Public safety is high on the national agenda. Several initiatives, including the Safety of Women at Night Fund and Safer Streets Fund, are funding crime prevention strategies. Protect Duty is also a proposed piece of legislation that will improve security standards in crowded public spaces and publicly accessible locations.

Simultaneously, public perceptions around personal safety have changed in the wake of some high-profile crimes and a 16% increase in crime rates (in the year ending March 2022). All of this impacts the safety considerations for public spaces.

So how are control rooms adopting the latest surveillance technology best practices to protect us better?

Unifying Security Systems and Data

Many organisations still have disparate security solutions, including CCTV, alarms, access control, and help points that create duplicate efforts and impact response times.  

We’re now seeing many more organisations connect all of their security systems into a single unified platform, leading to faster, better response times and more effective protection of public spaces.

It also enables faster post-incident analysis as the data from the various systems can be automatically collated and presented in easy-to-understand dashboards and reports.

Gaining Data Insights From One Place 

Control rooms continue to better utilise their data by building highly customised dashboards where each team member can hone in on the data that matters most to them and their role. 

Seeing critical information in one place will enhance situational awareness and provide up-to-date insights as data is automatically updated. When needed, deeper dives into the data can be done through drill-down reports that can inform future planning and strategic decision-making. 

Embedding Analytics Technology

Video analytics and facial recognition technology support teams by automatically flagging and tracking suspicious behaviour like theft, loitering or anti-social behaviour. 

Automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) is also becoming standard surveillance technology that helps detect, deter and disrupt criminal activity. For public spaces, this might include travelling criminals, suspected terrorists, and crime groups.

Prioritising Cybersecurity 

Alongside physical threats to a public space, you also must consider cyberattacks. Malicious actors may target events and critical infrastructure to cause panic and disruption — eroding public trust. 

Investing in security solutions with privacy and cybersecurity at the core of their design can provide peace of mind. 

Migrating to the Cloud 

Across the country, local authorities are combining forces, creating large cross-authority control rooms to manage and protect all areas in a local authority and its surrounding areas. As more of these types of control rooms are set up, it becomes even more vital to invest in Cloud-based technologies.

By gradually moving to the cloud, control rooms can increase storage capacity in a way that on-premises storage would not support. For instance, to accommodate higher camera counts, more powerful processing, or changing footage retention requirements.

To learn more about securing your public space, download our latest handbook