Oxford City Council CCTV Upgrade
Recognising the concerns and risks women face travelling to and from their homes at night, especially when travelling alone, Oxford City Council initiated a considerable upgrade of its CCTV scheme.
The modernisation was part of a significant Government initiative to prevent violence against women and girls - "The Safer Streets Initiative".
Working in partnership with the Police and District Council in Oxfordshire, there were concerns on the safety of women alone at night.
The existing CCTV cameras were unable to deliver the clarity of images required at night to support police and other services in their duties.
Oxford City Council awarded funds to upgrade the aging system and after receiving funds from Government Oxford City Council was able to replace a number of its ageing analogue cameras. CDS Ltd was awarded both contracts to upgrade the system and replace a number of cameras in the City Centre and other areas of Oxford.
Our core business activity is the design, installation, and maintenance of public access space / Town Centre CCTV systems. We have installed and maintained over 90 town centre systems, throughout England and Wales, since 1992. This included the system upgrades of other County Councils near Oxford, such as the Vale of White Horse.
Additionally, having maintained the Oxford City CCTV scheme since 2012, we know the current system very well, including the layout, network connectivity and key hub locations.
We were delighted to win the tender and be part of the new CCTV camera and suite upgrades that will increase CCTV investigative opportunities and deter those considering coming to the city with criminal intent.
The existing system was outmoded and obsolete, still based on an analogue platform for transmission and cameras.
Working with our partner Genetec, we upgraded the Control Room with an open protocol system that would enable a phased transition during the migration from the old analogue system to the new IP scheme.
The Genetec system granted the Security Team greater awareness and decision-making through several levels of automation for actions and events.
Using the event-to-action mechanism, the operator can create sophisticated rules to manage incidents received by the Central Control Unit, such as generating alarms and sending email notifications.
All events and alerts are also stored in Security Centre to facilitate video archive searches helping the authorities locate crucial evidence.
To reduce the impact on operations of the implementation of the new system, we established a CCTV control position for the old system, in a separate location, to enable works to be carried out on the main control room whilst leaving a safe environment for the CCTV operator to work.
The upgrade introduced 25 new cameras, most of which were high-end Bosch units, to ensure operationally effective night-time quality.
We also fitted the control room with new large-screen monitors, providing the team with everything needed to help identify vulnerable women and report any danger to authorities to prevent a crime.
The CCTV scheme upgrade has enabled the Oxford Council to make resource and budgetary efficiencies, as the IP system is considerably more cost-effective than the previous analogue system.
Additionally, services are able to support women in vulnerable situations and being able to alert authorities and partners in real-time, Police resource can now be allocated to other crucial areas.
Local policing area commander for Oxford, Superintendent Bruce Riddell, said: "I firmly believe that these new CCTV cameras, obtained thanks to the Safer Streets funding, will provide even more reassurance to members of the public that Oxford is a safe area where, by working with our partners, any type of criminal activity is not tolerated.
"They should also serve as a warning to any potential offenders. These new cameras will only improve the security measures already in place in Oxford and will mean that the chances of criminal activity being recorded and used in evidence will increase.
With this crucial stage of the upgrade complete, we are now working with Oxford City Council to identify further areas within the City to upgrade.
“CDS were successful contractor to provide a new CCTV system for Oxford. Engineers provided support throughout the contract and were able to respond to any changes that came about quickly and succinctly. The new and improved system along with a number of new cameras has improved the safety of vulnerable people at night along with general monitoring of the city. The operators find the system very easy to use and imagery is of a high definition. Oxford City Council has worked with CDS for a number of years providing a professional response to all our needs.”
Gwen Devine. Community Safety Officer. Oxford City Council.
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