OpenView Security Solutions (OSS) has successfully completed the design and installation of a new control room in Blackburn, Lancashire. The company was awarded the contract after an open tender process as part of the Lancashire Hub CCTV Centralisation Project to consolidate separate facilities across the county into a single super hub control room which will reduce costs and improve service delivery against collective community safety objectives.

The new control room, which cost almost £1million, is located in King George’s Hall, Blackburn where sevenoperators and two supervisors monitor over 240 cameras across East Lancashire around the clock. It featuresa videowall that comprises 33 x 42” screens, one of the UK’s largest local authority installations.

The official opening was attended by Assistant Chief Constable Mark Bates and Council leader Mohammed Khan from Blackburn with Darwen Council, who hailed the complete project as a resounding success, stating: “This impressive facility will not only save the 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. We are hoping that more authorities throughout Lancashire will join this innovative initiative.”

Funded by the Department for Communities and Local Government via its Transformation Challenge Award with an additional contribution from Lancashire Constabulary’s Police and Crime Commissioner, the first phase of the Lancashire Hub CCTV Centralisation Project has been to consolidate legacy systems and control rooms located in Blackburn with Darwen, Burnley and Preston. In further demonstration of this collaborative approach to the provision of CCTV services, the project improves 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.

OSS conducted extensive site surveys, including lines of sight, before recommending a wireless Ethernet network that would allow the majority of locations to be migrated to the latest Hikvision HD IP cameras wherever possible. This new wireless infrastructure links to the existing wide area network and was completed prior to installing the latest video management and storage platform into the East Lancashire data centre. An Hikvision control room system was then installed before migrating Blackburn with Darwen’s CCTV system into the new facility, ensuring that no loss of service was experienced during the process. OSS then migrated the remaining systems on a staged basis.

“We have been impressed by the high quality of advice and technical ability provided by OpenView Security Solutions throughout this strategic project,” added Peter Wareing, CCTV Services Manager for Blackburn with Darwen Council. “We now have an efficient and cost effective CCTV solution that will deliver significant savings for all participating local authorities through the optimisation of staff resources, elimination of telephony circuit rental costs and reduction of ongoing maintenance costs. The system also provides a platform for improved income generation to help achieve our objective of making public space CCTV a self-financing proposition.”

In conclusion, OpenView Security Solutions commented: “We are delighted to have played such a big role in the successful delivery of this project that transmits real-time HD images back to the control room at a much lower cost than the previous analogue-based systems. It also shows how councils can work effectively together to provide a higher level of service and improve safety in public spaces.”