Congratulations to Danny Hendrickson, control room manager at Bedford Borough Council, the lucky winner of our prize draw to win an 8GB iPod Nano.  We had an overwhelming response to our survey, with entrants from our mailing list, the CCTV User Group and visitors to our blog.  Thanks for giving your time to take part in this important research into the impact of recession on control rooms.

We visited Danny to hand over the iPod and find out how Bedford Borough Council control room has been affected by the economic downturn.

“We’ve had to find ways to bring external revenue into the site.  Our main source has been the Pick-A-Point Icon system (Dedicated Micros) for alarm monitoring after hours.  We’re definitely looking at other options too, like offering services to other departments within the council.”

“Having an integrated system is much more efficient and really helps with costs.  When alarms come through, the operators can react straight away.  They can see exactly what’s going on with the CCTV images, and they can get in touch with the relevant people if they need to.”

Danny has been using the V-TAS Pro incident reporting module for seven years.  Has this helped with the cost saving measures?

“V-TAS Pro is fantastic.  I find it very efficient.  Before, everything was done on paper.    Now, we’ve got everything on the database: This gives us easy access to instant reports which was time consuming in the past, It enables us to see  what arrests were made and where, most used cameras, control room productivity.  It’s very handy because I can check to see what’s actually being done.

We’ve used the reports to justify our position within the council.  It’s good to be able to show people the figures, especially arrests made, types of crimes and hot spot areas.  Unfortunately, we had to make staff cuts a short time ago, but without the reports from the VTAS system they may have been more drastic.”

Well done Danny! Stay tuned for the results of our survey, which will be published on the blog and emailed in our newsletter.