West Suffolk Council

"Building a new CCTV Control room demanded significant investment and a solid business case to proceed."


Like many councils, St Edmundsbury had a dilemma. Whether to build and staff a new control room or look for another Council or third party to assume responsibility. They decided there were significant benefits to providing the service in-house, but they needed to streamline the systems they supported and generate an income stream to offset their monitoring costs.

About the Client

St Edmundsbury Borough Council and Forest Heath District Council, have worked together for the last eight years, delivering significant savings and improvements to services. With a joint population of 175,000 and a revenue budget of £100M they are considering a proposal to form a single Council for West Suffolk to deliver the greatest benefits for local businesses and communities including value for money, cost savings, simplicity, self sufficiency and resilience.

The Challenges

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One of the earliest integrations was an amalgamate of their CCTV control rooms into a single centre. With disparate CCTV and town link radio systems from different manufacturers this provided a significant challenge. The solution however provided significant savings but was a challenge operationally and looking forward it was impossible to plan a migration path to new technology.

Whilst ShopSafe migrated the existing analogue radio system to digital in Bury St Edmunds and Stowmarket, Newmarket was provided by another company. ShopSafe was asked to provide a common control system, but the different technologies limited the functionality, and made the system somewhat inflexible with different operating procedures and training.

The Solution

Having carefully reviewed the benefits, St Edmundsbury decided to build a new CCTV control room and to completely overhaul the camera and recording systems to the latest specifications.

A key consideration in the business plan was a source of income generation from monitoring, and a common supplier was sought for the radio component.

ShopSafe were selected to deliver a common digital radio network across all the towns. Delivered over the same IP network as the CCTV cameras, both CCTV operators and their manager have access to all the towns where cameras are monitored. ShopSafe delivered a common DMR digital network using a range of subscriber products from Hytera. The responsibility to migrate and support the schemes was solely ShopSafe’s. This includes billing to deliver the goal of income generation to offset the running costs for the Council.

The Results

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ShopSafe delivers a fully integrated radio network across all the major towns – Bury St Edmunds, Newmarket, Haverhill, Stowmarket and Mildenhall with further expansion planned. Working to an agreed Service Level Commitment, common standards are delivered for everything from training to signage.

Within the control room both CCTV operators have access to an extensive suite of software monitoring any combination of towns. All calls are recorded, operators can send texts, stun and revive radios, monitor alarms and can automatically monitor lone workers.

ShopSafe deliver comprehensive support including Service Exchange and Batteries for Life and training using both traditional and digital media. With 20 years experience, ShopSafe know every high street head office and procurement route to ensure payment for the radio and the Councils component for monitoring to secure their income generation is guaranteed.

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