Dallmeier CCTV/IP solutions for sports and leisure facilities
A high-quality video surveillance system has already proved its worth in catching thieves at the Kendleshire Golf Club – and new uses are constantly being found.
There are no easy pickings for thieves targeting the Kendleshire’s club-house or its members’ cars. Even if something does happen, security camera recordings give a clear view of faces and number plates, thanks to constant vigilance over vulnerable areas such as the car park, bars, the professional’s shop and the fruit machine. Thanks to the Kalagate certification all recordings are accepted at court.
The Kendleshire, near Bristol, is one of the country’s most modern clubs, opening ten years ago. It now has 27 holes plus a six-hole academy, and there are plans for a driving range, more holes and an expansion of the academy course. Security cameras were installed from the outset, but the original system was very basic. “We soon realised that the picture quality was absolutely abysmal,” says golf director Pat Murphy. Car registrations were illegible and faces couldn’t be made out. Furthermore, the recordings were on videotape and time was wasted searching the tape looking for the right clip.
Leading equipment manufacturer Dallmeier happens to have its UK base just a few minutes from the club. Conversations with Managing Director James Walker opened Murphy’s eyes to the possibilities offered by a better system. “I went to Dallmeier’s offices to see a demonstration of the technology and had no hesitation in ordering it,” he says.
A new video surveillance system
The first step was to replace the old videotape recorder with a Dallmeier hard disk recorder. Unlike video, there is no downtime as the system is able to record even during playback.
The system is kept in the catering office and is operational around the clock recording to the Dallmeier hard disk recorder. Live and recorded images can be viewed on screen, controlled by a mouse. “It is very easy to use,” says Murphy. Passwords are allocated to staff as required and monitoring could, if required, be carried out remotely.
The recorder has a built-in CD writer, making it easy to create a disk for the police. A USB-port also enables data to be exported to other storage devices. Dallmeier’s system has been developed to ensure that no one can argue that a recording has been tampered with or that a CD isn’t a true copy. Watermarking and independent certification provide this reassurance. “The integrity wouldn’t be challenged in court,” assures Dallmeier Technical Manager Richard Howe.
Far more than efficient theft protection
The Kendleshire is very busy, with 40,000 rounds of golf played a year, more than 50 weddings, weekly functions and access for non-members. The footfall is of the order of 100,000 people a year, estimates Murphy. Cameras keep watch both indoors and out. There have been virtually no incidents since the upgrade was carried out, demonstrating their deterrent effect.
“In terms of our vulnerability as a business, the pro’s shop is the number one target,” says Murphy. Thieves would have no trouble in selling the clothes and clubs that dominate the valuable stock. The camera in the shop has already caught some thieves. Professional Tony Mealing noticed that two of a new range of putters were no longer on display – but his assistant said that no one had paid for them. The recordings clearly showed that the two culprits had entered with a member. “We contacted him – he was shocked that his guests should do such a thing,” says Murphy. They were shown the recording and agreed to pay. “We couldn’t have done it without the system – it was a great application of how well it works.”
Benefits continue to emerge. The equipment has been certified to a German VdS standard (Verband deutscher Schadenversicherer) recognised across Europe by insurance companies. “I plan on talking to our insurers to discuss a possible reduction in premiums,” he says. The system could even be of help when the new anti-smoking rules come into force. “I think it will protect the licensee,” adds catering manager Philip Bragg. The police could be shown footage demonstrating that the person had been asked to stop smoking or to leave the premises.
High-resolution Cam_inPIX® cameras
The prime reason for choosing these particular camera models was that they could cope with wide variations in lighting across the image. The clubhouse has large picture windows looking out over the course, creating considerable contrast indoors. “These cameras are especially designed so that they won’t flare out or have any glare,” says Dallmeier technical manager Richard Howe. “Even if someone stands with the sun beaming in from the window behind them, you can still see the details of their face, the colour of their jacket and so on.”
This is thanks to Dallmeier's Cam_inPIX® camera technology that provides clear, high-contrast and colour-true pictures without any blooming or smearing even in the most difficult lighting conditions. “If you haven’t got the right cameras you are wasting your time,” says Murphy. “Quality is the key to success, without a shadow of a doubt.”
Surveillance of the car park
Golf clubs are also prime targets for car break-ins and the Kendleshire’s parking is one of the main focus areas for the Dallmeier system. All too many golfers put their laptops in the boot, in full view of anyone watching. The car park is now fully covered. “We get a picture of the number plate of every car coming in and out,” says Murphy.
The Dallmeier cameras can record in very low light levels but the club has external lighting that comes on when movement is triggered at night. For premises where external lighting is not feasible – for instance close to housing – then the cameras would operate in colour down to a certain light level before switching to black and white.
Accepted by the members
There are 900 members and no one has expressed any concerns about privacy – “though there are obviously no cameras in the changing rooms,” laughs Murphy.
Average age of the club membership is 38, giving a completely different profile to many other clubs. Encouraging people into the game is a prime aim at the Kendleshire, which has an unusually high proportion of young players – providing further impetus for robust CCTV. “These days, security for the children is paramount,” says Murphy. “The cameras would help if there were an incident.”
Once cameras are installed, they can also provide useful information such as visitor numbers or patterns of behaviour in a shop. Murphy thinks there may even be scope for using the system to record action on the proposed driving range. People could then review their performance online at home, in a similar fashion to the videos that are often supplied following lessons.