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Solihull housing project benefits from IP surveillance.

Ntl:Telewest Business : 24 May, 2007  (Application Story)
Improved crime prevention and prosecution rate to be realised in Solihull Borough through IP networked CCTV surveillance system from ntl:Telewest Business.
ntl:Telewest Business has teamed up with Solihull Community Housing to protect residents using Internet Protocol (IP) CCTV.

Solihull Community Housing is the Arm's Length Management Organisation (ALMO) that was set up in 2004 to run the housing service on behalf of Solihull Council. There are approximately 11,400 properties within the Borough of Solihull. On behalf of the Council, Solihull Community Housing is responsible for providing services such as housing and homelessness advice, tenancy and estate management, repairs and services for older and vulnerable people. The installation of ntl:Telewest Business' Evolved Ethernet is enabling the organisation to facilitate CCTV monitoring and a full concierge facility for 42 high rise blocks and four remote sites in the north of the Borough, ensuring residents feel protected.

Historically, Solihull Community Housing has used traditional caretaking services to patrol sites, but staff could only monitor a limited number of buildings at any one time. With ntl:Telewest Business providing the core, high-speed network in the north of the Borough, 10-15 cameras could be installed in each high rise block, monitoring lifts, corridors and door entry. Operators can now observe what is going on 24 hours a day, seven days a week, both inside and outside of the building from a control room. In addition, a concierge service enables tenants to speak directly to control room operators if they are concerned about anyone trying to gain entry into the premises.

"With vandalism costing the Council £500,000 a year, we felt that investment in ntl:Telewest Business' network, enabling CCTV monitoring, would soon pay for itself," said Greg Lakin, M&E Operations Manager, Solihull Community Housing. "The new solution, which covers multiple sites has changed the way our operators work. They can now monitor what is happening from the safety of the control room."

Lakin continued: "Since the CCTV system has been installed we have dealt with numerous cases of criminal damage, fly-tipping, violence and graffiti and prosecutions have resulted from evidence caught on camera. The difference the offering has made to our tenants is invaluable as they feel more secure and confident."

"Due to a rise in crimes such as fly-tipping, anti-social behaviour and violence, councils are starting to look for increasingly sophisticated methods of both deterring criminals and gathering evidence," said Christopher Small, Director for Public Sector, ntl:Telewest Business. "Solihull Community Housing is a perfect example of how technologies, such as IP CCTV, can help a community feel safer as well as providing essential evidence for police."

As a result of the new CCTV solution, Solihull Community Housing is reinforcing strong links with the area's police force and it is hoped that the organisation will soon be able to stream live coverage to officers via PDAs. Solihull Community Housing is also investigating the possibility of providing internet access, using ntl:Telewest Business' network, to tenants in the high rise blocks.
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