Salamanca City Surveillance - Protection against vandalism and theft
Salamanca is a city steeped in history which charms visitors with its unique flair and atmosphere. In order to protect the historical city centre from vandalism and local retailers from thieves, a modern Dallmeier video security system was installed.
Salamanca is famous for its historical sights: the oldest existing university in Spain, two cathedrals from 12th and 16th centuries, the Casa de las Conchas or the Plaza Mayor, the heart of the city. All the buildings are built from the same material, Villamayor stone, which characterises the entire cityscape with its distinctive golden yellow colour.
But appearances are often deceptive. The idyllic city, which has been a UNESCO world heritage site since 1988, has had big problems with vandalism damage to the old buildings and break-ins into shops in the old town. Francisco Albarrán, Salamanca’s transport and citizen security councillor explains: “It has been proven that the use of CCTV systems with permanent recording deters vandals and thieves. Therefore we decided to install a video security system in accordance with the affected area of local retailers.”
After extensive on-site tests, a Dallmeier solution was finally chosen – as they best met the requirements. “Before the final decision to purchase was made, we wanted to comprehensively test the system – under the real conditions on location. We also wanted to clarify the performance in different light conditions beforehand, which is why we tested the system in daylight as well as at night with the respective street lighting,” said Albarrán. The result – especially the good picture quality – was convincing. Albarrán commented: “Now we have a high quality and reliable tool at our disposal, to monitor the entire historical city centre and the shopping zones found there.”
Installation in accordance with monument protection standards
Multiple Dallmeier PTZ cameras from the Domera® range were installed in Salamanca by local partner Plettac electronics. The cameras stand out from others, because of a high performance Pan/Tilt/Zoom mechanism with 248 programmable preset positions and integrated motion detection. Both IP cameras as well as analogue models, which are integrated into the network via MicroStreamers, are used.
The images are recorded 24 hours a day onto a DMS 240 IPS “In Memory of Leonardo”, a video server with up to 24 IP channels. It supports both SD as well as HD resolutions (720p, 1080i, 1080p) up to 8 megapixel.
System control is carried out via the video management software PView. Whether live picture transmission or playback of recorded image material, data retrieval through various search and filter criteria, virtual tours or configuration of the recording server on the network: PView allows efficient and user-friendly operation of the system.
The installation of the video system was tied to strict restraints, as Francisco Albarrán explains: “The historical city centre is listed, so that no large structural changes are allowed to be made. The appearance and the atmosphere of the old town should not be disturbed through the presence of surveillance cameras.” Together with Dallmeier and Plettac, a solution was therefore developed, which was “Catálogo de Patrimonio“ certified and had the approval of those in charge of the municipal architecture and monument protection. The use of a radio network for video transmission made it possible to reduce the structural costs and swift installation of the entire system was also possible. Furthermore the visible elements such as cameras, control cabinets and antennae were blended into their surroundings.
Although the use of a radio system brings many advantages, you come across an apparent problem to begin with: bandwidth. Because multicast based on a radio network was not possible, image transmission quickly led to a network overload. “We now use a special solution with adapted unicast transmission, which Dallmeier developed especially for us,” said Albarrán contentedly. “Despite the limited bandwidth of a one Mbit radio network, we can now get a high quality level of image transmission.”
Golden times in the golden city
In the meantime, the video system has proved itself in practice: “Since the installation and start-up of the CCTV system, we could see a fall in the number of vandalism cases in the monitored zones. Additionally, the recordings have helped us clear up incidents quickly and conclusively,” explained José Luis Serrano Paule, superintendent of the Salamanca Police. Francisco Albarrán adds: “We intend to expand the surveillance to a larger area of the city centre.”