SSAIB, the UK and Ireland’s leading security, fire and telecare certification body, has presented a range of certificates to Enfield Council’s Public Safety Centre. In an official ceremony held at the site in north London, SSAIB’s Chief Executive Alex Carmichael and Chairman Geoff Tate were joined by Surveillance Camera Commissioner Tony Porter for the presentation to Councillor Yasemin Brett, Enfield’s Cabinet Member for Community Organisations and Culture, accompanied by Centre Manager Alan Gardner.
Enfield Public Safety Centre gained the Surveillance Camera Commissioner’s certificate of compliance, relating to Enfield’s public space CCTV, having been audited and complying with the 12 guiding principles of the Surveillance Code of Practice (in accordance with the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012). Enfield is the first borough to be certificated against this in London. The council received its monitoring centre certificate BS5979, along with CCTV management and operation in accordance with BS7958 and BS 7958 Annex B for traffic enforcement.
A further certification covers the provision of lone worker devices in accordance with BS8484. The Centre currently provides safety monitoring for around 400 lone workers, including social services employees, security officers and housing staff carrying out vital work in the community at sites including libraries, schools and hospitals.
All of the various certification processes have been audited by SSAIB, and SSAIB Chief Executive Alex Carmichael praises the work completed by Alan Gardner and his team: “The Enfield Public Safety Centre has become, with council political backing, a centre of excellence, which is an important example in the current climate of budget cuts. It demonstrates how compliance can both reassure the public and draw in partners for future technological innovative collaboration that helps drive up standards and increases the quality of safety and security in the Enfield area”.
Surveillance Camera Commissioner Tony Porter concurred, adding: “The whole issue of public space surveillance is going to come under scrutiny and this certification is an outward sign of inward success that you can demonstrate to your community that you take their safety very seriously. It also shows that you view surveillance cameras as being there to support the community – not spy on them.”
Meanwhile, Councillor Brett complimented Alan Gardner’s management of the Enfield operation, pointing out that: “In these days of austerity, CCTV has proven an effective and efficient way of assisting the police and other community safety partners in tackling crime.”
The Enfield Public Safety Centre now monitors over 300 public safety surveillance cameras in addition to intruder alarm systems and lone worker services to many council civic buildings, depots and other sites, and hopes to expand this to include schools, hospitals, other public buildings, and social landlord sites both within Enfield and further afield.
The EPSC is currently home to a separate, leased control room operated for Barnet Council, its neighbouring borough, while Govia Thameslink Railway currently operates from a third separate control room currently housed within the Centre, monitoring station cameras and help points across approximately 70 rail routes. Enfield Council is now actively marketing its state-of-the-art monitoring facilities to other prospective clients, now that they have been professionally audited and accredited by SSAIB.