‘Super hub’ the future of CCTV

A state-of-the-art CCTV hub covering nearly 250 cameras across East Lancashire is being hailed as a “model for the future” and is expected to lead to more prosecutions and a reduction in crime and anti-social behaviour.

Oct 11, 2017

A state-of-the-art CCTV hub covering nearly 250 cameras across East Lancashire is being hailed as a “model for the future” and is expected to lead to more prosecutions and a reduction in crime and anti-social behaviour. The new control room, which cost almost £1million, is located in King George’s Hall in Blackburn where seven operators and two supervisors monitor the cameras across East Lancashire around the clock. Designed and installed by OpenView Security Solutions (OSS), it features a video wall of 33 42in screens, one of the UK’s largest local authority installations. Operators have access to CCTV footage together with Shop and Pub Watch radios and police radios, which Peter Wareing, CCTV services manager for Blackburn with Darwen Council, says provides fast communication across the area, allowing operators to “be involved in ongoing incidents from the first call”. Footage from the hub can be shared with larger police stations across the county, with operators able to record live incidents and pinpoint officers to exact locations of crimes as they happen. Lancashire’s police and crime commissioner (PCC) Clive Grunshaw, who provided funding of £100,000 towards the hub’s launch, said it was vital that communities have “the best equipment available to them to protect residents and businesses and help build safe and confident communities”. “Working in partnership is key to delivering the very best service for Lancashire and this type of innovative collaboration can be a model for future projects,” he added. “CCTV cameras are an invaluable aid to the police, both aiding with investigations and also deterring criminals from committing offences.” Council leader Mohammed Khan from Blackburn with Darwen Council has hailed the project as a resounding success, adding: “This impressive facility will not only save participating authorities money on their previous CCTV costs, but it will also lead to more prosecutions and a reduction in crime and anti-social behaviour.” The Lancashire Hub CCTV Centralisation Project has consolidated separate facilities across the county into a single ‘super hub’ control room that OSS, specialist provider of CCTV and IT infrastructure solutions to the public sector, says will improve the ability to share data with Lancashire Constabulary on a real-time basis to “enhance the delivery of an efficient and appropriate response to incidents as they occur”. The control room is staffed by operators from the Burnley, Preston and Blackburn CCTV control rooms, which Mr Wareing says “allows staff to be even more aware of travelling criminals across the area”. Ronnie O’Keefe, crime manager for Blackburn Business Against Crime, said CCTV provides considerable additional operational intelligence to police, “which helps them to detect crime and help make Blackburn a safe place for visitors and shoppers”. Funding was also provided by the Department for Communities and Local Government via its Transformation Challenge Award, Blackburn with Darwen Council under its ‘Tackling Organised Criminal Gangs’ scheme and the Home Office’s previous Police Innovation Fund.

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