. All of these feed into the command center monitors for ultimate overview and control.

The 18-month project was completed at the end of 2009 -- a $120 million re-build of County Cork’s largest shopping destination by the Shipton Group, who owns other retail establishments in Ireland. Douglas Village shopping center was expanded from 90,000 to 230,000 square feet.

The design and installation of the new systems were carried out by RPC Consultants and MasterClass Security, with systems equipment purchased through Anixter distribution.

The state-of-the-art installation was achieved in phases with the video surveillance acting in differing capacities as the operations were completed and expanded. There are more than 190 Axis IP network cameras: 233D, 216FD, 216MFD PTZ, fixed dome and megapixel models.

Milestone XProtect Enterprise open platform IP video management software with the XProtect Smart Client user interface provides the glue for all the system integrations, which are shown on an EyeVis command center with two 70-inch projection cubes mounted in Intech furniture.

Full-time operators and a supervisor desk oversee the operations from the control room located adjacent to the car park: the Axis camera images are rotationally displayed by Milestone like a patrol of the entire center every 30 minutes.

“It’s like having virtual eyes. It’s about time management and getting the most out of your staff,” said the center’s manager, Bartosz Mieszala. “If we didn’t have the surveillance, we would have to spend most of the day walking around the site and still wouldn’t see everything. We have an electronic checklist that works through the Milestone XProtect software, which ensures that we are doing a regular check on areas such as trolley bays to make sure they are cleared and not blocking exits.”

The Milestone open platform allows integrations of the surveillance system to video-enable the other systems in the command center:

  • An AVD People Counting analytics solution is installed on Axis 209 cameras at the entrances.
  • Access control and intercoms are connected.
  • The Parker Guidance color-coded parking system shows available spaces.

Alpha Vision Design ANPR (Automatic Number Plate Recognition) tracks and alerts after the 3-hour parking time limit, helping prevent abuse of the facility by non-shoppers and informing when special customers need assistance.

“The beauty of the Milestone open platform architecture is that it allows installing partners to integrate surveillance with any other system or devices for a more efficient, holistic approach to running operations,” said Alan Hudson from MasterClass Security. “The XProtect Smart Client GUI provides the central user interface for viewing the camera results from the ANPR system, for example. The operators use the plate analytics to manage how long customers stay in the car park. With 3 hours of free parking and night-time closing, the system helps manage over-stays and security matters. The Parker Guidance system provides color-coded alerts for empty spaces and time of stay, and the operators use the Axis PTZ cameras to check these alerts. Customer flow is also monitored at the main entrances to the shopping mall where Axis 209 cameras are installed with the People Counting software.”

This retail installation is clearly managing much more than just security with this IP video surveillance solution. During construction of the new shopping center, wireless and remote video showed the progress; the Power-over-Ethernet Axis cameras provided the ability to move the cameras later to their positions in the completed center. The surveillance is used for security issues, but also for monitoring safety matters like making sure fire exits are clear and delivery areas are in order. Both pedestrian and vehicle traffic is watched inside and outside the buildings, with the license plate recognition also improving customer service for disabled patrons who need assistance.

Overall the integrated solution has raised operational management of the center, its staff and services to new levels of retail accomplishment. The Shipton Group has made a strong investment into video surveillance because they believe they leverage greater value out of the properties and the staff through technology. In all, 400 cameras monitor their five sites in the group.

Orla Lannin, the operations director of the Shipton Group, finds the IP video system invaluable.

“The first thing that would come to most people’s minds when you talk about video is security, but that’s not all there is. I would call it management by cameras,” she said. “I find them particularly during the busier periods: you can see at a glance what’s happening and send staff to alleviate a problem before it gets bigger.”

Lannin can monitor the center from her office 9 kilometers away, and Mieszala even views the Milestone images via mobile access on an electronic tablet while roaming throughout the center.

“We use the video all the time -- it helps us to reduce our costs, which in turn allows us to reduce our service rates to tenants, which is very important,” Mieszala said. “There are many good things about this system, and in six months there will be even more.”



  • Maximizing Your Security Budget This Year

    Perimeter Security Standards for Multi-Site Businesses

    When you run or own a business that has multiple locations, it is important to set clear perimeter security standards. By doing this, it allows you to assess and mitigate any potential threats or risks at each site or location efficiently and effectively. Read Now

  • New Research Shows a Continuing Increase in Ransomware Victims

    GuidePoint Security recently announced the release of GuidePoint Research and Intelligence Team’s (GRIT) Q1 2024 Ransomware Report. In addition to revealing a nearly 20% year-over-year increase in the number of ransomware victims, the GRIT Q1 2024 Ransomware Report observes major shifts in the behavioral patterns of ransomware groups following law enforcement activity – including the continued targeting of previously “off-limits” organizations and industries, such as emergency hospitals. Read Now

  • OpenAI's GPT-4 Is Capable of Autonomously Exploiting Zero-Day Vulnerabilities

    According to a new study from four computer scientists at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, OpenAI’s paid chatbot, GPT-4, is capable of autonomously exploiting zero-day vulnerabilities without any human assistance. Read Now

  • Getting in Someone’s Face

    There was a time, not so long ago, when the tradeshow industry must have thought COVID-19 might wipe out face-to-face meetings. It sure seemed that way about three years ago. Read Now

    • Industry Events
    • ISC West

Featured Cybersecurity


New Products

  • EasyGate SPT and SPD

    EasyGate SPT SPD

    Security solutions do not have to be ordinary, let alone unattractive. Having renewed their best-selling speed gates, Cominfo has once again demonstrated their Art of Security philosophy in practice — and confirmed their position as an industry-leading manufacturers of premium speed gates and turnstiles. 3

  • Camden CM-221 Series Switches

    Camden CM-221 Series Switches

    Camden Door Controls is pleased to announce that, in response to soaring customer demand, it has expanded its range of ValueWave™ no-touch switches to include a narrow (slimline) version with manual override. This override button is designed to provide additional assurance that the request to exit switch will open a door, even if the no-touch sensor fails to operate. This new slimline switch also features a heavy gauge stainless steel faceplate, a red/green illuminated light ring, and is IP65 rated, making it ideal for indoor or outdoor use as part of an automatic door or access control system. ValueWave™ no-touch switches are designed for easy installation and trouble-free service in high traffic applications. In addition to this narrow version, the CM-221 & CM-222 Series switches are available in a range of other models with single and double gang heavy-gauge stainless steel faceplates and include illuminated light rings. 3

  • Compact IP Video Intercom

    Viking’s X-205 Series of intercoms provide HD IP video and two-way voice communication - all wrapped up in an attractive compact chassis. 3