We were recently asked to speak at BETT with regards to how IP CCTV was changing attitudes and behaviour in a school we had recently deployed CCTV over IP. We were very kindly accompanied by Mr Steve Ford who is responsible for IT strategy at Helsby High School who was only too willing to tell an interesting story, one we would like to share. Just to put this in context Steve works in a school that is in a leafy suburb in Cheshire. I had been introduced to the new IP surveillance from D-Link and remembered a conversation I had with Steve about low level disruptive behaviour in the school, stuff like flooded toilets, bullying etc. The school had been having trouble identifying people involved in incidence which created challenges within the school. Steve asked if we could recommend a solution that was better quality i.e. HD, and we did we introduced Steve to the D-Link system at BETT 2014 and he was immediately impressed with the quality of video and ease of use. Steve engaged our pre-sales team to deliver him a survey of the school and his existing network infrastructure as this was important for it carry the streaming video across his network. It’s important to note that this IP Surveillance system was not in the classrooms but in public areas like corridors and “blind spots” where mischief might occur. After successfully tendering and winning the business we set about installing and replacing his out dated analogue CCTV during the summer holidays.
I contacted Steve early in the term to discuss how things were going and the outcomes went way beyond our expectations. Low level behaviour in the school had improved massively as after a number of instances, word of the new solution spread through the school like wildfire. Things were quickly resolved with the compelling evidence presented like toilets being flooded, theft in the cloakrooms and surprisingly an external contractor being caught stealing. Steve was also confident after discussions with a number of external agencies where the quality of the recordings were praised that this will ultimately help with resolve incidents in the future. This has led to minimal incidences of low level disruptive behaviour since October, it has saved the school money which would be spent on repairing damage to the school, saved the caretaker 20 hours a month in carrying out repairs but more importantly has led to increased staff and pupil confidence that they are working in a safe and secure environment.
The school is now considering expanding the CCTV solution into curriculum based activities like monitoring bird boxes, fume cupboard experiments etc. This story was well received at BETT by schools from all sorts of backgrounds and certainly makes a compelling case for schools considering their security.