Walsall Control Room Relocation

Walsall Control Room Relocation

TIS were contracted to re-locate the public-space CCTV system for Walsall Control Room, which consists of 89 analogue cameras monitored via leased fibre-optic video circuits from BT. The existing Walsall Control Room was to be decommissioned and re-located from its location in Walsall to WMCA Summer Lane.

Walsall Council had recognised that many of their legacy cameras and the command and control infrastructure, were in need of replacement – either as part of a phased upgrade plan, or as a one-off change. Walsall Council were also aware that the GUI video management system (Genetec), along with the analogue matrix, were at the end of their useful life and were in need of replacement.

TIS were instructed to connect all the Walsall cameras to the powerful I-Comply Control System already installed at WMCA CCTV Control Room. I-Comply is a flexible software solution that gives full control over the operator workstations with simplified screen layouts and intuitive system control.

TIS worked closely with Walsall Council and WMCA to ensure that downtime at the existing control room in Walsall was kept to a minimum. TIS appointed an account manager and technical manager for the duration of the project, and together they carefully pre-planned the requirements of Walsall Council, noting key milestones and important dates and events taking place in Walsall which may have affected the project had they not already been taken into account. Our Account Manager continued to support Walsall Council and WMCA prior to the changeover, open and clear communication was key to the success of the project, regular planning meetings, revision discussions and review briefings were held, TIS also ensured that the client was kept up to date over the telephone and via email correspondence.

Our PRINCE2 Project Managers ensured that all aspects of the controlled move and switch over were planned in intricate detail, TIS supported the client to ensure that no security breach could occur during the scheduled downtime. Pre-planning included the need for camera mapping, configuration and new server rack builds, all of which had to be completed prior to the switch over.

The project involved upgrading the existing recording and command systems to the latest Veracity recording platform, whilst retaining the analogue camera assets in the field together with the existing BT RS1000 circuits. TIS achieved this transition using an economical Axis digital encoder, providing a simple migration path for the legacy analogue cameras to an IP network based, modern and robust surveillance system. TIS proposed the economical Axis Recorder due to the long lifecycle expectations, relatively low service and maintenance costs and low running costs. TIS supported Walsall Council in choosing the most economically advantageous operating system and further in supporting them to spend public money in a prudent manner. TIS where possible also sought discounted pricing from the manufacturers and suppliers of the proposed equipment, this was secured due to our long-term links and partner status on a local, national and international level.

In order to support the additional Cameras from Walsall Councils Control room, TIS installed a centralised recording solution within the WMCA CCTV control room to accommodate them, extending the existing Veracity Coldstore by a further 60Tb.

In conjunction with the client, a decision was made to upgrade a selection of existing cameras that had been out of service due to a combination of factors including parts obsolescence. TIS supported Walsall Council to select an appropriate upgrade solution for the Cameras which had been out of service.

Our Account Manger frequently liaised with Walsall Council and their panel of Councillors regarding the upgrade and we were pleased to receive an invitation to demonstrate the capability of the Hanwha Techwin Hybrid cameras. Post demonstration Walsall Council selected these as a preferred solution since TIS had clearly evidenced their high quality and performance on both IP and analogue platforms. Furthermore, TIS could demonstrate to the Walsall Council that their now preferred Hanwha solution would give the client a hybrid option, allowing a camera upgrade path now and capability for migration to full IP when the transmission infrastructure changes to an IP platform in the future.

TIS supported Walsall council to bring these back on line and linked them directly to the new CCTV Control Room at WMCA Summer Lane. TIS upgraded these cameras using the latest Hanwha Techwin Wisenet III fully functional dome cameras, which supported Walsall Council strategic plans to upgrade their CCTV systems to High Definition over a set period of time.

Health and Safety:

TIS were keenly aware that the works commencing between the Walsall CCTV Control Room and those taking place at WMCA Summer Lane would require strict Health and Safety protocols to be in place prior to entering site. TIS worked closely with WMCA and Walsall Council to ensure that rigorous risk assessments and method statements were submitted, reviewed and approved. TIS engineers ensured that contractor’s entrances were used all times and that methods of egress were kept clear.

TIS worked with the client to ensure that areas which required cordoning off from the public were done so while not obstructing public routes of access, in addition TIS also displayed clear H&S signage in well lit areas to highlight to Council employees any risk to them, or restricted access, PPE requirements, and alternative routes of entry to set zones.

TIS worked carefully and methodically while on site, ensuring that no time was wasted and equally that no injury, slips trips and falls occurred. TIS maintained their outstanding record for Health and Safety on site for the duration of the works.

Results:

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 Walsall 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.