Manchester upgrades CCTV network

The City of Manchester has announced an order for internet protocol (IP) based surveillance or CCTV cameras as part of its project to migrate its entire communications infrastructure.

Working with specialist integrator C-Ways, the city council has selected a federated Omnicast 4.1 IP CCTV system from vendor, Genetec.

"Where before we could only use either unicast or multicast functions, the federation will allow us to use both those functionalities simultaneously, offering better management of bandwidth," said David Walsh, technical installations manager from the City of Manchester's Command and Control Centre.

The Centre has five locations throughout the city to manage video with its older, fixed analogue systems and will use the federation to reroute all video back to one central monitoring station using IP. As each system is progressively migrated and rerouted back to the central monitoring station, there will no longer be a need for the other control centres, which it anticipates will deliver significantly reduced operating costs.

The upgrade also allows Manchester City Council to work with existing infrastructure and hardware providers, which Walsh said was "very important when spending public money". It also accommodates plans to populate the new platform with existing cameras and to integrate third-party video and audio analytics technologies.

One month into the system implementation, the authority has already migrated 30 cameras from the Greater Manchester Police and 20 cameras from the city's largest municipal park over to the Omnicast platform.

Walsh added: "Unlike an analogue installation, the systems were up and running within hours and our partners could not be happier with the new system and its many benefits."

The authority has also previously stated its intention to be one of the first IP-enabled cities.

And only yesterday, Greater Manchester Police Assistant Chief Constable David Thompson defended CCTV as an effective crime deterrent after Metropolitan Police counterpart, Detective Chief Inspector Mike Neville, from Scotland Yard was reported as criticising the technology, saying only three per cent of London's street robberies had been solved using CCTV images.

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