Great Yarmouth Borough Council is pioneering a new approach to CCTV set to transform a necessary expense into a revenue stream that supports local business and helps residents get connected.
By implementing its own wireless CCTV system, moving away from leasing a fibre network from a fibre optic provider, and teaming up with The Cloud - BSkyB’s public access WiFi provider - the council is on track to make the system cost neutral and eventually generate revenue for the town.
The idea was put forward and implemented by Quadrant Security Group (QSG), the council’s long-standing CCTV integration partner, and is being managed by the Community Safety Company (Great Yarmouth) Ltd. which is responsible for Great Yarmouth’s CCTV strategy and management.
Cllr Bob Peck, Chairman of the Community Safety Board explains: “CCTV is crucial to our commitment to providing a safe visitor experience in our town centre and seafront. Previously, our network of 60 analogue cameras were linked via a fibre line we leased from a provider. By implementing our own wireless network, and converting our CCTV system accordingly, we take ownership of the system.
We are able to completely secure the CCTV functionality of the system. This, coupled with ownership of the network, allows us to consider secondary uses for it – teaming up with The Cloud presented a great opportunity.”
Under the new partnership agreement, The Cloud provides free WiFi across the town centre. This enables the local population to go online, browse emails and social networks and also use streaming services such as Sky Go from their mobile device. Once the initial outlay for the system is covered, the income generated will help fund for local services.
Jonathan Newman, Great Yarmouth’s Town Centre Manager and General Manager of the Community Safety Company adds: “Having The Cloud available to consumers is great for local businesses, as is the fact that visitors using them are directed to the homepage of the Great Yarmouth tourism mobile website which promotes local businesses and facilities. Combined with the fact that the change has enabled us to improve our CCTV system for enhanced town centre safety and security, this makes the project a real win, win for Great Yarmouth.”