Security

Crime on TV

Safeguarding Quality of Life in Villennes-sur-Seine

14.01.2010 - Villennes-sur-Seine lies about 30 kilometers west of Paris, in the middle of a protected nature reserve. With 4,788 inhabitants, the small and prosperous city offers its population...

Villennes-sur-Seine lies about 30 kilometers west of Paris, in the middle of a protected nature reserve. With 4,788 inhabitants, the small and prosperous city offers its population a very high quality of life. However, repeated incidents involving vandalism, theft and burglary have prompted the city council to install a video surveillance system.

Mobotix M12 day/night cameras were installed in September 2007. These are intended to deter crimes against people and property in areas with a high risk of violence or theft, and also to protect public buildings and institutions against such attacks.Two months later, the system was launched at eight critical locations: at a sports centre, in a parking lot, near three schools, at an underpass, by a train station exit and at the main streets downtown. The city also wanted to use this system to improve and regulate the flow of traffic and to monitor vehicles. Furthermore, the police needed to have high-quality images to prove that a particular vehicle passed a certain location in order to build their case based on such evidence. High-resolution digital cameras were required to identify license plates of moving cars both day and night. For this reason, Mobotix cameras were installed at strategic locations where cars would have to pass when driving through the city.

Successful Deterrent Factor


"With the 19 cameras we have installed in the city centre and near schools, Villennes-sur-Seine, with a population of about 5,000, is a true pioneer in the fight against crime," highlights Pierre-François Degand, Second Deputy Mayor and Security Officer for the city. "The cameras deliver two things. First of all, they deter crime and, secondly, they are useful in case an event actually occurs. In only a few months, we noticed a decline in petty crime and an increase in cases solved. Over 20 cases could be solved thanks to the cameras." The system will be expanded by 2011 to include other locations such as intersections. City police departments and gendarmeries are the first-line users of the video surveillance system. This approach is backed up by government measures in the form of guidelines, which push the development of video surveillance systems in a particular direction. These measures include a French law passed in October 2006 which requires local councils to install the equipment needed to combat terrorism.

Minimum Resolution


This directive stipulates that certain technical standards must be fulfilled in regards to image quality. For instance, a recording must feature a 576 vertical lines resolution taken at 12 frames per second. Due to technical limitations, analogue cameras can at best deliver a resolution of between 0.1 and 0.4 megapixels, or up to four CIF (PAL). It is therefore not possible to zoom in on key details, such as the car's license plate or faces, and hence solve a crime quickly and conclusively.
To overcome this shortcoming, a decision was announced in August 2007 to establish binding technical standards that guarantee a minimum level of quality. These standards concerned the camera's capacity, storage, compression, transfer, and image rendering, amongst others. In view of the many laws in this area, digital IP technology is increasingly being used and is replacing analog technology.
As of today, Mobotix cameras are already able to deliver the required solutions and meet the needs of law enforcement for the discovery of evidence. Images are recorded and saved at a resolution of three megapixels, thanks to image processing in the camera. Police officers find these high-quality images extremely helpful in identifying license plates and people. Furthermore, the resolution provides a better general overview, which means that fewer cameras need to be installed.

Contact

Mobotix AG

Kaiserstraße
67722 Langmeil
Germany

+49 6302 9816 0
+49 6302 9816 190

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