CCTV for Parish and Local Councils
It’s a difficult time for local authorities and parish council security managers; on the one hand there is an increasing requirement to tackle crime, disorder and anti-social behaviour, whilst on the other there is the constant struggle to maintain standards of service on ever smaller budgets.
If you are responsible for local authority security, there are genuine solutions. Advances in technology mean there are now systems that can actually save money whilst improving your current security provision. These solutions come in the form of the new CCTV and Access Control technologies that are far more effective and efficient then the systems currently used by many local authorities and parish councils.
The leading edge CCTV systems now in operation can help councils save a significant amount of money. One of the biggest savings comes from the use of wireless technology. IPCCTV allows every single camera operated by a council to be monitored and controlled remotely from a single control room. This reduces the number of staff required to operate the system and enables the local authority or parish council to sell off any old control centres no longer needed.
Some councils have gone one step further and integrated their CCTV system with those of other local authorities to create a single super-hub, allowing all the councils to benefit from the improved economies of scale.
The savings don’t simply stop here, however. The new systems also require less energy to operate, need less maintenance and, being wireless, are much less expensive to install or relocate. Improved technology also means that fewer monitor screens are needed in the control centre as the cameras and their software can do much of the operators’ work: for example, instead of having a team of people watching many screens looking for suspicious behaviour, modern software spots this automatically and can alert the operator immediately. As a result, fewer monitoring screens and security staff would be needed.
As for the cameras, the new hi-definition models offer wider angled images and greater zoom, tilt and pan capabilities, allowing councils to do more monitoring with less equipment: reducing initial outlay and long term maintenance expenditure.
From an operational point of view, these cameras offer huge improvements in security capability. Not only do they spot and alert suspicious behaviour to staff, but they can also zoom in for close up identification, take sharp images and, because the cameras can be linked, they can track suspicious individuals as they travel through an area. They can even count the number of individuals in a single place. All these things can be done both inside buildings and in public places; helping to protect council offices, shopping centres, parks or any other area for which councils are responsible. They also massively increase the usefulness of the images you collect in helping solve crime and prosecute offenders.
Another area where they can improve effectiveness and efficiency is with vehicles. Modern CCTV systems can have automatic number plate recognition built into them so that the police can be immediately informed about dangerous drivers or suspicious vehicles. This technology can also be used to monitor car parks and on-street parking, which could improve parking enforcement whilst reducing the number of traffic warden patrols needed.
Increase Efficiency with better Access Control
As with CCTV, modern Access Control systems offer improved operations at reduced costs. Current Access Control systems use a range of technology, such as smart cards, proximity cards and biometric devices that do far more than just control access onto and within council premises. One significant cost saving development is that smart cards and biometric devices can be linked to an individual’s personal information and can record that individual’s movement and activities within the building. As a result, time and attendance reports can be generated for all local authority and parish council staff and this can be linked directly to the payroll system so that staff can be paid accurately without the need for expensive administration in the finance department.
Access Control systems can also be operated and monitored remotely, allowing them to be managed from the same security centre as the CCTV system, further reducing costs and the need for security staffing.
Modern Access Control systems expand your security capability to meet the increasing demands of safeguarding people, property and information. The leading edge technologies they employ means that only authorised individuals can gain access to council premises and, once inside, access to any area can be controlled on an individual basis, for example, only authorised personnel would be allowed to enter areas where highly sensitive data was stored.
From a health and safety point of view, Access Control systems can, in emergency situations, immediately modify all access rights; allowing everyone on site the safest escape route whilst putting other areas into lockdown if necessary. As they record where each individual is in the building, Access Control systems can point emergency services in the right direction if someone has been unable to get out during an emergency, potentially saving lives.
Access Control can be used not only in council offices, but for any public venue the council has responsibility for, such as sports centres, libraries and theatres. They can also be used for protecting individuals living in council premises and those who work alone. New hardware improvements now mean that Access Control can also be used externally on gates, barriers and turnstiles, allowing you control of car parks and other outdoor spaces.
A Single Streamlined System
Access Control and CCTV are most effective when integrated together and linked to other existing systems such as fire alarms. The technology now exists for this to be done easily and effectively. As a result, the organisation of local authority or parish council security can be streamlined, replacing a complex range of disparate systems with a powerful, unified security operation run from a single control centre. If you wished to increase efficiencies even more, the entire system and control room can be managed externally by your security provider and this can include everything from maintenance, contractor management, auditing, call handling and staffing.
If you are responsible for security at a local authority or parish council and would like to know more about how you can increase both the efficiency and effectivity of your CCTV and Access Control systems, please get in touch with us at 247 Secure and we’ll be happy to discuss how we can help you.