Woking Borough Council is working with Synectics to consolidate public protection systems across the town into one CCTV control centre. The facility will allow surveillance and security for public facilities to be managed from a central location.

Woking town centre is undergoing a multi-million-pound redevelopment which will transform the residential, hospitality and retail offering. This presented the opportunity for a review of surveillance and alarm systems to create efficiencies and improve public safety.

Key requirements for a new solution included the need to consolidate three surveillance units into one control centre: the control room that had previously been in the local police station, Council car parks, and Woking Shopping Centre. Additionally, the Council wanted to integrate alarms, radio communication – including with local law enforcement – and existing cameras from a variety of manufacturers.

Synectics was chosen as the supplier best suited to meeting these needs and meeting any future requirements in integrating new digital technologies and sites.

Efficiency through a united system

The Synergy solution provided by Synectics allows staff to monitor and manage live footage and review recorded footage from multi-storey car parks, public areas, the shopping centre and the civic centre.

With such a large geographical area to protect, and a diverse range of stakeholders to serve, the council decided to review its surveillance system to see how an upgrade might help maximise existing assets and generate efficiencies, while also enhancing incident detection and reaction capabilities. One immediate opportunity was to consolidate existing surveillance systems into a single solution.

Bringing together a variety of public protection systems in one location has made Woking Borough Council more cost and time efficient. As well as surveillance systems, local alarms (such as fire, lift and flood) and radios will also be integrated through Synergy. This smarter way of working means a relatively small team can efficiently monitor Woking town centre 24/7.

Working better together

Enabling collaborative working between CCTV operators, other departments, such as the public protection team, and external organisations, such as the police, was also an objective.

Radio integration is, therefore, a key feature of the new solution. Planned mobile camera integration will also support enhanced communication with volunteer groups, such as the Woking Street Angels, to improve the general public’s experience and safety in the town.

Individuals who previously worked across three locations can now come together as a team. The facility will also have a dedicated live viewing room for police, with the option to request and review footage through Synergy.

Protecting the public, protecting the data

The level of data flowing into the Control Centre, and the number of teams using the system to both detect and review incidents, means robust data protection and cyber security is essential.

The solution now in place has the highest levels of data encryption, user authentications and access settings possible. Any and every action taken using the system, from adjusting a camera to logging an incident and accessing an evidence file, are logged to deliver a full and transparent audit trail.

The system can also easily analyse data and generate reports to offer insight and support planning – especially in terms of collaborating with community support teams and the police to help resolve issues in hot spot areas.

A system for now and ‘when’

The smart system leverages current infrastructure by incorporating existing technology but is also set up to accommodate and incorporate new cameras as legacy equipment is replaced.

Having surveillance and management capability in one place also presents the opportunity for new revenue streams in the future – potentially allowing the Council to take on the security of private businesses, providing them with the cost savings of consolidated and efficient monitoring.