Avia, a chain of self-service petrol stations in Belgium, has recently installed Grundig CCTV equipment at an unmanned site.
The site consists of six lanes of self-service fuel pumps serving diesel, unleaded and super unleaded fuel. The fuel is paid for directly at the pumps by cash or card and no staff are present.
Belgomine NV, distributor of the Swiss brand AVIA in Belgium, is the biggest, independent petrol station company in Belgium. The company has four key priorities; quality, price, proximity and partnership. These key priorities are directly affected by the company’s security and surveillance provision at each site. Ensuring the safety of its customers is paramount, whether they are using city centre or rural service stations. Protecting sites, customers and fuel helps to keep costs low and makes product pricing hugely competitive.
Eric Audenaert, technical manager of Belgomine, explained what the company needed in terms of security at the fuel station. “We were looking for a system that would observe the general operation of the site, whilst also providing detailed images for an automatic number plate recognition system (ANPR). The site is busy, with a high volume of vehicles of all sizes passing through. It is important to ensure the site runs efficiently and effectively. We wanted to be able to respond immediately and appropriately to any incidents as they occur. All events are recorded for evidential purposes and clear images of vehicle number plates are provided to resolve disputes and support criminal investigations. The CCTV system also had to work in conjunction with a site access control system.”
Belgomine chose installation company Tim Security to manage the CCTV and security project from start to finish. Tim Security was selected because of its proven track record in fuel station security. The company offers a complete service from design and installation to integration and post-sales support. Its exceptional customer care and more than 150 years combined security experience meant the company could meet all Avia’s requirements.
The new CCTV system comprises six Grundig HD SDI day/night bullet cameras. These offer full HD, high resolution, WDR and night vision using 42, built-in, infra-red LEDs, ideal for ANPR. The cameras are connected to a Grundig, eight channel HD-SDI DVR for recording and playback of video images. The cameras are used to protect entrances, exits and pumps and are monitored remotely 24/7.
Grundig HD SDI security cameras were chosen because they provided outstanding image quality, have an excellent reliability rating and are competitively priced. In addition, the cameras offered significant upgrade cost savings. The new HD-SDI cameras directly replaced old analogue ones on the same coaxial cable infrastructure. Installation was carried out quickly, with little disruption, and no new cabling was necessary.
The images from each camera are viewed live at Avia’s head office; a facility which is used to monitor all Avia fuel stations around the clock. An intuitive monitoring screen allows each camera view to be watched simultaneously. Using a simple mouse click, single camera views are enabled. No audio “listening” is used in the system, although it is an option technically, as it is not allowed under Belgian law. Operators monitor all Avia petrol stations remotely to ensure they are functioning properly and efficiently. Any incident is immediately identified and action taken. This can include relatively simple issues such as a car break down requiring assistance or a pump malfunction requiring an engineer call out. More serious incidents, such as vandalism, “drive-off” theft, the misuse of fuel tank cards or planned criminal activity on site are also monitored and recorded. Response to these more serious incidents can involve the police and detailed evidence is provided.
Avia was so impressed with the results that it plans to install the same camera systems at further sites. The Grundig system provides evidential-level images; the operators respond immediately and appropriately to incidents; and the site is kept safe and operational at all times. In the first few months of operation, Avia has already benefitted from the deterrent effect of the system. This, combined with cost-effective equipment and installation, has helped keep fuel prices competitive and uphold Avia’s quality, price, proximity and partnership promise to all fuel station users.