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Community Safety Redefined
Submitted by Siemens Building Technologies 2010/7/26

Community safety has always been a priority for the London Borough of Bexley. It is now the first local authority in the U.K. to adopt a new, outsourced model that will help further reduce crime and secure the safety of people and properties within the borough.

Community safety has always been a priority for the London Borough of Bexley. It is now the first local authority in the U.K. to adopt a new, outsourced model that will help further reduce crime and secure the safety of people and properties within the borough.

The security solutions team at Siemens was chosen to design, build, staff, manage and operate a comprehensive outsourced video surveillance service for the London Borough of Bexley for the next 10 years. This new model has been put in place to reduce the long-term costs of security across the borough while guaranteeing improved performance and support.

The Siemens partnership offers the council fixed operation cost, simpler budgeting and savings in procurement costs, as well as investment in new technology to improve efficiency.

The community safety center was built not only to monitor the council's existing surveillance cameras, but also to enable Siemens to monitor additional systems across Bexley. In line with “Total Place” thinking, the community safety center even offers services outside the borough.

Siemens will take responsibility for attracting and integrating third parties who want to link to the council's facility. These include local shopping centers, business parks, retail estates, commercial organizations, concierge services and housing estates. Some of the income generated will help offset the overall service costs.

The new facility enables operators to monitor suspicious behavior, identify incidents and coordinate appropriate responses from the police, fire and ambulance services. It will also protect the public as they work, socialize and travel while respecting privacy through the use of “privacy zone” software.

Working in partnership with local businesses, the staff have radio links with local shops and public houses to further monitor criminal activity and the public in general. “This pioneering move that the borough has made in outsourcing its surveillance services brings many benefits for our residents and the council,” said Teresa O'Neill, Leader of the London Borough of Bexley. “The safety of our community remains a high priority, and we wanted to both enhance and modernize our existing service while lowering our long-term costs.

“Working with a partner from the private sector has enabled us to achieve our objectives of providing sustainable community safety and may well prove to be a model that others take advantage of,”O'Neill said. “We chose Siemens following a rigorous selection process as it is a high-technology company, has a wealth of experience of working for local authorities, and its skills and expertise can only benefit the borough.”

“Our decision to outsource the service was driven by the need to upgrade our existing systems and ensure a higher level of service to our residents for years to come,” said Katie Perrior, Cabinet Member for Community Affairs. “We have put in place a means of achieving three key objectives for the borough. First, we have reduced risk to the council by having Siemens manage high-technology services; second, we have simplified our purchasing process; and last, we have identified our costs for the next 10 years.”

Siemens will provide 24/7, year-round monitoring of Bexley's extensive network of cameras, as well as maintaining and repairing the existing camera network. “We have been operating in urban surveillance since 1991, and we are delighted to be able to offer Bexley a service that will match its short- and long-term objectives for the community,” said Dave Pickles, MD of Security Solutions at Siemens.

“Our priority is to build solutions around the needs of our customers, not only in terms of technology but also in line with their budgets and organizational goals,” Pickles continued. “We have developed a managed service for Bexley that we believe will enable the borough to keep pace with technological advances over the coming years.”

Siemens will also be bringing in additional income by promoting this innovative facility to the wider community. “We applaud the London Borough of Bexley for adopting this new approach, and we will now be working with everyone in close partnership to deliver their goals of reducing costs, enhancing community safety and improving efficiency,” Pickles said.

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