Dallmeier CCTV helps Irish Nationwide counter fraud
Crimes such as cheque frauds or robberies are no longer a threat to Irish Nationwide, now that all 48 branches of the Irish building society are equipped with a Dallmeier CCTV system and interconnected through a joint network.
A Dallmeier CCTV system is enabling the rapid exchange of key security information between all 48 branches of Irish Nationwide Building Society.
Irish Nationwide was formed in 1873 in Ireland as a building society and operates 48 branches in the Republic of Ireland, as well as offices in the UK and the Isle of Man.
In order to avoid enhance overall security at the premises, Irish Nationwide has been relying on Dallmeier recorder for many years. In 2003 the financial institution tried the use of Dallmeier’s DLS 6 recorders alongside those of some other manufacturers. “We had the system on trial for about three months and decided to adopt it,” says Mr Fahey. Dallmeier was also chosen for the expansion of the system and the installations currently use the recorders of the DMS series “In Memory of Leonardo” as well as Dallmeier Cam_inPIX® cameras both internally and externally. The equipment is supplied by Phelan Security and installed by installation company Chubb.
Dallmeier recorders have now been fitted at all the Irish Nationwide branches and there are also plans to add a system at the building society’s new recovery site, a central backup server room
Irish Nationwide Building Society is enjoying great benefit from the facility to access recordings of its branches as this enables the rapid exchange of information between all branches.
Uses and benefits
The CCTV system is primarily designed for general security, but live images and recordings are also proving beneficial in transactional matters. “It is essential for checking for fraud and verifying transactions,” says Mr Fahey. The recordings have proved particularly useful in tackling cheque fraud, which might not become apparent until a few days after the transaction. “Good storage of recordings is essential for investigating incidents,” he says. The system’s ease of use in searching for a particular date and time proves a great time-saver, as does the ability to look for movement in a particular part of the frame.
The recordings can also be used to spread the word about anyone attempting cash scams. Images of the incident can be circulated straightaway to every branch. “That has been very helpful,” he says. “Before, people would just hear of something happening in another branch but not know what to look for – it’s been very good as a training aid.”
Furthermore, the recordings can now be burned onto CDs and handed over to the police, whereas previously investigators would have taken the video tape away and no copies would have been available. All Dallmeier recorders have Kalagate certification to demonstrate that the recording is suitable for use as evidence and has not been tampered with. “To have that certainty was also a decisive factor for us," Fahey says.
Irish Nationwide has integrated additional alarm inputs and relays to tie the system into the other security systems in branches. The ability to use audio recording is now a standard feature on the recorders, although not currently used by the Society.
The widely known reliability of the Dallmeier recorders was another crucial consideration for Irish Nationwide in choosing the system.
A key factor in the decision was the stability that came from the use of the Linux platform rather than Windows. “It didn’t need as much looking after as a Windows system,” he says.
The Dallmeier system includes extensive features to ensure that any problem is automatically reported and diagnosed, which he finds very reassuring. Sabotage and fault recognition was important to Irish Nationwide, as the feeds are not routinely monitored and so any problem might not be readily apparent to branch staff. “The cameras ‘learn’ the environment that they are in,” he says. “An alarm would be generated both on the recorder and in head office should someone mask a camera, or turn it up to face the ceiling.” Warning would also be given if a camera malfunctioned. Further safeguards in the recorder include temperature and movement sensors to detect adverse conditions or tampering. “On one occasion, the air-conditioning in a room failed and the Dallmeier recorder reported back that it was getting too hot – it’s a handy feature,” he says. Automated messages confirming the equipment status are also sent daily, giving further reassurance regarding the operability of the devices.”
“Reliability is essential as the system would only cost the business money if it was not working”, Fahey says. He expressly commends Dallmeier’s policy of using only high-quality hard discs in its machines. His assessment is clear: “The reliability of the Dallmeier recorders is second to none."
An eye on everything with Cam_inPIX®
Dallmeier cameras are now being installed both indoors and outdoors when branches are refurbished. Cost and performance have led to the choice, he says. The cameras have a wide dynamic, giving good images even against the light. “We need to be able to get a good shot of people when they come in through the door – especially when there are contrasting light conditions between inside and outside,” he says. “It could take a normal camera a few seconds to adjust, by which time they are out of the frame.” The system also highlights if the camera levels need adjusting during installation and cameras can also be configured remotely.
Easy to use
With such a large network, Mr Fahey is pleased that he can set the operator settings for all the recorders from his own desk. He finds the PView and PGuard control and management software to be very straightforward and also uses Dallmeier’s SmartGUI graphical interface application which enables him to click on a nationwide map for easy navigation of the network. The system even shows the layout of each branch, so that a particular camera can be selected. “It is very user-friendly,” he says.
Ease of use and prevention of misuse were particularly important as the recorders and cameras are installed in so many branches. “It was good that we could set up different types of permission level,” he says. Branch staff can view the recordings, but actions such as making CD copies can be undertaken only by authorised staff. “Otherwise if something were to happen in a branch it could end up on YouTube,” he points out.
“There have been no problems with the installation – everything has gone smoothly,” says Mr Fahey. The support from Phelan Security has also been very good. Irish Nationwide decided to use local supplier Phelan Security instead of buying from the UK. “We felt that in the event of anything being wrong it would be easiest to go through Dallmeier’s Irish provider,” he says.
The roll-out has taken about three years and Chubb continues to carry out installation work and upgrades whenever a branch is refurbished. “We have been very happy with the service provided by Phelan Security and Dallmeier,” says Chubb sales manager Sean Caffrey. “Dallmeier is constantly in touch with us providing latest information about the products.”
Close communication with Dallmeier also helps keep Mr Fahey up to date with any developments such as updates to the software. He appreciates the way that these free updates can be done via the network with no need to go on site,” he adds. “Once a recorder is in, generally we don’t have to go near it. It more or less looks after itself.”