The security and safety services provided by local authorities are often handled in a fragmented way with different departments managing their own requirements. However, Bold Communications work with a number of local authorities who take a more joined-up approach. Many council control rooms, which were originally designed for public space CCTV surveillance, have evolved to provide a wider range of services, with some becoming full BS5979 accredited alarm and CCTV receiving centres. A further popular addition to these services is inhouse lone worker protection.
While many lone worker monitoring providers promote a single-tasking approach to their services, the increasingly integrated range of security services offered by council control rooms offer additional levels of value. As the name suggests, and unlike control rooms offering national coverage, local authorities are based on discrete geographical areas.
Local knowledge of trouble spots provide operators with more informed event handling as well as allowing them to accurately direct responders when needed. Also, the typical council relationship with local police, either in the form of a force radio or a physical presence in the control room, can support a speedy and effective response. Public space CCTV surveillance in the control room provides a further useful tool.
For the authority, in addition to enjoying the benefit of an inhouse monitoring facility, with direct access to their own data, the service provides a revenue generation opportunity to help support many of the other public services provided in the control room.
Lone Worker Devices and Apps
Dedicated devices, as well as smartphone apps can be monitored in a unified monitoring platform, such as Bold Gemini, with assisted GPS location fixes and listen in functionality for live and recorded audio. Simple workflow instructions allow the operator to evaluate alerts with an appropriate response, according to the circumstances. If needed, the operator can open up a two way conversation for remote support and assistance. Where the alert is verified, the user’s location can be viewed with a single click. Further data, such as medical and personal information, can be presented to the operator during alarm handling to ensure that an intelligent, informed and measured response is provided.
For compliance and audit, all data, actions and audio can be logged in the system. Multiple geo-spatial geofences can be configured along with overview maps, track over ground indicators, comprehensive scheduling, timed check calls, duress features, and a full suite of user and system reports.
A Single Platform for a Range of Tasks
Space and resources are always at a premium in a control room where fire and intruder, CCTV, audio, telecare, access control, asset tracking and remote site management may all be handled together. Different client and web applications for each monitoring service could quickly become a constraint, with staff needing to be proficient in different systems with diverse operating methods and standalone databases.
However, managing these services on a single, device-agnostic, platform not only helps overcome these challenges but also can achieve significant efficiencies for energy, space, training and support, as well as reducing equipment costs, single points of failure and the carbon footprint. At a time when budgets are a hot topic in the public sector, innovative, integration technology can provide smarter ways to deliver services.