Picture: Phil Walker (centre) receives the Gordon McLanaghan Security Innovation Award from Megan McLanaghan (right). Also pictured (from front left): Rena McLanaghan, Surveillance Camera Commissioner Tony Porter and Bristol Lord Mayor Alastair Watson
Over 150 delegates attended the Global MSC Security Conference 2014 in Bristol, UK on Monday and Tuesday 10-11 November to listen to a range of presentations and view products and services from the 27 exhibitors on hand.
This year’s conference was dedicated to the memory of Gordon McLanaghan, the Bristol City Council CCTV manager who lost his battle with cancer earlier this year. In his memory, an award has been created which will be presented jointly every year by Global MSC and SecurityNewsDesk.
Gordon’s wife Rena and his daughter Megan were the guests of honour at the networking dinner on Monday evening, and together with the Surveillance Camera Commissioner Tony Porter, they presented the first-ever Gordon McLanaghan Security Innovation Award to Phil Walker, the Managing Director of Community Safety Glasgow.
Derek Maltby, Managing Director of Global MSC Security, said it was fitting that the award should be presented to a Glaswegian as Gordon was a police officer in Strathclyde prior to moving to Bristol and taking on the role of CCTV manager.
In addition to the award presentation, the organisers held a charity raffle which raised £2500 for two charities – St Margaret’s Hospice and Above & Beyond Golden Gift Appeal – which helped Gordon during his illness.
On Tuesday, the conference kicked off with a presentation from the Surveillance Camera Commissioner entitled, “Everything you needed to know about complying with the code but were too afraid to ask”. During his speech, Tony Porter talked about the newly launched self-assessment tool for organisations to demonstrate how they are complying with the 12 Guiding Principles with the Surveillance Camera Code of Practice.
Porter said: “Today is a landmark moment in my tenure as Surveillance Camera Commissioner. The self-assessment tool is easy to use and will really help organisations who use CCTV see where they are meeting the 12 guiding principles or where they may need to do a little more.”
The Self-Assessment Tool is a 16-page PDF document which takes you through the 12 guiding principles and asks you a series of questions to ascertain what steps you are taking to comply with the Surveillance Camera Commissioner’s Code of Practice.
Following that, BT Redcare’s Brian Jackson talked about the company’s communications solutions. He said that the future of networks was combining services into shared control rooms.
He also pledged that there would be no increase in Redcare charges and that in many cases they would seek to work with existing and new customers to reduce charges. “We want to help stimulate the market and help it to grow,” he said.
Phil Walker, the winner of the Gordon McLanaghan Award, was next to speak. He explained that Glasgow, having been one of the first cities in the UK to install CCTV in the 1990s, had very aged equipment which needed replacing. As part of the £24m Future Cities Glasgow programme, the city installed an advanced digital CCTV system.
Glasgow worked with BT Redcare, NICE Systems and other companies to create the new system.
Other speakers at the event included Julia Stack, Community and Safety Manager at Harrogate Borough Council. She attracted some comment from the police officers in the room for her council’s policy of charging police for CCTV.
DVTel talked about 4K cameras and challenged some of the misconceptions that have sprung up around this new technology.
This was followed by Dr Charlie Frowd, Reader in Forensic Psychology at the University of Winchester, talking about a new system of creating facial profiles that he claims has achieved a 75% success rate, making it far more reliable than e-fits and sketch artists.
After lunch, it was the turn of Warren Shadbolt, Executive Head of Safer & Strong Communities at the London Borough of Sutton, to explain how the council works in partnership with the police, so that the council purchases the CCTV equipment but the police operate the systems.
Karl Haw from Bosch Security Systems talked about the company’s newest technology, StarLight, which is designed to get good colour images in very low light levels. He demonstrated the footage to the audience and it was very impressive. For more, read this interview with Bosch’s MD Paul Wong.
Dr Tim Brain OBE QPM FRSA is a former Chief Constable of Gloucestershire and his presentation was on the future of policing. He challenged councils and other CCTV system owners to consider the Surveillance Camera Commissioner’s requirement that they demonstrate, before installing CCTV, a “pressing need” for the technology.
Brett Lovegrove, the Chief Executive of CSARN, addressed that question in his presentation on the criticality of planning for safer cities. He said that as cities become smarter and more efficient at delivering a wide range of services, they needed to be able to deliver security and crime prevention more effectively as well, and CCTV has a key role to play in that.
The final speaker of the day was Graeme Gerrard, former Deputy Chief Constable of Cheshire and former ACPO Lead on CCTV. Over the past two years, he has conducted research on the use of CCTV in murder investigations. By surveying the senior investigating officers on 292 homicides, he found that CCTV was considered to have assisted in the investigation of 75% of cases.
We will report on some of these presentations in more depth in the coming weeks and in our printed newspaper SecurityNewsDesk, due for publication at the end of December.