Rhondda Cynon Taf Community Safety Partnership

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About Rhondda Cynon Taf

Formed by the merger of three former Mid Glamorgan districts in 1996, the geographical area of Rhondda Cynon Taf (RCT) County Borough Council is at the very heart of the South Wales Valleys.  The population of the county is 234,000 (Census 2011).  Covering all the principal town centres within the Borough, together with a number of villages and Housing Estates, is the Rhondda Cynon Taf Community Safety Partnership’s CCTV control room.

The challenges

The RCT Community Safety Partnership aspired to create a centre of excellence in control room operation.  The previously disjointed working practice bred inefficiency in the control room, so the Partnership had to define a standard procedure in daily operations. Operating every security application in the same way would dramatically increase efficiency.

The RCT Partnership needed to expand the number of operator positions to deal with increasing amount of incidents and information requests they receive every day.  The new system would have to be easy to use for those not familiar with the area.  It would also have to accommodate lone working software to ensure the safety of control room staff that patrol Rhondda Cynon Taf.

The challenge to improve efficiency would include an appraisal of camera usage of over 500 cameras on a daily basis.  Incident and administrative reports would need to be created and emailed instantly to the appropriate people.  The solution would also need to provide other ways of improving efficiency, such as removing protracted manual hand-overs at the ends of shifts.

The solution

Having previously employed the V-TAS Pro Incident Reporting module, the RCT Partnership wanted to take advantage of icomply’s further system capabilities.  Facilitating the control and administration of video footage from over 500 cameras, the control room now employs icomply’s powerful V-TAS Pro CCTV Command & Control graphical user interface.

V-TAS Pro Command & Control integrates the control room’s existing and additional hardware and recording equipment into a single user friendly system, with five operator positions and the potential to add many more.  icomply’s Lone Worker check call handling module was deployed in order to secure officers on patrol.

System features

Ease of use: V-TAS Pro operator interface provides intuitive route to all system functionality.  Instant familiarity with operation for control room staff ensures smooth working practice.  Handles a diverse range of incidents, from night-time economy events to one-off issues using rapidly deployable cameras.

“When training new operators that are not familiar with the area, VTAS Pro’s ability to identify street names around a live camera is very useful.  Handovers are particularly economical with V-TAS Pro, as all information on events in the previous shift are instantly available to the next operator” Wayne Bluck, RCT Partnership Supervisor.

Reporting capabilities:  Providing crime, incident and system usage statistics.  Appraisal of camera usage across network, so if cameras are not being used, they can be redeployed in an area that will make a difference.  Providing full details of any visit or incident to council buildings as part of their key holder service.

“As an effective management tool, the icomply V-TAS Pro system is incomparable.  We depend more and more on this reporting functionality as we have more information requests to deal with every year.  The reports are invaluable of helping me plan our staff resources.  It’s very important that our residents receive the very best service at best value” Phillip Shelton, RCT Partnership CCTV Manager.

Lone worker safety:  V-TAS Pro Lone Worker module tracks the movements of traffic enforcement offers, security guards and key holder response team.  Flexible nature so also protects vulnerable residents within the community.  Check call handling system ensures operational effectiveness and safety of individuals.

“Our user-defined check call system means that calls can be scheduled at specific times and patterns to suit the staff at the RCT Partnership control room.  Using GPS from their mobile phone, VTAS Pro can locate staff instantly in the event of an incident, and notify the appropriate response team” Allan Dickinson, Technical Sales and Support Analyst at icomply.

Video footage flexibility: Instantly forward any live or recorded footage to a third party, such as Police Station or South Wales Police Central Area Control Room.  Provides audit trail, including verified authenticity of all footage, when required for evidential prosecution.

“Police can evaluate a live incident and deploy the appropriate resources. It also ensures that officers don’t necessarily need to visit the control room to review any recorded incidents.  This saves valuable time and resources, making them available for deployment elsewhere”  Wayne Bluck, RCT Partnership Supervisor.

Key benefits

  • Increased efficiency with user-friendly interface, seamless control of 500+ cameras and all security applications
  • Efficient time-saving handovers between operator shifts
  • Detailed knowledge of camera network effectiveness enables informed decisions on future changes
  • Flexible software incident reporting for personalised reports
  • Confidence in the security of lone workers and patrols
  • Check call system has flexibility for individual needs
  • Increase efficiency by forwarding live footage to police instantly
  • Accurate and comprehensive audit trail for prosecution available instantly

Future enhancements
icomply’s development programme with the RCT Community Safety Partnership means that new and advanced products will continue to integrate with V-TAS Pro as they are released. The icomply team can remotely interrogate, diagnose and update the system, providing a high standard of support and any fine tuning of the system that is needed over the coming months and years.

The RCT Community Safety Partnership has successfully created a centre of excellence in security. The control room will see increased functionality and further cost savings, as scalability of the system will be much more flexible.

“We plan to add RFID tags to our monitored buildings and scan them via the icomply technology in our guard’s PDA handsets. Using V-TAS Pro reports, we’ll get a clearer picture of our guarding team’s moments and greater detail of any tasks or incidents they deal with.

“With the V-TAS Pro system as the keystone, there are plans to move forward and expand our customer base within the local authority. With the ability to ‘bolt on’ modules via icomply technology, we’re confident of expanding and adapting to the changing needs of a modern CCTV control room” Wayne Bluck, RCT Partnership Supervisor.

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