CCTV Transformation Programme
Briefly describe the initiative/ project/service; please include your aims and objectives
In 2017, Trafford Council and Salford City Council embarked on an innovative joint business venture to co-locate public space CCTV monitoring and emergency out of hours call handling services. Trafford’s CCTV control room was previously based in Stretford Police Station with an outdated and disparate CCTV system that had been expanded in an ad hoc fashion and lacked cohesive manufacturer support.
In 2010 Salford City Council, when faced with similar challenges to Trafford Council, took the decision to convert a large basement into a British Standards accredited CCTV Control Room of excellence. The large availability of space, together with its close proximity to Trafford Council, ideally lent itself to this joint business venture.
The project stages were:
- Collaboration between Trafford Council, Salford City Council ICT services and Synectics Ltd to create a shared network infrastructure at a reduced cost
- Trafford Council’s undertaking of a comprehensive mapping exercise to rationalise camera stock and plan an upgrade programme for the cameras
- The introduction of shared management arrangements and reciprocal staffing rota’s
- The procurement of a shared CCTV camera purchase and maintenance agreement
What are the key achievements?
- Migration and integration of Trafford’s control room with Salford’s resulting in improved resilience, lower cost outlay, and better working environment for staff
- Replacement and upgrade of all public realm cameras.
- Installation of new high spec cameras has improved our crime detection rates. Since the upgrade, the Trafford CCTV team has logged 988 incidents resulting in at least 185 arrests and produced 189 items of evidence to support these
- Greater operational resilience and a joint platform to develop commercial opportunities and reduce financial overheads
- An annual revenue saving of £54,918 by:
- Rationalising camera stock
- Reduced CCTV Fibre and Wireless network connections
- Termination of Alarm Monitoring Software contract and replacement with free software
- Termination of a ‘fixed fee’ and poor performing maintenance contract, replaced with a ‘pay as you go’ contract
- A revised tender for the purchase and installation of CCTV equipment and control room migration resulted in a 24% capital saving
- Utilising Salford’s procurement arrangements to directly source CCTV cameras at the most competitive cost and was able to take advantage of a CCTV camera supplier price discount of 34%.
What are the key learning points?
- The level of technical knowledge that was required by the project team to manage contractors in this complex and technical project. Our experience taught us that it was essential to have direct access to highly developed technical knowledge; enabling us to assess the specifications and performance of our external contractors and supply chain. We were able to access this technical expertise from Salford Council but would recommend others to carefully assess this at the outset.
- The need for accurate ‘as is’ technical specifications and equipment logs. The nature of Trafford’s multiple and archaic systems meant that our technical installation works were hampered by the uncertainty of equipment and the lack of data we held on the routing of CCTV images. Our advice is to ensure that all contracts include a requirement to maintain an accurate asset log and technical file.
- Negotiations with Staff, Unions and Partners were very delicate. This took time and required open and honest communication and sign off at both Corporate and Political level. Our advice is to not forget the importance of bringing staff with you on the journey or the need to build a trusting relationship with partner organisations.
For Trafford, a clear benefit of the programme was the joint procurement arrangements, which also afforded exceptional savings.
- Enabling the revision of the original tender, building in options in the installation contract to enable the Council to take advantage of camera price discounts. 20 additional CCTV cameras were fitted without additional impact to the budget.
- Utilising Salford’s procurement arrangements to directly source CCTV cameras at the most competitive cost, applying a camera supplier price discount of 34%
- Smart tendering, intelligence led camera location assessment and robust monitoring of all expenditure resulted in the infrastructure upgrade being achieved £50,000 under budget.
- Applying Salford’s model for buy-in time maintenance arrangements as a baseline to generate savings. Trafford will achieve a recurring saving of almost £55,000 per annum.
- Enabling both Councils to offer 24/7 monitoring to businesses and commercial premises for a fee, providing income generation to subsidise the service’s running costs.