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Glasgow CCTV Control Room

UVS provides multiple control room video walls.

This is one of the biggest years in Glasgow’s history, with the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games coming to the city. Paul Milligan visited the new Glasgow Operations Centre (GOC) to see how technology is being used to make life in the city smarter and safer.

Keeping A Close Eye

2014 is going to be a significant year for Glasgow, as it sees Scotland’s biggest city host the XX Commonwealth Games in July. Alongside the Games, the city – which is also the fourth biggest in the UK – will host three 60,000-capacity open-air concerts during Radio 1’s Big Weekend and is also home to the 20th MTV Europe Music Awards (EMA) in November.

How will the city’s infrastructure cope with the influx of thousands of visitors to these major events, in addition to more than 600,000 residents? One way it will do so is via a brand new, multi-million pound Glasgow Operations Centre (GOC) – one of the biggest projects of its kind in Scotland. The facility brings together teams from Community Safety Glasgow’s (CSG) CCTV operation and Traffcom – the Glasgow City Council team which monitors the city’s road network including traffic lights and traffic cameras. With the facilities now pooled, CSG and Traffcom have joint access to the city’s entire network of live and recorded CCTV footage.

Glasgow is going to be in the limelight, so we wanted the Operations Centre to reflect Glasgow in terms of where it’s been and where it’s going.
– Kalim Uddin, Glasgow Operations Centre

London Road is part of the £24m Future Cities Glasgow programme which will also oversee the installation of advanced digital cameras across the city. The cameras can be programmed to detect unusual activity that can trigger an alarm allowing further investigation by emergency services.

At the centre’s opening, the leader of Glasgow City Council, Councillor Gordon Matheson said: “This facility houses our city’s entire network of traffic cameras and public space CCTV, which will allow us to keep the city running and keep people safe. Having both teams working together and operating under the same roof allows access to more information, more intelligence and quicker identification of incidents on our roads and streets. Glasgow will be open for business during the Games, but it will not be business as usual, and the opening of this centre shows we’re getting ready.” Councillor Matheson is right, the city will be transformed as one million tickets have already been sold for the Games, so the timing of the GOC is crucial.

The GOC is home to 85 eyevis 55in displays (in a range of different video wall configurations) and video wall controllers, which show live streams from 440 CCTV cameras currently deployed around the city centre. UVS was one of the video wall suppliers involved with the project consultants, IBI, at the outset of the project over two years ago. The initial discussions between UVS and the consultants centred on how they could build a control room that could handle thousands of IP streams.

The equipment for the project was purchased via a framework agreement, and went through ACCESS (a joint venture between Serco and Glasgow City Council), which provided the security systems. The nominated AV supplier, Scottish AV integrator SSUK, then built the video walls and AV systems in just eight weeks.

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