Vemotion Interactive, a provider of interactive high-quality, live and pre-recorded video streaming, delivered its wireless surveillance solution to the Leedswatch Community Safety team.
Leeds Community Safety CCTV provides and operates one of the largest surveillance networks in the country with more than 385 cameras, covering 240 square miles, helping to make Leeds city a safer place. Leeds Community Safety CCTV was the subject of the “CCTV Cities” program on Channel 5 in 2008. Following a US$1.52 million investment over the last 12 months, the surveillance section have developed a center of excellence at their South Leeds location and their services will soon be merged with West Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive (Metro) for coordination of their 250 surveillance cameras covering West Yorkshire's bus stations.
The system includes both on-street public surveillance cameras and also operates two mobile surveillance vans. These vehicles can be called out to areas where they are needed and send images back to the main control room, from where they can be forwarded to the relevant authorities throughout the city. The system is already in use extensively by the police who have a continuous presence at the control room to track criminal activity providing valuable evidence to support rapid convictions and reduce the cost of police operations and the use of police time.
All cameras are linked back to the central control room where they are monitored in real time, 24 hours a day. This service has proven its value to the community. In the cold weather experienced earlier this year, a person was identified as being in distress, monitored using a camera and the local emergency services called in to give assistance, preventing a possible death from hyperthermia. In another incident, operators alerted police to a man preparing to jump off one of Leeds' highest bridges. The police responded quickly and were able to drag the man back to safety.
The system has practical applications in monitoring areas known to be at risk for instance from fly tipping or vandalism providing potential savings of thousands of pounds to the local community.
The services available to other community groups in the Leeds area include the use of the existing camera images by other departments, the monitoring of key areas through the central control room facility and the deployment, monitoring and maintenance of new surveillance systems.
All surveillance personnel are security industry licensed (SIA) and the Center of Excellence is being developed to include a training facility to accommodate all aspects of surveillance and security training courses.