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City transit systems, including subways and trains, use surveillance cameras to deter unruly passengers, reduce liability, and enhance safety.

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Video Surveillance for Trains and Stations

In recent years, public transit security concerns have increased significantly. The threat of terrorist activity has always been present, but it is a larger issue today than ever before. In train and subway stations, video surveillance systems can help to prevent such acts. Additionally, security cameras can deter crime and vandalism within stations, and provide riders with an added sense of security.

View blog posts relating to subway and train video surveillance.

Benefits of Security Cameras in Train and Subway Stations

Combat terrorism – Public modes of transportation are considered high-risk targets for terrorism. Surveillance cameras positioned in train and subway stations assist in the fight against such activity, and work to spot terrorist plots before they happen.

Crime investigation – Video surveillance footage can prove extremely useful in investigating incidents where a crime or terrorist act is carried out. By analyzing recorded footage, security officials can identify suspects and examine what steps need to be taken to prevent future acts from occurring.

Protect riders – It's important for riders to have confidence that the train system is safe. Many subway users are daily commuters. For them, riding the rails should be as worry-free as brushing one's teeth. Security cameras are a key part of a larger effort to provide users with a system that is safe and closely monitored for their protection.

Prevent graffiti – There's something about subway stations that brings graffiti artists out in force. For some, tunnel walls and train cars provide the ultimate canvas. When surveillance cameras spot such activity, officers can be quickly deployed to break things up before a full-blown mural comes to fruition. Cleaning up graffiti is an expensive task, and video surveillance helps in reducing the frequency of such activity.

Monitor unsafe areas – We've all heard the term, “Mind the Gap.” Many subway and train stations have sections that could prove dangerous, such as platform gaps, and any public area where there train passes by. With security cameras installed specifically to monitor such areas, accidents and injuries can be avoided.

Smart camera functionality – Intelligent IP cameras often feature built-in video analytics such as behavioral and facial recognition. Installed in a subway or train station, such cameras can help to identify potential threats and spot suspicious activity such as objects left unattended.

Digital storage – With a digital surveillance system, footage is stored digitally rather than on bulky analog cassettes. This allows for advanced search features that help in scouring archived material for images of specific incidents.

Remote access – IP surveillance systems allows for remote monitoring from any computer with network access and an internet connection.

Risks of Video Surveillance Systems

Vandalism – If a security camera is damaged or tampered with, the signal could be lost. It's important that other security measures are in place should such an instance occur.

Over reliance – Security cameras, while powerful tools, should not be relied on too heavily. Video surveillance can significantly enhance the level of security in train and subway stations, but the physical presence of security personnel is still extremely vital and shouldn't be overlooked.

Configuration of Surveillance Cameras

When installing a video surveillance system in a train or subway station, consider the following factors:

  • What types of security systems does the station currently have in place?
  • Is the station properly staffed with security personnel and patrolled by police officers?
  • Are there areas of the station that are especially prone to accidents?
  • Is there a history of incidents involving injuries or fatalities on the tracks?
  • Are there warning signs posted prominently around dangerous areas?
  • Is graffiti an issue at the station?
  • How late does the train run at night?
  • Does the station feature cashier areas where money is exchanged?
  • Is the station in a safe neighborhood?
  • Is there a history of criminal activity or violent incidents in or around the station?

Video Surveillance Setup Advice for Train and Subway Stations

  • Install cameras at all station entrances and exits in order to get clear images of those entering and leaving the premises.
  • Use cameras to monitor high-risk locations by the tracks, such as boarding areas and sections where open gaps exist.
  • Keep watch over any areas where money is exchanged, for instance ticket windows and card machines.
  • Monitor stairwells and hallways for suspicious activity.
  • Consider using cameras equipped with video analytics such as facial recognition and behavioral recognition that can assist in identifying marked criminals and suspicious activity as it develops.
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