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New CCTV hub at Blackburn with Darwen Council case study

PROJECT OVERVIEW

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 was tasked with providing control room furniture, including 2 x two operator control room consoles, 2 x single operator control room consoles, and an Evolution Media Wall spanning eleven meters with 33 large screens, the largest of its kind at the time.

 
CLIENT OVERVIEW
 
 
 

The need for a new CCTV hub was recognized in a bid to increase safety for residents and increase savings on CCTV expenditures for the councils of Blackburn with Darwen, Hyndburn, Burnley, Pendle, and Preston. The Blackburn with Darwen Council applied to the Home Office (DCLG) for funding under their Tackling Organized Criminal Gangs program. The grant was supplemented 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.

 
PROJECT SCOPE
 
 
 

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 of the sightlines and operator workflows, as well as to ensure the exact cable entry points into the base of the consoles so that cables remained out of sight and to eliminate trip hazards. As with all Thinking Space projects, collaboration with the client allowed Thinking Space to achieve an optimum design solution.

 
PROJECT EXECUTION
 
 
   

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.  Thinking Space installed the media wall using laser positioning technology to ensure perfect alignment of the structure and the screen arrays.

For the control room operators, two console designs were created for the hub. The first type was a  two-position console which allows 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 grays compliment the room décor perfectly, bringing a sense of calm to the 24-hour facility. Behind these two operator consoles, the second design consisted of 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 was 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 sightlines all accounted for and operators able to provide an excellent service in comfort.”

The new hub was officially opened in March 2017 with Councilor Mohammed Khan and Assistant Chief Constable Mark Bates in attendance along with all other parties involved in the project, hailing it as a resounding success.

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"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".
Peter Wareing
Blackburn with Darwen Council, CCTV Services Manager