Pendle Borough Council / UKCase example of Panasonic security system
Pendle Borough Council / UK
Panasonic’s rural network
Now known as ‘Housing Pendle Limited’, the authority manages 3,371 homes, providing affordable housing through efficiently managed and well maintained properties. It works hard to provide affordable housing, and associated care and support services for its customers throughout East Lancashire. Investing £7.4 million on improving homes across the Borough, it was charged with finding innovative solutions to the problematic housing market collapse in towns across East Lancashire - where low demand and negative equity prevailed.
Directly addressing these issues, Housing Pendle Ltd initiated multiple improvements to residences and public areas, key to which has been a significant investment in CCTV surveillance technology. Patrick Collins, Housing Manager at Housing Pendle Ltd takes up the story: “Over the years, some areas of our estates had developed ‘difficult to let areas’. These were commonly areas with a high turnover of tenants, where people moved in and out more frequently than in our other areas.
“After our initial surveillance system made such an impact on its trial area, it was an inevitable decision that we would expand the surveillance capabilities throughout our housing network.” To facilitate this, Housing Pendle Ltd turned to Panasonic Premier Integrator, Crime Prevention Services Limited, who performed comprehensive evaluations of the proposed sites for the expansion of the system.
Nigel Fairhurst, Sales Director at Crime Prevention Services explains: “After the first system was installed in the Marsden Park area, Pendle Borough Council immediately recognised the benefits, and understood the advantages and cost benefits a series of networked surveillance systems would bring to them. They then commissioned us to equip a further five areas with the same Panasonic technology.
“Patrick (Collins) gave us a very clear and simple brief as to what the requirements were from the systems. To monitor crystal clear images from each estate from a purpose built control facility within the Town Hall at Colne, where Housing Pendle are based, and also from each of the estates’ individual community centres. Addressing these criteria, we installed Panasonic control equipment and a hard-disc recorder within each community centre, recording visual information from a network of cameras throughout each estate.
Both live and recorded footage can be accessed from any part of the network, at any control facility, including the one at the town hall, which features a 50” Panasonic plasma display to pick out even the smallest detail from the high resolution camera images.”
After each system was installed, Patrick and the Housing Pendle team supported its inception by highlighting its capabilities, communicating this in their quarterly newsletter circulated to all residents. Patrick continues: “When the systems are initially installed, we also highlight any antisocial behavior captured on them in the news letters. This has a fantastic effect of reinforcing the systems’ capabilities, and has an instant effect on the reduction of anti social incidents. We have even had instances of cameras being erected but not yet connected to the system and anti-social incident rates instantly falling in that area. This perfectly illustrates the efficiency with which an effectively marketed surveillance solution can counter the troublesome elements in our society.”
“The system has proved
beneficial in a number of ways”
Observing the benefits the networked Panasonic surveillance solutions were bringing to these areas, the team at Crime Prevention Services was commissioned to expand the system to include the picturesque towns of Earby and Barnoldswick. “With the result of a quantifiable downturn in anti-social behavior due to the existing systems, Pendle Borough Council were eager to progress the benefits to these tourist rich, historical town centres” Nigel says. However, it was the historic elements of the towns which presented the biggest challenge to Nigel and his team, as he continues: “In Barnoldswick for example, a large part of the town centre is paved with historically important cobbles. To remove these, excavate and install cabling would have been uneconomical to the council, and somewhat unethical to us as an installer. Carrying out civil works on 150 years of history was avoided by the use of a wireless wide area network (WAN), designed in-house by the Crime Prevention Services team. Each camera has been positioned with a line-of-sight to the next unit, ensuring no system ‘blind spots’ and uninterrupted WAN transmission of images back to the Barnoldswick police station.”
“Our operators are regularly briefed by the community officers to ensure everyone is fully aware of what the policing team is trying to achieve during any particular period. Police officers are encouraged to ask the question ‘How am I using my CCTV operator to achieve local objectives today’ and are in direct contact with the control room throughout their shift. Examples of this focused approach includes targeting underage drinking, and those members of the community encouraging this by purchasing alcohol for young people.”
Using the WV-CU650 control keyboard, experienced operators furnish thesystem with a number of camera pre-set tours, allowing local officers to use community intelligence to focus on areas most likely to suffer from anti-social behaviour or crime during certain times. Sergeant Cartwright explains: “Using the Panasonic solution, these pre-sets can be rapidly changed if required to allow the system to evolve with any particular monitored area’s activity and as the impact of the CCTV system filters through the community, influencing potential offenders behaviour.
“These carefully planned and constantly refined pre-set tours have proved fruitful in detecting a number of serious offences within Pendle, including burglaries, theft from and of motor vehicles, and assaults. The ability for any officer to have 24 hour access to quality images from our digital video recorders has made an impressive impact on detecting crime and disorder in the area.”
Each of the system’s stakeholders can view over 100 cameras in total, allowing a true borough-wide overview of the area, whether it’s the urban residential areas of Housing Pendle or the rural village centre of Barnoldswick; each community has directly benefited from the introduction of the advanced surveillance solution.
Product used in this application