Improving campus security at colleges and universities

How can you improve campus safety? Our latest blog post looks at the unique challenges faced by university and college security teams and how AI can help

October 24, 2022

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How do you create a safe environment while extending as much personal freedom as possible? That’s the quandary for universities and colleges all over the world. For many students, their time on campus is the beginning of leading independent lives. The last thing they want, or want to think about, is security. And that’s one of the chief reasons campus security has to be so vigilant.

The supersized challenge for campus security

Campus security faces a number of unique challenges. Special attention is required to keep a high concentration of young people safe, especially as many are beginning to live without supervision for the first time in their lives. The campus experience should be stimulating and fun, and that adds to the challenges.

Campuses cover large areas

The very nature of a campus means it covers a lot of space, often hundreds if not thousands of acres or hectares of land. Many institutions have more than one campus or campuses located in different cities.

Universities and colleges attract a lot of people

According to College Data, a small campus is defined as having fewer than 5,000 students. A large campus has more than 15,000 students. Add in teaching and support staff, and all the employees needed to keep a university running, and there are a lot of people to keep safe. Campuses also experience huge ebbs and flows of people coming onto the grounds. Most colleges and universities have public visitors and encourage the surrounding community to take advantage of their grounds and facilities. Sporting events, cultural events, and graduation ceremonies all attract large crowds for short periods, which cause additional security challenges.

Every campus has multiple buildings and parking areas

Even the smallest campuses have many buildings of all types for classrooms, lecture halls, auditoriums, laboratories, student housing, sporting facilities, cafeterias, and libraries. They almost always have massive parking facilities to accommodate everyone who visits the campus throughout a single day. Much of the property and assets inside those buildings is expensive. Research laboratories can deal with sensitive or hazardous materials that can cause public health issues if stolen or damaged by intruders.

High stakes for campus security

It all adds up to a huge requirement to protect people and property, and do it effectively over distributed campus landscapes. The stakes are high. University and college campuses are the centre of the community – economically, socially and geographically. Security teams are expected to be unobtrusive but to react quickly in the event of an accident or crime. Anticipating abnormal events before they occur can reduce crime and accidents.

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Mitigating security risk for universities and colleges

This is where AI security detection software can help. AI-driven video analytics surveillance software is designed to automatically identify unusual or unexpected events in real time. It allows security operators to move from reacting to situations to working proactively to prevent them. AI-powered surveillance lets your security team move away from monitoring hundreds (or thousands) of video screens by alerting them only when an event is likely to happen. Mount Royal University in Calgary, Canada, increased security awareness and improved response times by switching from old technology and adopting icetana Motion Intelligence™.

Use cases for AI video detection software in campus security

When things go wrong on a college or university campus, events escalate quickly and the risk to people and property can be unusually severe. Common issues include active shooters, sexual assaults, property theft, and threats against staff. These events can be grouped into four main categories.

Crimes against people
  • Assault
  • Robbery
  • Active shooter
Crimes against property
  • Arson
  • Theft
  • Unauthorised entry to campus facilities
  • Vandalism of property 
Crimes against public order
  • Disorderly conduct
  • Disturbance, including disorderly people and fights
  • Drug crimes, particularly late at night on campus
  • External emergencies
  • Civil unrest by students and public
Events requiring security assistance   
  • Ambulance assistance
  • Evacuation
  • Fire alarms
  • Fire
  • Natural event emergency
  • Medical assistance
  • Police assistance
  • Vehicular accidents

A security team with the right tools can detect unusual events and predict when something abnormal is about to occur. This puts your team in a position to proactively improve safety and reduce crime against people and property. Tools like icetana Motion Intelligence make security operators more effective through the use of artificial intelligence and machine learning to provide unbiased threat analysis.

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How icetana improves university and college campus security

Campuses all over the world rely on icetana technology to detect abnormal events and mitigate risks of all kinds. Universities and colleges use icetana AI video detection software to manage the unique challenges of people and asset protection overlarge distances and many building structures.

Get in touch to book a demo and find out how you can improve the campus experience for students, staff, and the public by reducing crime and increasing safety.

Find out how icetana can improve your security and safety