Ajar Technology and the UK Police Force began discussions around CCTV systems in 2013. This Force covers approx. 2,000 square miles and a population of nearly 1.5 million.
The Force wanted to look at the ability to migrate to an IP-CCTV system which would enable them to distribute CCTV video signals across their contact centre resulting in real time situational awareness whilst consolidating multiple disparate systems and control rooms. The existing systems were analogue based and resource hungry with end of life technology.
The Force were keen to start their digital transformation force-wide by looking to digitise their Command Contact Centre, Centralise the Custody Suite CCTV systems across the force, and refresh building wide CCTV incorporating ANPR to several key sites. This transformation journey has taken place in phases.
In 2016 in partnership with the Force, Ajar Technology devised a resilient transformation project. Working with key stakeholders at HQ and across the force, Ajar Technology surveyed the existing systems in place and developed a collaborative strategy to devise and design an appropriate solution, ensuring capability for integration whilst ensuring optimised Cyber and Logical Security levels. The existing CCTV system in 6 of the Force’s custody suites was becoming unreliable and had been in operation for 10 years.
Increasing problems with the system led to further pressures on the ICT Teams. Ajar Technology needed to ensure that any new systems would be reliable, flexible and compliant. In liaison with the Force, Ajar Technology were able to work through the key needs for redevelopment. To aid this collaboration Ajar Technology took the Force through system demonstrations, and carried out bench testing and evaluations on suitable solutions.
Ajar Technology were able to mitigate the challenges being faced by the Force by working with the previous IP Video Management system to migrate from analogue to IP. Ajar Technology also wanted to ensure that any new system or integration could be fully supported in the event of a serious system failure, which is something the previous system had not been able to do, resulting in valuable Custody footage being lost. By working collaboratively the client was able to be confident in Ajar Technology understanding the needs and seeing what had not worked effectively in the past, whilst having direct input at the design stages.
Following successful acceptance of the design and delivery solutions presented to the Force, Ajar Technology implemented the following solutions across phases, and continue to support this client:
New Build Project
The new build represents the Force’s single biggest ever investment in new facilities to act as a regional Headquarters, providing over 6500m2 of space across 3 storeys. The building comprises the largest custody suite in the county, equipped with a centralised 6 man charge desk as the focal point for the 42no. holding cells, 15no. interview rooms and associated Intox, medical and wet rooms. The adjoining police station provides a base for regional police teams and immediate response units as well as a public enquiry desk and investigations hub.
In summary, the project comprised the following
Fibre connectivity with redundant and resilient routes across the 110,000 sq ft site.
Internal, External & Perimeter IP CCTV system across 180no. cameras & audio recording integration with 20no. microphones
Access Control to include card swipe proximity readers, pin pad readers and biometric fingerprint readers across 148no. secure doors to include maglock, electric strike and airlock integrations.
Access Barrier integration across 500no. capacity car park
Video & Audio Intercom systems across 15no. internal and external entrance/exit points including dual height metalwork for vehicle gates and barriers across the site.
46no. station anti ligature audio only cell call system across centralised network back to charge desk
53no. zone Affray system and Panic Alarm across 600m of illuminated, anti-ligature affray strip
Intruder alarm systems across highly secure areas
Dedicated security network cabling, infrastructure and switchgear
The design process began in February 2017; a consultative process between the Force and the Prime Contractor that resulted in the definition of the fundamental principles of the security solutions in accordance with Home Office and Ministry of Justice guidelines. Upon approval and acceptance, AJAR Technology were engaged to deliver the project from end to end by June 2018.
The security solutions provided for the project now act as the Force’s standard and blueprint across the estate, enabling a centralised and holistic approach to digital security technologies driving operational efficiency, cost saving and regulatory compliance across the constabulary.
Command Contact Centre
IP enabled Video Management Solution software package with both a web and client PC software interface. This enabled approx. 30no. Video feeds to be shown on the contact staff desktops PCs, large format displays and across the county on videowalls installed in five individual locations
Custody Suites Centralised CCTV
Full migration from analogue to IP Video Management system. This used high level, fully scalable CCTV architecture across the six geographically dispersed custody suites using their existing LAN and WAN
Full refresh of 600no. internal and external Full HD IP cameras
Provision of high-quality audio recording system at critical areas around the charge desk, the Intox (breath intoxication test) and the shift handover white board area where pertinent information is passed between sergeants. This included displays, microphones and videowall controllers for multiscreen distribution and relevant ICT networking and PC hardware
90-day 24/7 storage provision for each site with local recording with a failover recording server
Centralised management over force networks including live and recorded playbacks
Benefits to the Force
These projects enabled the Force to securely share information and have true multi- site collaboration across the force. Centralised management of the CCTV across the force has increased productivity and ensured up to date, reliable and secure systems, which gives real time access to their estate. Force-wide CCTV is a critical tool for the Police and as a result of the projects delivered to the client by Ajar Technology, and an ongoing service support package, they are secure in the knowledge that their critical services will not be impacted by poor technology performance, or delayed responses on their CCTV system. As this Force worked closely with Ajar Technology through the design and analysis stages of these projects, they are clear in the use of the technology provided, and have solutions which they have collaborated on and meet the precise needs they have across the force.
The long-term relationship between this Force and Ajar Technology has enhanced the confidence they have in the system. They have a good working relationship with the technical teams’ delivering ongoing support services and work together to review the solutions in place to ensure maintained resilience and security within their IT infrastructure. This UK Police Force continues to work with Ajar Technology on their access control, intercom, cell call, affray alarm and panic alarm technologies providing a holistic and centralised view of their police and custody estate.