For many years the Belgium port of Oostende had been plagued with refugees and illegal immigrants trying to make their way into the UK. To help contain the problem the Port Authorities chose Telindus, a major European network integrator, to install digital surveillance. Cameras were placed over the entire premises and have helped the Port of Oostende make important steps towards containing the problem. The current investment in a multi-service network infrastructure will be enhanced by offering video, voice and data services to other organisations in and around the port.
The Port of Oostende has been investing in law enforcement for several years since the Schengen treaty went into effect. Efforts have been made to keep illegal immigrants from travelling into the UK, following a bilateral agreement. Paul Gerard, Managin
Director of the Port of Ostend says, “Previously we had invested heavily in heartbeat detection systems, fences and ‘Schengen-gates’ and unified identification badges. Following the ISPS code even more security measures were required to guarantee permanent surveillance. To our judgement the only way we could implement this was using video surveillance systems.”
Instead of operating several independent systems the Port of Oostende preferred the comprehensive, integrated system from Telindus Surveillance Solutions Ltd, a sister company of Telindus. This state-of-the-art system offers high-quality imaging and an immense storage capacity for storing evidence.
“The Port of Oostende didn’t have any technical expertise in this domain, so we had to look for a qualified technology partner,” the Managing Director explains. “Some important investments were required, hence we preferred Telindus as a risk sharing partner.” In the early part of 2004 ePort Communications Systems was started as a joint venture funded by Telindus and the Port of Oostende, being a great example of the possibilities of Public- Private Partnerships (PPP).
Within four months of its existence the joint venture ePort Communications Systems established a state-of-the-art optical network, using Internet Protocol (IP) for interconnecting no less than 53 high-definition surveillance cameras and three control rooms across the port. The most important investment has been the installation of no less than 12 kilometres of optical fibre across the port. The infrastructure will shortly be used by the sea terminal operators, the Port of Oostende, navel traffic control, the naval police author ities and the pilot services.
Telindus Surveillance Solutions provided state-of-the-art video codecs and networked video recorders, which along with very high quality cameras now use the network infrastructure to provide the Port authorities with round the clock coverage of the entire site. This provides automated event monitoring and handling of all camera feeds. In addition to providing security services to the port police, the CCTV system is now also being made available to other ferry companies in order to provide monitoring capabilities for all of their loading and docking procedures.
“Having a high-speed multi service optical backbone means we can use it for E.N.S.O.R. (Electronic Network System Oostende Region), being an integrated system for register ing ship movements, attributing berths or opening sea locks,” explains managing director Paul Gerard. The network will replace existing leased lines, offering a direct return on investment. Thanks to Telindus’ multi service approach, third party services can be deployed, such as carrying video, voice or data signals.
This will increase the return on the investment of €2 million for the network infrastructure, the surveillance cameras, the control rooms and the first five years of maintenance. Choosing an IP-based approach also allows integration of the network with future technology, resulting in a network that can be extended without limitation.