Area 9, Highways England, is a model of how innovative technology solutions can improve security and operations, keeping our assets, staff and customers safe, streamlining processes and creating measurable Return on Investment (ROI).
It is a solution that meets operational needs today but designed to meet the challenges of the future. During 2009, Area 9 experienced high volumes of theft (£0.5m) resulting in 13 depots requiring expensive manned-guards and access control was uncoordinated.
Security within Area 9 has evolved to an extent that access to any depot can be controlled locally and remotely, all gates are fully automated and door access is protected with a camera intercom system. All perimeters can be monitored by one guard remotely and that guard is supported by crisp digital footage and a state of the art analytics system.
By working diligently together Highways England and ATEC have harnessed the power of technology to ensure vital and necessary protection for all depots through smooth operational change.
2009-2012 Access is Safer
A modernisation and integration programme was introduced. Non-compliant gates were replaced and standardised. All depots were harmonised over an internet protocol (IP) network, which enabled the gates to be controlled locally and remotely.
A camera intercom system was installed across all 57 doors, providing access control. These were further enhanced with an intelligent key tracking system that monitored what key was used, the location and by who.
Area 9 became safer from an eﬃcient,access-controlled system.
2013-2015 Digital is Safer
During this period, Area 9 was further modernised and future-proofed by upgrading all existing analogue cameras to digital.
This provided improved image, wider coverage and more eﬃcient storage. It also enabled remote depot monitoring so all cameras could be viewed live from a central location. This resulted in immediate beneﬁts and clear ROI stemming from the rationalisation of manned-guarding.
2017 – Wireless is Safer
Area 9 was re-engineered to become a wireless model. This provided a clear ROI as it removed the risk of costly repairs to the existing ducts, which were prone to damage. The wireless system provided opportunities for scalability and ﬂexibility. As depots are inherently dynamic environments, this wireless system enables cameras to be easily added to the network. New depots or site areas can be monitored through this reliable, durable and modern system.
2018 – Analytics Safer 24/7
The human eye is fallible. Incidents can go unnoticed, and small risks become major threats. To prevent this an analytics programme was installed during March and April 2018. Analytics is truly pioneering, designed with the future in mind.
Analytics further protects depots by recognising movement patterns and alerting on incidents that might otherwise go unnoticed. From a security perspective loitering and perimeter infringement is detected and an alarm raised. From a health and safety perspective the software identiﬁes behaviour such as driving the wrong way around a depot and alerts the controller.
The system is proactive, seamlessly integrated with the existing digital and wireless network. It works every second, of every day, on every camera, keeping assets, customers and staﬀ safe.