Security and safety services can often be handled by local government in a fragmented way. However, a number of councils are taking a different approach, particularly with regard to monitoring. Adding security and safety monitoring to a local authority CCTV control room allows many of these services to be joined up at the same time as providing a source of revenue generation. This also supports the broader aim of using intelligent technology to help deliver ‘Smart Cities’. To achieve this, an integrated software platform which supports the full range of monitoring services is required.
The monitoring control room at the City of Bradford provides an expanding range of services at its public space CCTV and alarm handling facility. This has grown further with the addition of lone worker monitoring, working in partnership with Bold Communications. The system utilises the BoldSafe lone worker device and mobile phone apps, handled on the council’s Bold Gemini monitoring platform. When an SOS alarm is sent, the operator can view the user’s exact location besides listen in to live and recorded audio to verify the alert. A workflow is presented for the operator to escalate the alert if necessary. As well as deploying response services, the operator can open up a two-way conversation to provide support and assistance.
All data, user and operator actions, and audio, is logged in the system. The Gemini alarm monitoring software supports geo-spatial geofencing, overview maps, track over ground indicators, scheduling, timed check calls, duress features, and a suite of user and system reports. Medical and other user data can be stored within each record for the operator to provide an intelligent, informed and measured response.
Bradford CCTV Manager, Phil Holmes, commented, “Our CCTV system has proved its value over many years with its contribution to public safety and the detection of crime. In addition, the authority has an obligation to keep its employees safe, particularly as the number of people working on their own continues to grow. The technology provided by Bold enables our staff to discreetly send a call for help, with location details and voice verification, either from their smartphone or a GPS device. Adding this protection service to our existing alarm and CCTV monitoring service provides a joined up safety solution, enhances the safety of staff and adds value to the control room.
“We work closely with Bold to develop innovative solutions which meet the specific needs of our users across the range of monitoring services. Without this partnership approach, it would be difficult to achieve the level of efficiency required make sufficient return on the investment in our monitoring facility.”