The East Staffordshire Borough Council CCTV Control room comprised of Burton-on-Trent and Uttoxeter. One Control Room linked both areas open space CCTV and allowed for the equal monitoring of the systems and met the council’s strategic objectives for community safety.
WMCA in association with the Council tasked TIS with the complex operation of decommissioning the Control room in East Staffordshire and up-linking the CCTV system to the new dedicated CCTV Control Room for the West Midlands at WMCA Summer Lane in Birmingham.
TIS’s principal consideration was to maintain the high quality of service within the two public space environments of Burton upon Trent and Uttoxeter, whilst migrating the private fibre network to the new WMCA control room via a 3rd party provider, in this instance BT.
TIS provided a carefully constructed programme of works that saw a phased migration path, increasing reliance on the new command, control and recording solution, allowing elements of the old system to be removed from service in a timely and secure manner. TIS PRINCE2 Project Managers worked closely with WMCA to ensure that a carefully considered programme of works was drawn up, outlining scheduled downtime, system go-live dates, additional operative training sessions and the Final Hand over date.
Our Technical Manager worked closely with WMCA on the proposed solution, ensuring that the system met all of the outlined requirements. TIS liaised with BT and supported the programme of Fibre Link installation which BT proposed. TIS worked closely with BT to ensure that quality was maintained during the Fibre installation phase, and that where needed elements of the system could be scheduled for downtime without impacting on the continued service provision for WMCA and the Council.
TIS supported WMCA to find a suitable method linking the sites remotely back to the main CCTV Control Room in Birmingham. TIS installed a centralised recording solution within the WMCA CCTV control room to accommodate the additional cameras, extending the existing Veracity Coldstore by a further 60Tb.
Decommissioning the existing East Staffordshire CCTV control room, involved re-routing all existing camera fibre optic circuits into a new secure street cabinet based remotely from the old control room, TIS were then required to patch these circuits through to a new 300Mbps fibre link which was provided by BT for onward transmission to the WMCA Summer Lane control room in Birmingham.
To ensure the security of the system was maintained, the existing 53 analogue cameras (16 in Uttoxeter and 37 in Burton upon Trent) were provided with Axis Q series H.264 encoders for connection to new digital fibre optic circuits. The encoding was commissioned and linked back to the CCTV Control Room and was designed to accommodate full end to end encryption at all times.
Telemetry control of the public space dome cameras was supported via the existing I-Comply VMS, a feature of the WMCS CCTV control room for many years. TIS’s senior engineers worked in conjunction with both I-Comply and the WMCA project team well in advance of the proposed changeover date, to ensure a seamless changeover was achievable.
Within the WMCA Control Room, TIS programmed new maps and icons into the system and complex monitor wall configurations were implemented and tested well in advance of the ‘go live’ date. TIS account managers maintained open and regular communication with WMCA and both Councils to ensure that they knew what was happening at every stage of the project.
Health and Safety:
TIS Account managers and PRINCE2 Project Managers held pre-commencement Health and safety briefings with WMCA and the Council to identify key considerations for both works on site and works on street.
TIS produced detailed risk assessments in association with Shawn Hall our External H&S Consultant. TIS considered the risk to the public whilst working on live camera locations and installing encoders at each location, we further considered the risks on site while decommissioning the CCTV Control room in East Staffordshire and associated high risks from Asbestos related materials, and the risks associated with the commencement of works in the WMCA control Room in Birmingham.
Drawing up detailed method statements highlighted areas of concern for all parties, which TIS mitigated the impact from through regular site safety briefings, tool-box talks and site visits. TIS also met frequently with WMCA and the Council before, during and after works completion, this allowed all parties to highlight and resolve issues as and when they arose or consideration was required.
TIS supported our own engineers with additional H&S training where required, enabling them to be fully equipped and competent in their roles. Through Continuous Professional Development TIS has invested heavily in role specific H&S training for all our employees, not just our engineering teams. Site Managers and Site Supervisors have all completed and qualified in SMSTS and SSSTS training, which ensures that H&S is at the forefront of their mind on every project undertaken including this one.
The CCTV Control Room move outlined above was scheduled to take place over the period of 3 consecutive years. TIS programmed and scheduled accordingly, and it was successfully completed within the required timescales.
Working closely with WMCA and East Staffordshire Council, TIS supported the client to realise their vision for a harmonised CCTV Control Centre. Through our extensive links within the supply chain we were able to support the client with Project Pricing which afforded them a contingency sum where required, this was a key consideration when working in the public’s best interests and spending public funds in association with tight Government budgets.
TIS further added value to the contract through ongoing support of the clients, with service and maintenance during the warranty defects period and TIS produced a detailed set of Key Performance Indicators with WMCA to ensure that they would not be adversely impacted by unexpected downtime, or total systems failure. TIS proposed approved call out times and response times in line with Emergency, Urgent, Standard and Routine requests. TIS monitored and adjusted the resources required for the duration of the re-location phase of the project, and during the Warranty Defects period. Additional value was added to the project by TIS through the installation of remote review clients in the local police stations, thus reducing the need for police officers to travel great distances to collect evidence, or wait until WMCA Central Control Room had time to download and supply evidence. The review clients were networked to the central control centre and individual access rights were granted to ensure data integrity.
TIS carefully assessed the health and safety implications of the project, and ensured that detailed risk assessments and method statements were submitted and ratified. TIS worked in a careful manner, wearing the correct PPE at all times, providing clear notification for WMCA and council employees, members of the public, and third parties. TIS maintained their record for site safety and demonstrated that regardless of the scale of the project TIS are experts in the relocation and upgrade of Secure CCTV Control Rooms and all associated CCTV equipment in the field.