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London South Bank University upgrades its security system to improve resilience and enhance the customer experience

London South Bank University upgrades its security system to improve resilience and enhance the customer experience

London South Bank University (LSBU) has implemented a new security monitoring strategy and installed an integrated virtual control room. These enhancements have enabled LSBU to achieve its goals of providing a safer and more secure environment for staff and students on the Estate. The reorganisation and investment has created a security solution where both manpower and technology are deployed and managed more intelligently. And the use of new technology has increased options and flexibility for cost effective future enhancements and strategic expansion of the system.

The Situation
London South Bank University (LSBU) is one of London’s largest and oldest universities. Since 1892 it has been providing students with vocationally-relevant, accredited and professionally recognised education. As a cosmopolitan university with over 25,000 students, it draws students from over 130 countries.

The Estate covers 125 000 square metres with the main campus comprising 17 buildings set adjacent to the transport hubs of Waterloo and London Bridge stations, and just a short walk from many of London’s major landmarks.

LSBU reviewed its security requirements and subsequently appointed a new Head of Security, Colin Holland, in 2009. The first challenge to be addressed concerned operational security and this was tackled through tendering for a new Security Contractor for the Estate, culminating in the appointment of VSG Group in 2010 as the new manned guarding provider to LSBU. The second identified challenge was to look to address the shortfall in the physical security equipment and systems deployed across the Estate.

The Estate security systems and equipment had grown on an ad hoc basis over the years, presenting management with the issues of incompatible legacy systems and an outdated security control room. The strategy to address these problems was then drawn up on the back of an innovative proposal from VSG to take over the monitoring of the LSBU Estate during out of hours periods by linking it to a virtual control room environment in VSG’s alarm receiving centre (ARC) located in Northampton. This proposal included the release of control room staffing cost over the term of the manned guarding contract against capital cost investment by VSG towards upgrading the Estate security system capabilities and refurbishing the on-site control room environment.

Cornerstone GRG Ltd were appointed as an independent specialist Security Consultant to draw up the scheme design, confirm the technical specifications with VSG Group and to then project manage the delivery to practical completion and final sign off on behalf of LSBU.

The Solution
Together Cornerstone and VSG developed a modified solution designed around Honeywell’s Pro-Watch® security management software suite which integrates the CCTV and alarm monitoring aspects of the new strategy.

The full plan would allow the integration of existing analogue cameras and Honeywell Galaxy intruder alarm panels across an IP network. Honeywell hybrid Fusion H.264 network video recorders (NVRs) located around the site and linked to LSBU’s IT infrastructure, have pushed the legacy cameras to enhanced performance and eliminated the problem of long cable runs. However, Honeywell high definition HD4 cameras are being installed as upgrades are implemented.

Using the Pro-Watch management software everything could be networked to both an onsite control room and – central to the new security strategy - an offsite, state of the art central monitoring station (or ARC) managed by VSG. The Honeywell Galaxy panels have been simply upgraded to allow network communications via WebWayOne across the site and to the VSG ARC in Northampton. This allows remote monitoring and paves the way for future upgrades.

During this process the onsite control room was extensively modernized providing a more professional and ergonomic workspace with modern low power monitors, maximizing the user friendly and intuitive interface and controls provided by the Pro-Watch security management system.

The Benefits

  • This reorganisation and investment has created a security solution where both manpower and technology are deployed and managed more intelligently.
  • A crucial element has been the remote ARC operation which has freed up resources which have been redeployed on site.
  • The new control room on site provides a professional environment improving morale and commitment from staff. Now co-located with the control room, a new Security Office provides a logical focal point where staff and students can report problems, or seek advice.
  • All fire and security alerts triggered by the Galaxy panels can be monitored by both the on and off site control rooms and both facilities provide a 24 hour emergency helpline service. During the night and at other selected times the monitoring is switched to the remote ARC, but the manned guarding team is on site and free to provide physical responses as required.
  • The resilience of the whole solution has been improved both by the location of dedicated Fusion H.264 NVRs in relevant buildings, and because these are now networked to not only the main control room on site and the remote VSG ARC but also to a back up control facility on site. Hence, a cost effective solution is facilitated by IP technology and the Pro-Watch software suite.
  • Overall the enhancements have enabled LSBU to achieve its goal of providing a safer and more secure environment for staff and students of the LSBU Estate. Incidences of theft have been reduced and the arrest rate increased with the NVRs recording evidential quality images.
  • The introduction of IP technology and the WebWayOne communications has provided increased options and flexibility for cost effective future enhancements and strategic expansion of the system.

Partner of Choice

VSG Group
VSG Group, a member of the Honeywell Security Integrator programme, provides an end to end service for customers, from design and installation, through to ongoing maintenance of leading edge systems, which, in turn can be monitored via the company’s own state of the art ARC and Remote Monitoring Centre. The development of the business is being driven by diversification of the service offering, as VSG seeks to provide customers with holistic solutions that enhance the utilisation of technology to optimise security and provide real value.

CornerStone GRG Ltd.
CornerStone GRG Ltd, a full member of the Honeywell Consultants programme, addresses an increasing need in the global security market for high calibre, independent consultancy services with an innovative approach to solving problems. CornerStone is committed to providing specialist guidance, unbiased advice and support to their clients. Working independently or collaborating with other team members and stakeholders, they promote the use of “best practice” methodology and use industry“ benchmarking” to enhance all areas of the security service

The Products

  • Honeywell Pro-Watch Software Suite
  • Galaxy Intruder Alarm Panels
  • Fusion H.264 Hybrid NVRs
  • HD4MDIH (720p) High Definition Cameras

  London South Bank University upgrades its security system to improve resilience and enhance the customer experience. (pdf)