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Mobile surveillance makes Tayside Police a force to reckoned with
Jan 22 2008
Tayside Police has had a new vehicle fitted out with the latest CCTV products to help them fulfil their promise to the public to uphold the law, preserve order, prevent crime in the area and provide reassurance and protection to everyone in the community.
Tayside Police is responsible for the provision of policing services throughout the Angus, Dundee City and Perth and Kinross council areas. It operates within a geographical area of some 2,896 square miles and serves approximately 388,000 people. Their service is provided against a backdrop of densely populated urban areas and sparsely populated rural areas.
The force required a vehicle that would allow them maximum flexibility to monitor situations in different areas without the need for a permanent CCTV solution. It would also be used as a mobile command and briefing unit at major incidents and events
Chief Inspector Alexander Bowman, responsible for road policing and operational support matters, brought in Crown Conversions to consult on the project and to carry out all the necessary work. “Having worked with Crown previously and being aware of their involvement in similar projects we were well aware of their professionalism and their ability to fulfil the project brief.”
Jim Macpherson, who has been involved with mobile control applications for over 20 years, was bought in as a CCTV consultant for Crown Conversions. He recommended installing a Forward Vision Metal Mickey (MIC-400) which has been mounted to the van on a six and a half metre extendable mast. This gives it a total height of eight metres above ground level and allows operators to get a very clear view of the area. Four Vista fixed domes (VVRD4V9C-3A) provide perimeter protection for the van, while two 17” Vista monitors (VLFSM17) allow operators to view the images.
A Sony 5016P DVR with expansion drive and CD/DVD writer provides the invaluable back-up of information and hard copies can be produced on-the-spot using the Mitsubishi video printer. CCTV images can also be transmitted back to the main control room and to other police vehicles in the force, especially useful during major incidents events in the area.
“We chose this equipment because of the operators familiarity with it,” says Mr Macpherson. “It’s very similar to that already being used for monitoring the town centre so little or no additional training is required.” This helps get the van operational in the fastest possible time and reduces the number of problems operators may encounter.
“Working with equipment suppliers Norbain has been a very hassle-free and easy experience,” says Mr Macpherson. “My account manager always provides me with a very swift and professional service and, if there are any problems, they always find out what alternatives are available before they contact me.”
Of course, using equipment that’s primarily designed to go into a control room in a van that’s doing 20,000 to 30,000 miles a year has problems of its own. “There are obvious size constrictions which meant that we had to come up with some pretty creative ways to make it fit within the confines of the van,” says Mr Macpherson. Everything also needed to be protected against the shocks and bumps created by a moving vehicle. Here, Crown adapted the frames to include rubberised washers and padding.
About Crown Conversions
Crown Conversions, formed in 2003, specialise in the conversion of light commercial vehicles to suit their clients specific needs. This can be in the form of converting a van into a Minibus with wheelchair access or catering to the detailed requirements of the Emergency Services.