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Mayor praises Council's Awards for Excellence finalists

Sunday, 08 December 2013 17:31

Her Worship the Mayor Councillor Carol Malarkey JP held a reception for members of the Council’s ICT team after their CCTV system and communications suite project was voted a finalist in the 2013 Isle of Man Newspapers’ Awards for Excellence.


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The team achieved their finalist position in the Excellence in Use of Technology category, sponsored by Canaccord Genuity Wealth.


DannyCopy of DSC 3860The project was led by head of ICT Daniel Looney (pictured left) and designed, explained Her Worship, as a solution ‘with the sole purpose of making Douglas a safer and more welcoming place, allowing everyone the opportunity to enjoy a ‘Cleaner Safer Greener’ borough.'


Central to the solution was the creation of a class-leading CCTV communications and control suite, implemented using a range of current and future technologies, and also creating a CCTV technology platform capable of future enhancement and growth.


Her Worship continued: ‘Partnership has been critical to the success of this project, at the heart of which was working closely with member agencies of the Douglas Community Partnership, particularly electrical services and the borough wardens team, Douglas Borough Council, Douglas Development Partnership, Isle of Man Constabulary, Isle of Man Fire and Rescue Service and government departments.


‘The control room takes CCTV images out of the computer rooms and data archives and puts the live images in the hands of these agencies, providing a first-class operating environment and transforming a complex network of data and images into an easy-to-use front end system. This ease of operation and access allows agency representatives to derive maximum benefit from the facility and support their commitment to community safety, crime reduction and raising environmental standards.


‘The project was delivered on time, within budget and exceeded original expectations. It is a flagship facility of which the people of Douglas and the whole Island can be proud.'


Such was the excellence of the system that it inspired UK Business Head of Siemens Security Products to say: 'At a time when many local authorities are reducing services, Douglas Borough Council has had the foresight to recognise the important role CCTV has to play in ensuring community safety. We applaud the Council's vision and share its passion for embracing new technology that has the power to bring tangible benefits to society. It has proved a pleasure to work with Danny, together with his team of committed technicians, the Council's supportive leadership and cooperative local suppliers in the island to bring this innovative project to a successful conclusion.’


The CCTV and communications control suite went live in May 2013, following which the room was first manned through the busy TT period by volunteer and full-time police officers and the impact was immediate, prompting Inspector Juan Kinley to comment: ‘As government budgets are trimmed, inevitably there is an impact on policing, so this project is a superb example of just what can be achieved working in partnership to deliver a pioneering solution that’s already proving extremely valuable.’


Her Worship continued: ‘To break significant new ground in technology projects is rare. This project has been picked up by the UK press and other organisations, and a number of features have been published following the launch of the suite, the focus of which is the resourcefulness of the Isle of Man in producing industry-leading solutions in a complex industry.


'Because of the huge impact this had the project was put forward for the Isle of Man Excellence Awards and we were delighted when the team was selected as one of the three finalists, although the team ultimately lost to Riva Financial Systems.’


Congratulating the team Her Worship said: ‘The Council is very proud of you Danny, your team, all the other services involved and everyone else in the Council and outside organisations who contributed to and worked so hard on this project. Thank you and well done.’