Security Down Under
School seeks to develop a campus-wide security plan to create a safe and open learning environment
- By Willem Ryan
- July 01, 2016
FOUNDED IN 1850, THE UNIVERSITY OF SYDNEY IS ONE
OF THE OLDEST UNIVERSITIES IN AUSTRALIA, ATTRACTING
STUDENTS, STAFF AND RESEARCHERS FROM ALL
OVER THE WORLD TO ITS STATE-OF-THE-ART CAMPUS.
DEDICATED TO PROVIDING A SAFE AND SECURE ENVIRONMENT
IN WHICH STAFF AND STUDENTS CAN
ACHIEVE THEIR TEACHING, LEARNING AND RESEARCH
GOALS, THE UNIVERSITY HAS DEPLOYED A HIGH-DEFINITION
SURVEILLANCE SYSTEM AS A KEY ELEMENT OF ITS
CAMPUS-WIDE SECURITY PLAN.
The goal was to reduce crime, and statistics show that the University
of Sydney has achieved a reduction of 25 percent year-over-year with
Avigilon HD Surveillance System.
SECURING A SMALL CITY
With approximately 32,000 full-time students, 16,000 part-time students,
and 16,000 staff and affiliates, the University of Sydney faces the
same security risks as a small city including theft, disorderly conduct,
assault and vandalism.
“Spread across six campuses, more than 1,300 acres of open space,
and more than 6 million square feet of indoor area, we actually have
our own postal code,” said Morgan Andrews, manager of the campus
security unit at the university.
With an existing analog-based system in some of its buildings, the
university decided it was time to expand coverage to all major open
spaces including pedestrian corridors, athletic fields, and all entry and
exit points. After undergoing a thorough review of seven high-definition
surveillance system manufacturers, the University of Sydney
“We wanted to find the best way to achieve our surveillance goals for
the best value,” Andrews said. “It made more sense for us to deploy a
higher grade system than one that involves more, less powerful cameras that require multiple installations.”
DEVELOP A CAMPUS-WIDE SECURITY PLAN
Security officers monitor the Avigilon HD surveillance system 24/7
from a central control room using Control Center Enterprise Network
VMS with HD Stream Management. The university uses 100 Avigilon
HD cameras ranging from 1 MP to 16 MP and Avigilon HD 360 panoramic
dome cameras to provide coverage of its campuses and has
installed more than 45 Avigilon analog video encoders to improve the
performance of its existing analog-based cameras.
With superior image quality and zooming capabilities, the HD surveillance
system has enabled the university to install fewer cameras
and to leverage its existing network infrastructure to save on installation
and maintenance costs. Security officers have improved investigative
capability and reduced investigation times. By integrating surveillance
with an access control and intruder alarm system, university
security guards are better prepared to respond to emergencies and the
crime rate was reduced by 25 percent.
To improve the performance of its existing 190 analog-based cameras,
the university deployed Avigilon analog video encoders.
“By dramatically improving image quality, the analog video encoders
have extended the life of our existing analog-based cameras, saving
us a significant infrastructure investment,” Andrews said. “We can
monitor our classrooms and labs with just one 360 panoramic HD
camera instead of two or three analog-based cameras.”
USABILITY FOR GREATER EFFICIENCIES
The search capabilities within the control center software have proven
invaluable for security officers, who have reduced investigations from
days or hours to just minutes.
“The software is so easy to use, it has allowed us to improve the success
of our investigations and also save time,” Andrews said.
For example, the university installed one HD camera to monitor its
entire boardwalk, an area that would require up to 15 analog-based
cameras. With just one camera to monitor, the university can track a
person moving along the boardwalk for a seamless view of an incident
instead of having to switch from camera to camera.
In fact, the university recently leveraged the HD surveillance system
to capture indisputable evidence of a robbery that occurred on the
boardwalk, which resulted in an arrest and conviction.
“We clearly identified the perpetrator from 200 yards out,”
The HD surveillance system has played a key role in multiple investigations
because the University can provide information to local
police to finalize a criminal incident.
SURVEILLANCE INTEGRATES WITH ACCESS CONTROL
One of the key requirements for the new HD surveillance system was that
it be able to integrate easily with the University’s existing Cardax access
control and intruder alarm system to further assist in investigations.
“By integrating the surveillance system with the access control and
alarm system, we can better assess a situation before we dispatch our
guards,” Andrews said. “Now we can determine the nature of the call
and prepare our officers to handle the situation appropriately.”
The integrated surveillance and access control
and alarm system also helps save time, freeing
up guards from having to respond to non-urgent
situations, like when an alarm is accidentally set
This article originally appeared in the July 2016 issue of Campus Security & Life Safety.