Published on 19 February, 2015
|This security solutions saves the whg Security Team from manually patrolling through the hundreds of cameras
Formed in 2003, whg is one of the West Midlands’ leading providers of social housing. The group owns and manages around 19,000 properties across Walsall, housing nearly 40,000 people, a fifth of the borough’s population.
whg Technical Specialist, Paul Martin, said, “Before the surveillance system was installed, we relied on foot patrols to monitor the blocks every night. With a maximum of only two patrols per night, we weren’t really catching anything.
“With the CCTV recording 24 hours a day it means we can catch more and be reactive. From our control room we can identify incidents and alert our patrols so they can investigate.”
whg has been able to assist the police with the help of the CCTV system to aid in prosecutions and investigations. Their work with the police includes shutting down and preventing illegal activity, often external to the whg properties.
“On one occasion we were asked to help with an investigation in to a man who had allegedly stolen a car. The police asked him where he had been at the time, and he claimed to be in the pub down the road. We had a look through the CCTV and we managed to pull up a man matching his description and the location. The police were able to use that footage to aid in a prosecution.” Paul Martin remarked.
“We once saw a domestic disturbance taking place with a woman’s partner dragging her into a property. We called the police and she was safe as a result,” said Community Safety Manager, Annete Harpin.
The extensive network of cameras are displayed on a 5x2 video wall configuration of 55” Panasonic professional displays located in the WHG control room. Activity captured by any camera is automatically brought up on screen through Motion Detection, saving the whg Security Team from manually patrolling through the hundreds of cameras.
Panasonic also developed an incident manager package specifically for the Group. This makes it easy to track any incidents and integrates with whg's CRM software, allowing for efficient reporting.
The security solution also benefits from an audio system which allows staff in the control room to communicate with potential trouble makers caught on camera.
Pauline, a resident of whg commented, “Before the cameras were installed, we were having a lot of problems with people breaking in, using drugs and other things, we didn’t really feel safe. Now we have the cameras and security, it’s fantastic, you can sleep at night, you feel a lot safer and happier. We wouldn’t move anywhere else.”
The housing group has calculated that over a three month period, the system has managed to pay for itself through social benefits, like fewer police visits, less ambulance visits, and less visits to the doctors. “It’s not just for Walsall Housing Group, it’s for the people of Walsall,” said Annete Harpin.