Community safety has always been a priority for the London Borough of Bexley (LBB) and they are now the first local authority in the UK to adopt a new outsourced model that will help to further reduce crime and secure the safety of people and places within the borough.
The security solutions team at Siemens Building Technologies was chosen to design, build, staff, manage and operate a comprehensive outsourced surveillance service for 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 whilst guaranteeing improved performance and support. The Siemens partnership offers the Council fixed costs, simpler budgeting and savings in procurement costs as well as investment in new technology to improve efficiency.
The community safety center has been built not only to monitor the Council's existing surveillance cameras but also with the capacity to enable Siemens to monitor additional systems across Bexley (in line with Total Place thinking) and even offer 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 to offset the overall service costs.
The new facility enables operators to monitor suspicious behavior, identify incidents and co-ordinate appropriate responses from the Police, Fire and Ambulance services. It will also protect the public as they work, socialize and travel whilst respecting privacy and utilizing ‘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 public.
"This pioneering move that the borough has made in outsourcing its surveillance services brings many benefits for our residents and the Council," said Cllr Teresa O'Neill, the 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 whilst 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. We chose Siemens following a rigorous selection process as they are a high technology company, have a wealth of experience of working for local authorities, and their skills and expertise can only benefit the borough."
"Our decision to outsource the surveillance service was driven by the need to upgrade our existing system and ensure a higher level of service to our residents for years to come," added Cllr Katie Perrior, the Council's Cabinet Member for Community Affairs. "We have put in place a means of achieving three key objectives for the borough. Firstly we have reduced risk to the Council by having Siemens managing high technology services, secondly we have simplified our purchasing process and thirdly we have identified our costs for the next 10 years."
Siemens will provide 24/7/365 a year monitoring of Bexley's extensive network of cameras, as well as maintaining and repairing the existing camera network.
Dave Pickles, MD of the Security Solutions team at Siemens said: "We have been operating in urban surveillance since 1991 and we are delighted to be able to offer the London Borough of Bexley a service that will match their short and long term objectives for the community."
"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. 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 providing 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 them in close partnership to deliver their goals of reducing costs, enhancing community safety and improving efficiency."