Surveillance Cameras Detect Thieves

Farm Security: Farmers Detect Thieves Hiding Just 400m Away During Surveillance Exercise

A Watcher Surveillance Solutions team was setting up farm security proof of concept for a prospective customer when their surveillance technology detected thieves-in-waiting hiding in the dark nearby.

Plantation Farms, Boksburg – Plantation Farms has been struggling with increasing crime at their premise, including theft of produce and infrastructure, resulting in property damage and operational disruptions.

With a circumference that spans 15km, traditional cameras as well as methods of security such as guards and patrol vehicles could only do so much. Visibility at night is restricted to less than 10m, with pitch black darkness and terrain making it nearly impossible to see – let alone spot intruders.

Makopano Security (who recently partnered with Watcher to outsource their surveillance solutions – read more here) called Watcher in to assist in providing a solution for Plantation Farms that would address the security challenges.

A Shot In The Dark

The night that the tests took place was as dark as is the case on farms and rural areas. What happened next was unexpected.

“Without the intelligent camera systems, none of this would have been possible.”

Upon rotating the cameras, the Watcher team noticed something on the displays. Unbeknownst to the security on site, in the bushes just some 400m away, figures were quietly laying in wait.

Not only were the team notified of their presence, but it was determined that they were equipped with pangas and bags, ready to cut and steal produce the moment the opportunity presented itself.

What they didn’t know is that they had already been detected, and action was being taken.

A Smart Solution

On premises such as these, it’s highly impractical to attempt to illuminate such massive areas, and the amount of traditional cameras that would be required would not be economically feasible.

During Watcher’s proof of concept thermal cameras were also evaluated as a potential solution. However, due to the similarity between day-time ambient and human body temperature human detection is compromised. Instead, a Pan-Tilt-Zoom (PTZ) camera with infrared laser capabilities was found to be the superior solution for this application. Successful human detection was achieved at 1,5km during the day and 850m at night. 

Radar solutions lack many of the features and capabilities of surveillance solutions such as subject identification, weapon detection and more. 

The proof of concept was powered with generators, but these modern systems are able to function using solar power and wireless/VSAT connections, which is crucial in areas where the need for power and connectivity can be a major challenge.

Proactive Not Reactive

The Watcher team quickly got in touch with Makopano’s security vehicle and gave them the location of the perpetrators.

Due to the lack of visibility the security patrol vehicle struggled to locate the intruders. Further directions from the surveillance team allowed for the pursuit of the suspects. Without the intelligent camera systems, none of this would have been possible. 

The Perks of Intelligent Surveillance

As was evident in the story, none of this would have been possible without the great new advancements in technology that are now available from companies like Watcher. What’s better is that these technologies are now affordable.

The value of these modern solutions is clear:

  • Better, affordable safety and security – all day, every day thanks to AI-powered surveillance
  • A solution for areas where lighting the whole premises is impossible or unfeasible
  • Works for a variety of businesses and challenges
  • The ability to remain powered and connected completely wirelessly and with solar power
  • Analytics that are available on site
  • The ability to work with your existing security provider.

Thanks for reading. Interested in learning more? Explore our website and get in contact to apply for a site visit or ask any questions. Our team is ready to assist!