Sicura Video Analytics at Cyprus Prison
Sicura Systems, with their technology partner CBC Europe Ltd, have designed and implemented a video analytics and laser-based perimeter protection system at the Central Jail of Nicosia. The project uses behavioral algorithms as a first line of validation to alert staff to unusual or unexpected activity.
Additionally, it integrates with laser scanners to trigger the IP pan/tilt/zoom cameras to follow threats around the site. The system was installed by Wave Electronics and commissioned together with Sicura.
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. Extensive refurbishment and new building is taking place to improve inmate welfare and relieve overcrowding.
The Cyprus Prisons Department required the securing of a new wing. Local integrator and consultant, Wave Electronics, worked with Sicura and its technology partner CBC Europe to install 132 latest generation IP cameras with inbuilt video analytics from GANZ 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 GANZ edge-based video analytics to report on possible breaches of the perimeter or sterile zone and other atypical incidents. 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 sensitivity in order to filter out ambient activity and specify object size and pattern of movement. In this way, nuisance alarms are minimized. Movement falling within specified parameters sends a signal to an events list and alerts prison staff.
Sicura Systems’ engineering team deployed customized 1 petabyte NVR assemblies that 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 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 export footage to removable media for use by police and judiciary.
Wave Electronics implemented Optex’s Redscan laser units to detect any movement by tracking people moving within target segments inside the perimeter. This has been supported by Optex field engineers. Sicura provided full integration to the Redscan in order to receive alarms from the lasers and take control of the nearest available PTZ camera and point it to the exact location. This gave complete situational awareness by providing visual tracking of the alarm segment.
Emi Roberti, director of Sicura Systems, said, “Custodial clients cannot rely on unicasting and often ask that the same video footage be available to several security guards at the same time. In Nicosia, working alongside Wave Electronics, we exploited good network configuration, adopting multicast streaming to ensure that eight operators or more can view footage from the same camera simultaneously and interrogate any NVR to access any footage in an asynchronous or synchronous manner.”
Roberti continued, “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 minimized. Innovative technology is being used throughout.