National Star College is based in Gloucestershire and is an independent specialist residential college working with learners who have physical disabilities and associated learning difficulties. The original “National Star Centre College” was established by a charitable organisation that acquired the college site at Ullenwood to educate and train young people with physical disabilities. Since then, the college has gone from strength to strength and is now considered to be a leader in its field, with innovation at the heart of its mission to enhance the lives of people with disabilities.
The college is based in 35 acres of beautiful grounds surrounding the original Ullenwood Manor and is on a large open site with no real perimeter fencing. In 2004, several incidents in the local area prompted management to consider installing a very basic surveillance system, just to monitor coming and goings to and from the site. They wanted an unobtrusive system that would not spoil the rural views, but would provide peace of mind and act as a deterrent against the opportunist thief.
They looked at a wide range of conventional CCTV systems, but found that most of them were offering 24-hour surveillance and recording which raised some cost and management issues. Chris Hemming, the college’s Estates Manager says, “ We felt that recording and storing images 24/7 was a little over the top. We were not looking to spy on people and we just wanted to be able to review the pictures if and when we needed to.”
With these requirements in mind, they found the ideal solution in Redhand from RedHand. Because it uses network-based and wireless, digital cameras that have in-built motion detection, pictures are only recorded if something is happening. Instead of using video, the cameras capture two, high quality pictures per second and store them straight onto the hard disc of a PC as standard, colour JPEG images. No video recorders, multiplexers or monitors are required and the Viewer area of
the software includes a unique picture management module that makes it easy for them to locate and view recorded images. Live pictures can also be viewed from any camera at any time.
Redhand is a true, IP-based application and besides the three, external, day/night cameras that are monitoring the car parks and entrances at Ullenwood, there are also four cameras installed at the student accommodation at Overton House, 10 miles away in Cheltenham. Because of the system’s low network bandwidth requirements, images from this site can be captured and stored on the PC at the main site via the 2Mb Internet connection, as well as the usual monitoring of live images. Therefore, Redhand offers a fully integrated, enterprise-wide solution across multiple sites. Currently, a total of five PC's are equipped with the Viewer software, allowing both historical and live pictures to be viewed from several different locations.