|Greater Manchester Police's new state-of-the-art control room|
With around 15,000 delegates, including the Prime Minister, high-profile MPs, global leaders and speakers from across the world, the week saw governance effectively moving from Whitehall to Manchester. Maintaining a world class level of security was crucial to the success of the conference. In fact, Manchester was chosen as a venue due to the excellent reputation it has for hosting large scale events.
Colin Carey, Assistant IT Director at Greater Manchester Police said "As they say, preparation is everything; although the event only lasted a few days, it took months of planning. The first challenge was to ensure we had the right infrastructure in place. We worked closely with BT to ensure the best possible network, to deliver the high volumes of video required."
"The next step was to utilize the best software to effectively integrate the many disparate video systems already in place including, mobile video, Hele-Tele, fixed wing and CCTV from public space, stations and airports. Again BT was able to assist, introducing us to CNL and their IPSecurityCenter. This software is able to manage the copious amount of visual
data, enabling us to provide the highest level of security possible by distributing data and video, wherever and whenever required."
Maintaining a world class level of security was crucial to the success of the conference
, with 40 dedicated operator workstations, a record 360 CCTV feeds and a Barco visualisation system powering twelve 65" NEC LCD displays and four 47" Barco displays; all managed through one intuitive interface.
The control room allowed officers to effectively police all aspects of the conference 24 hours a day, covering all of Greater Manchester; it is one of the most advanced control and command facilities in the UK. In the future, it will enable Greater Manchester Police and other partner agencies to effectively deal with large scale events or major incidents and improve the force's ability to protect the public and fight crime.
During the conference, the new control room was visited by Prime Minister Gordon Brown, Home Secretary Jacqui Smith and Greater Manchester Police's new Chief Constable Peter Fahy who were all impressed with the new facility.
The 2008 conference was a success for Greater Manchester Police and the high level of the security provided ensured everyone was able to enjoy the event safely and securely.
Superintendent Chris Ullah, planning coordinator for Operation Protector, said: "The new events control room will create a legacy for the people of Manchester. Not only did it greatly help us police this conference successfully, but it has given the
force a fantastic facility for future events such as football matches, multiple major incidents or operations. We will be policing political conferences for the next three to four years, so the new control room is a very important addition to our resources."
Around 15,000 delegates were at the conference including Prime Minister Gordon Brown
This year's conference passed without incident, which is testimony to the success of Operation Protector. Ensuring the right mix of technology and people was key to accomplishing this.