The project requirement was to provide a public address facility that could be integrated with the Middlesbrough's existing CCTV network. This would enable the CCTV operators to speak directly to members of the public, for example, requesting people to pick up litter they have dropped. It could also be used for public safety and crime prevention, for example, to warn people that they are being watched on CCTV.
An existing intercom system from Complus Teltronic was already in place, consisting of safety help points in the town centre car parks and the central bus station. These are linked to the CCTV control room on analogue fibre circuits.
The town centre has CCTV cameras mounted on poles throughout. A new public address system designed to retrofit to the existing intercom system has been installed. The public address loudspeakers were then attached to the camera poles and connected to a local amplifier located within the fibre termination equipment housing. This amplifier was linked over the existing analogue circuit of the camera fibre to a GE200 intercom server in the CCTV Control Room. However, Middlesbrough Borough Council subsequently requested that the system be capable of future expansion. It was therefore decided to upgrade to the intercom server to the larger GE700 model to supply additional capacity.
The trials at Middlesbrough were hugely successful. They have been widely reported in the national daily press and on numerous TV stations. Furthermore, the Home Secretary Dr. John Reid has spoken of a national roll out of the system.