Case Study New CCTV Hub at Blackburn with Darwen Council
In a bid to crack down on crime across East Lancashire, a new CCTV hub has been created at King George’s Hall, Blackburn. As part of the 24 hour monitoring station which came into operation in February 2017, Thinking Space were tasked with the provision of control room furniture which included 2 x two operator control room consoles, 2 x single operator control room consoles and an eleven metre spanning Evolution Media Wall with 33 large screens, the largest of its kind at that time.
OVERVIEW OF CLIENT
The need for a new CCTV hub was recognised in a bid to increase safety for residents and make savings on CCTV expenditure for the councils of Blackburn with Darwen, Hyndburn, Burnley, Pendle and Preston. Blackburn with Darwen Council applied to the Home Office (DCLG) for funding under their Tackling Organised Criminal Gangs programme. The grant was topped up with contributions from the Lancashire Police and Crime Commissioner, as well as the Police Innovation Fund. The 930K innovative hub operates 24 hours a day and records live incidents, helping offices to find the exact location of the crimes as they happen. Footage can also be shared with police stations across the country, thanks to the 240 cameras that are being monitored.
SCOPE OF THE PROJECT
Thinking Space was awarded the contract to provide control room furniture for the new hub. A detailed site survey was conducted, which involved marking out the floor of the new facility with the intended consoles and media wall. This was to provide a thorough check on sight lines and operator workflows, as well as being certain of exact cable entry points into the base of the consoles so that cables remained out of sight as well as eliminating trip hazards. As with all Thinking Space projects, collaboration with the client allowed Thinking Space to achieve an optimum design solution.
The requirement for a large media wall in the room as the focus for monitoring the 240 CCTV cameras was key. With integrated cable management and individually tilting cross-beams, the media wall was required to mount a total of 33 large 42” monitors in three rows of eleven. With six legs required to support the span of the cross-beams, rotasoc power blocks were located in each leg for integrated cable management. Installation of the media wall was carried out by Thinking Space using laser poisoning technology to ensure perfect alignment of the structure and the screen arrays.
For the control room operators, two designs of consoles were created for the hub. The first type was a two position console which allows for two operators the primary view of the media wall at the front of the room. With PC storage as well as a Moni-Trak perfect positioning rail to mount three 19” flat screen monitors for each operator, the cool blues and greys compliment the room décor perfectly, bringing a sense of calm to the 24 hour manned facility. Behind these two operator consoles, the second of the designs consisted a single operator console for control room supervisors with a similar arrangement of PC storage and monitor mounting solutions.
As Peter Wareing, CCTV Services Manager for Blackburn with Darwin Council explained, communication between all parties was key to the overall success of the project. “Thinking Space worked closely with both myself and our CCTV installers from day one, providing me with 2D and 3D images of the finished product, allowing me to better convince Partners of the finished article. As the project progressed, Thinking Space were in regular contact with me to ensure that I was receiving exactly what I needed” explained Peter. “The build and install went smoothly, something a project manager looks forward to! The finished article really looks the part and provided that wow factor, with sight lines all taken account of and Operators able to provide an excellent service in comfort.”
The new hub was officially opened in March 2017 with Councillor Mohammed Khan and Assistant Chief Constable Mark Bates in attendance along with all other parties who had been involved in the project, hailing it as a resounding success.
"Thinking Space worked closely with both myself and our CCTV installers from day one, providing me with 2D and 3D images of the finished product, allowing me to better convince Partners of the finished article. As the project progressed, Thinking Space were in regular contact with me to ensure that I was receiving exactly what I needed. The build and install went smoothly, something a project manager looks forward to! The finished article really looks the part and provided that wow factor, with sight lines all taken account of and Operators able to provide an excellent service in comfort".