CCTV in museums is now a teenager. And
just like one, she feels she is misunderstood: Crimewatch programmes showing CCTV footage
that is not clear enough to identify the victim. Movement activated
systems pick up every spider and bat ready for you to analyse the
next morning... And yet CCTV is a powerful tool in the fight against
crime and specifically in protecting museum exhibits on display.
There are 3 benefits to internal CCTV in a museum environment.
Firstly as a deterrent, if that is all that is desired then dummy
cameras can be considered.
Secondly (after the event) to help the police identify a thief or
offender after they have left the premises. Good picture resolution,well
positioned cameras e.g. on the front desk, plus good tape or digital record management are important.
Thirdly CCTV can be used at
the scene and time of crime (if the cameras are watched in real time). Link it
with rfid sensors. But I immediately hear:
"We need a security control room for that and that's unaffordable". I
reply but oh no it isn't...read on..
Of course the largest
museums and galleries do have security control rooms with banks of CCTV
screens and rightly so they house some of the worlds most
precious heritage. Recent innovations enable the linking of object
(e.g. painting) protection systems like
GalleryMaster or GalleryMonitor
to trigger camera presets. So if an object is touched an alarm goes
off in the guard-room, the camera pans / tilts / zooms and up comes the
scene on screen plus in the corners are the camera shots looking at each
exit from that gallery. The guard on duty can then radio through
appropriate instructions to the invigilators walking the halls
depending on the cause, child, drunk or criminal all require different
But back to those of you
who say: "This is unaffordable". The advent of broadband means that
CCTV pictures can be monitored remotely by a station hundreds of miles
away if appropriate.
Envisage a system where the object protection
system alerts the monitoring station immediately and triggers the
camera presets. They can see the exhibit and the exits just as well as
any local control room. Link the object protection with a pager or
radios so the object name flashes up and local invigilators can be on
their way as the monitoring station radios through details of what they can see.
I agree not as good as your
own control room but not half as expensive. ....
Art and object protection and information on CCTV
monitoring is available from Euronova, just ask.....