Reflex Systems complete public space CCTV control room upgrade

Friday 25 November 2022 -

Stockport Homes Group (SHG) are responsible for the management of the housing stock owned by Stockport Council.

Formed in 2005, they operate as an ALMO so whilst the company is owned by Stockport Council, they operate independently in delivering services to their customers. SHG are Stockport’s largest landlord, managing over 12,000 properties as well as growing their own portfolio of new build properties and as an umbrella organisation the Group also encompasses Viaduct Housing, Three Sixty and Skylight.

The Challenge

SHG have invested heavily over recent years in their digital infrastructure for providing services and security on behalf of their clients. When Stockport Council recently reviewed their public space CCTV control facilities it became clear that this required modernisation and upgrading to meet current demands. Following the review, the obvious choice was to look at merging with the existing SHG control room based at their head office in Cornerstone. Reflex Systems were provided with an overview of the Clients requirements and tasked with developing this into a full system design to ensure that the project objectives were satisfied as well as providing the necessary infrastructure for future expansion and camera upgrades.

In a true partnership approach Reflex were tasked with fully upgrading the existing control room at Cornerstone to accommodate the additional public space CCTV operations and staff members. The existing public space control room was to be decommissioned and all existing systems migrated and seamlessly integrated into the new upgraded facility at Cornerstone. The systems to be migrated not only encompassed public space CCTV but also included alarm monitoring, third party CCTV monitoring as well as integration with other key stakeholders such as Stockport County FC who utilise CCTV images during events and match days. Reflex engaged with key suppliers, namely Dallmeier for the CCTV, Thinking Space for the control room furniture and Purdicom for the wireless network, in order to provide a full and robust system design whilst still offering best value and future expansion options to the Client.

The Solution

The existing control room at Cornerstone was already responsible for monitoring over 1,500 cameras across the numerous estates and the public space cameras included an additional 118 cameras across various locations and nearby towns which required integrating. The decision was taken to expand the existing Dallmeier SeMSy system to include for additional recording servers as well as Clients and monitor wall servers.

The existing analogue public space cameras were all encoded and then recorded on the new Dallmeier servers to provide seamless integration and operation within the existing system. Due to the age of some of the existing cameras; Reflex also had to install telemetry units capable of driving various third party protocols as well as upgrading some of the individual telemetry receiver boards at physical camera locations.

As part of the project, existing third-party wireless links and fibres were also decommissioned with new Siklu wireless links being installed connecting certain areas back on to SHG’s private high level wireless network which would ultimately lead to cost savings for the Client. The control room itself had a full re-design and upgrade in conjunction with Thinking Space and benefitted from a new fourteen screen free standing monitor wall as well as three new consoles, one of which is fully heigh adjustable, to accommodate a total of six operators at any one time. Perhaps one of the greatest and most complex obstacles was integrating the numerous third-party CCTV and alarm monitoring systems into the new control room which was successfully achieved through detailed design, planning and working with other key stakeholders such as SHG’s operational staff, project management, IT services and other third parties. Reflex also installed Adder CCS-PRO8 KVM switches to ensure operators could utilise the numerous systems from a single keyboard and mouse seamlessly. Through close collaboration with the Client and key manufacturers, Reflex were able to design, implement and commission a fully operational control room upgrade and integration both on time and within budget whilst still ensuring full operation of the existing systems during the project to ensure SHG could continue to provide uninterrupted services to their Clients.