Two of the major topics of discussion at last month’s IFSEC International event in London were PSIM and Safe Cities, which naturally converge to help cities secure major sporting events. One such example is our recent project with Glasgow, the largest city in Scotland, and host of the Commonwealth Games that begins in just a few weeks.
The city is using NICE Situator to consolidate data from sources such as CCTV and traffic control within a single operations centre. This information is filtered into pre-defined response plans to help operators better manage situations in real-time. It also provides improved visibility and control of different sensors and better collaboration across relevant security and safety departments.
This initiative fuses Community Safety Glasgow’s (CSG) CCTV operation with Traffcom, the Glasgow City Council team which monitors the city’s road networks, traffic lights, and traffic cameras. By pooling these resources, CSG and Traffcom now have joint access to the city’s entire network of live and recorded CCTV footage. To learn more about the project we spoke with Philip Walker, Managing Director of CSG and Kalim Uddin, Operations Manager at the Glasgow Operations Center.
Can you give us an overview of the surveillance camera infrastructure you have across the city?
Kalim: “We have around 443 cameras throughout the city. We also have up to 30 re-deployable, or mobile cameras and a variety of mobile vehicles, all streaming live in to the operations center.”
You have NICE Situator and NiceVision installed on all workstations in the operations center. What is it enabling your team to do?
Kalim: “The new functions that we’re going to have are ease of access to a much broader suite of cameras, communication with key partners, tracking individuals and looking at incidents from a traffic point of view. We certainly will be looking into how can we aid and make traffic management within the city of Glasgow more efficient.” He continues: “The new mapping system, the new management systems that we’re talking about in terms of our business processes, these are the bits that really excite us because these are the bits that will take us to the next level.”
How is the NICE solution helping your operators?
Kalim: “An operator can have at any point up to 32 live video streams in front of them. That’s why we wanted this new technology, to give us the functionality to display 10 images or 500 images.” He adds: “Operators are able to pull up images a lot quicker from various sources, very seamlessly. You can never replace an operator, but what we can do is to make the operator a lot more efficient.”
Glasgow was recently awarded funding from the Technology Strategy Board to demonstrate what can be achieved by the innovative use of technology. What does the future hold for the Safe City?
Philip: “Technology will be the future for smart cities to deliver better and more effective services. When we are finished and we have reached our destination, we will become a benchmark and a role model for other cities around the world.”