Security is only the first step.
The city of Huancayo is using Axis cameras to improve the flow of traffic during peak times and to monitor illegal commerce, urban growth and environmental damage.
Huancayo is the most important city in Peru’s central highlands, situated south of Mantaro Valley and approximately 185 miles from Lima. The primary goals of the current city government are the prevention of criminal activity and curbing the rise in incidents occurring in the surrounding area, such as the acts of kidnappers, extortionists and hired killers. For these reasons, a public investment initiative was established including the installation of an innovative video surveillance system for monitoring – in its first stage – the most vulnerable areas of the city based on a crime map.
With the goal of starting down the road to establishing a sustainable smart city, Huancayo acquired a total of 50 Axis cameras, the majority of which are AXIS Q6045-E PTZ Mk II Network Cameras that provide wide-area, high-detail coverage. Some of the cameras integrated into the system are AXIS Q6000-E models that offer a fixed 360-degree view, while the PTZ can search out scene details with its zoom capability. This combination is supplemented with AXIS Q6114-E Network Cameras. The project was implemented by the integrator TACTICAL IT, using software from Intelligent Security Systems (ISS).
Within the first few months of the project’s startup, it exceeded the client’s expectations in regards to the cameras’ coverage and excellent image quality on even the darkest of streets. This has enabled rapid response and also the prevention of incidents, optimizing the work of the video surveillance monitoring center with the ability to provide 24-hour tracking as a result of the images captured by the cameras. Monitoring personnel were able to get up to speed quickly on the functionality of the new cameras coupled with SecurOS software from ISS that has created an intuitive, easy-to-use management platform.
The current city administration, led by its mayor, Dr. Alcides Chamorro Balvin, has a mission to make Huancayo a safe and modern city through the extensive use of ITC in all areas of our city. In order to achieve this, we will expand the video surveillance system and, in addition to citizen safety, will encompass urban development, transit and transportation, socioeconomic development, and the protection of our environment.
On one night of August, just before 4 a.m., two men robbed a passerby in Huancayo. The suspects didn’t think anyone had seen them, but within just a few minutes the local police force arrived and began searching for the delinquents. From the monitoring center a searching area was established, and the police focused there. At 5 a.m., an agent spotted the suspects, and before sunrise the police unit had brought them into custody.
Street-level theft and pickpocketing are the crimes most commonly captured on Huancayo’s video surveillance cameras. But they are also used in cases of domestic violence, public and private property damage, underground prostitution, underage drinking, among others.
“For now, we are using 50 next-generation high-tech full HD video surveillance cameras,” explains Mayor Alcides Chamorro. “They’re vandal-resistant, which assures functionality despite there being malicious people who want to sabotage our infrastructure; and as for cutting their electricity, they are equipped with backup power that enables them to continue recording anything that happens.”
More than just the sum of specific Public Safety Management actions, at the core of the project is a comprehensive public safety strategy “…to prevent Huancayo from becoming like some northern cities where there is organized crime, hired killings and kidnappings,” says the mayor.
The video surveillance cameras that protect the city have also become allies in overseeing the municipality in order to impose fines on citizens caught in restricted areas, obstructing transit, or acting inappropriately in parks and gardens – including the use of parks as public bathrooms, burning or dumping trash in them, or harming trees and shrubs – among other infractions.
The video surveillance cameras are also catching acts of unauthorized commerce and damage to green space. In the first three months after installation, the 50 cameras recorded more than 7000 incidents.
“The cameras are also helping other management agencies, such as transit with the flow of traffic during peak hours, enforcement’s ability to identify places engaging in the unlicensed sale of alcohol, and the parks and gardens department’s maintenance of city beautification projects and green space,” according to the manager of the Huancayo Public Safety Department, Commander José Luis Hinostroza Acosta. In his view, “The cameras have facilitated an immediate response to incidents, and as a result have decreased crime in our city.”
Withstanding adverse conditions
Huancayo is characterized as being an area with frequent rainfall. For this reason, one of the models used is AXIS Q6114-E with Speed Dry, a function that makes the dome vibrate at high speed, removing drips from the lens. Another key aspect of the project was the use of Zipstream technology that reduces bandwidth and storage needs with no reduction in image quality.
According to Jorge Alvarado, manager of TACTICAL IT, the project’s integrator, “The client and general public value the advantages brought about by the entire solution installed, such as modernized patrols, a digital radio communications system with real-time GPS geolocation, IP telephony and all the functionality of ISS software – including the ability to provide visual recognition of license plates and faces.”
The mayor agrees: “Within next year’s budget, we have already made provisions to acquire another 50 cameras,” he says.