The power to protect

The latest hi-tech command and control software is being used to power CCTV distribution and management in Greater Manchester Police’s new state-of-the-art control room, which was put through its paces for the first time as part of Operation Protector at the recent Labour Party Conference.

Oct 23, 2008
By Paul Jacques

The latest hi-tech command and control software is being used to power CCTV distribution and management in Greater Manchester Police’s new state-of-the-art control room, which was put through its paces for the first time as part of Operation Protector at the recent Labour Party Conference.

With around 15,000 delegates, including the Prime Minister, high-profile MPs, global leaders and speakers from across the world, Greater Manchester Police’s (GMP) Operation Protector was crucial to maintaining a world-class level of security at the Labour Party Conference in Manchester.

Colin Carey, assistant IT director at GMP, explained: “Preparation is everything. Although the event lasted only a few days, it took months of planning. The first challenge was to ensure we had the right infrastructure in place. We worked closely with BT to ensure the best possible network to deliver the high volumes of video required.

“The next step was to utilise software to effectively integrate the many disparate video systems already in place including: mobile video, Hele-Tele, fixed wing and CCTV from public space, stations and airports.

“BT introduced us to CNL [specialists in command and control software and open platform IP-based security] and its IPSecurityCenter.

“This software is able to manage the copious amount of visual data, enabling us to provide the highest level of security possible by distributing data and video, wherever and whenever required.”

The system has 40 dedicated operator workstations, 360 CCTV feeds and a Barco visualisation system powering 12 65in NEC LCD displays and four 47in Barco displays; all managed through one intuitive interface.

The control room allowed officers to effectively police all aspects of the conference 24-hours a day, covering all of Greater Manchester.

It is one of the most advanced control and command facilities in the UK and in the future will enable GMP and other partner agencies to effectively deal with large-scale events or major incidents and improve the force’s ability to protect the public and fight crime.

Superintendent Chris Ullah, planning coordinator for Operation Protector, said: “The new events control room will create a legacy for the people of Manchester.

“Not only did it greatly help us police this conference successfully, but it has given the force a fantastic facility for future events such as football matches, multiple major incidents or operations.

“We will be policing political conferences for the next three to four years, so the new control room is a very important addition to our resources.”

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