How to automate CCTV enforcement to maximise compliance

Councils outside London and Wales have already started planning for the introduction of legislation allowing CCTV enforcement to be used to improve compliance for a diverse range of civil traffic contraventions. An important consideration is how automation can enable councils to cost effectively achieve their enforcement objectives.

Automating the capture of contraventions
Automated, unattended enforcement platforms deliver higher levels of productivity at a lower cost than can be achieved with traditional, manually operated systems which require operatives to monitor each camera location to identify contraventions. They also eliminate the restricted shift patterns that limit overall effectiveness.

Videalert solutions combine ANPR with the latest video analytics algorithms to provide additional intelligence to track moving objects and only capture vehicles that actually commit offences, something that cannot be achieved using ANPR-only systems. It also allows the capture of number plates which are dirty or modified to be non-reflective. This delivers effective and reliable enforcement in high traffic volume environments without generating unacceptably high levels of false reads and increasing the number of appeals by drivers against their PCN notices.

Councils that have automated the enforcement process have reported up to a six fold increase in performance and productivity in comparison to legacy manual systems.

Automating the review process
Another benefit of combining ANPR with video analytics is that only the vehicles that actually commit an offence are captured. This significantly speeds up the review process by enabling operators to efficiently validate video evidence of contraventions. In addition, the Videalert system allows a quick and three-click process to review evidence packs and produce PCNs without having to use manual cropping and data protection tools to cut and paste still images and video footage to construct evidence packs.

Further benefits can be achieved by using Videalert’s DfT Manufacturer Certified hosted solution which eliminates the need to procure and deploy any equipment within council IT infrastructures or install software on local PCs for evidence pack review. Images of contraventions are transmitted to Videalert’s hosted digital video platform where evidence packs can be viewed and validated prior to sending to back office systems for the issuance of penalty charge notices (PCN). To reduce the number of appeals, PCN recipients can view still photographs and video footage of alleged offences over the internet.

Automating school safety
Councils can also deploy cameras outside schools to monitor and enforce parking contraventions on the keep clears and demonstrate they are taking action to reduce the number of accidents involving children. The number plates of vehicles stopping in these zones are automatically captured using a single PTZ camera without any manual operation. In addition the system can be used to enforce the School Streets and other Low Traffic Neighbourhood schemes being introduced across the UK. Non-exempt vehicles that enter the closed streets during the peak times are identified by Videalert’s automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) cameras. The creation and transmission of video evidence for review before PCNs are generated is also automated.

Automating data sharing
Using a single enforcement platform helps to automate the sharing of data generated by CCTV to multiple stakeholders for a wide range of applications. For example, a single digital infrastructure allows the simultaneous dissemination of vehicle plate read data to Police ANPR databases (BOFII) for detecting “black listed” vehicles, traffic management systems (UTMC) for journey time information and congestion smoothing as well as community safety initiatives to reduce fly-tipping and anti-social behaviour. The sharing of CCTV infrastructure assets and real-time data by multiple stakeholders increases the value of the information captured and delivers significant cost savings.

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