The Spitalfields Estate in East London uses Genetec Security Centre to modernise CCTV security and build a platform for future service innovation.

Business challenge

The Spitalfields Estate is a 1.9m ft2, mixed-use development in East London managed by CBRE. It includes corporate offices, retail and residential units, public spaces, and a market independent of its famous neighbour, the Old Spitalfields market. The estate has 16,000 tenants and runs several cultural and entertainment events to foster a local community environment.

Recently visitor numbers have increased from 165,000 to between 400,000 and 500,000 a week. Effective security management and caring for tenants and visitors is a key part of the estate’s job. The existing CCTV system was an old analogue application on a PC connected to a network of outdated cameras. Although functional, the system was difficult and costly to maintain.

Image quality and storage capabilities were poor. But it could not support some of the future services and applications that the estate wanted to deliver. The Spitalfields Estate is a showcase site and the CCTV system did not fit with its image of a modern, efficient location.

Addressing CCTV system challenges

The aim was a dedicated CCTV system capable of supporting modern equipment for deploying new services in future

The estate planned to upgrade the cameras and cabling but soon realised the whole system needed replacing. The aim was a dedicated CCTV system capable of supporting modern equipment and a springboard for deploying new services and capabilities in the future.

After a detailed tendering process, the estate decided to work with Genetec and its business partner, Custom Intelligent Security. According to Justin Morgan, from CIS Security and Head of Security at The Spitalfields Estate, “The presentation and sales process by Genetec and Custom was very impressive. There was no hard sell and it felt like a breath of fresh air. All the top CCTV suppliers offer high-quality solutions, but it was a feeling of reassurance that we got from the Genetec team."

"The solution suited our needs because it offered the support, training, information, and knowledge sharing to make the system professional and easy to use.”

Security Centre modernises security

The estate deployed a new CCTV system based on the unified IP security platform, Genetec Security Centre. It is hosted on an all-in-one Genetec Streamvault 300 Series server. Analogue feeds from the existing camera network are converted into digital data and sent to Security Centre for staff to monitor and manipulate.

Genetec Clearance is a digital evidence management solution. It improves GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) compliance by using intelligent identity-redaction features and removing the need to share image data via hard media. If there is a subject access request, staff use clearance to select relevant images, annotate, mask individuals not involved, and create a link to share the material.

Data is deleted automatically after 31 days. The next phase of the solution will be a cable network survey and rolling out new cameras when old ones reach the end of life and cannot be repaired cost-effectively.

Protecting existing investments and controlling future spend

CCTV system delivers clear, clean images even from old cameras, and is easy to manage and use

To go from old, hard-to-use equipment to a professional, modern, and fit-for-purpose solution is a huge improvement for security management at The Spitalfields Estate. It’s an investment in technology and operations, but it’s also an investment in the team, the tenants, and the whole estate,” explained Morgan.

The Spitalfields Estate now has a CCTV system that ensures the safety and security of visitors and staff professionally and efficiently. It delivers clear, clean images even from old cameras, and is easy to manage and use. Significantly, it enhances the estate’s brand reputation for providing modern, professional services backed up by an excellent delivery service from Custom.

The global security manager from one of our biggest business tenants came to see the new CCTV system and was very impressed. It proves that we are running a highly professional operation using the latest technology,” said Morgan. Morgan describes the change as going “from level 1 to level 10 without touching level 5”. Despite the major transformation, the solution has been designed and managed in phases so the estate can protect existing investment and control future spending.

Scalable, modern, and efficient CCTV system

One main objective was a system that could be developed to meet future needs and support more services and capabilities such as using analytics to improve security management. For example, Morgan and his team plan to use Security Centre to set up automatic detection alerts when someone enters a sensitive area, when large groups form, or suspect objects are left unattended.

The estate and the new CCTV system are used as a training centre for CIS Security staff from other locations

This will help to make security operations more efficient and means the staff won’t have to monitor every camera feed. The estate is also looking at how to integrate its existing, but standalone entrance access system with Security Center. “These are the kind of scalable and operational enhancements that the modern and efficient Genetec system is delivering to The Spitalfields Estate,” said Morgan.

Security training

The estate and the new CCTV system are used as a training centre for CIS Security staff from other locations. The site has several different security environments such as private buildings and public spaces to test skills. The Genetec system is also easy for students to set up and use.

To go from old, hard-to-use equipment to a professional, modern, and fit-for-purpose solution is a huge improvement for security management at The Spitalfields Estate. It’s an investment in technology and operations, but it’s also an investment in the team, the tenants, and the whole estate.”