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Stuart Hobson scores accreditation success for Cheshire East control room


CCTV User Group member Stuart Hobson recently scored a major success for his CCTV control centre by securing accreditation to BS7958 for CCTV control room management.


Stuart joined Cheshire East Council in 2017 and although he had previous experience in CCTV, he readily admits that he was entirely new to management. To make matters more challenging, the control room he inherited didn’t have all of the requisite policies and procedures in place.


He turned to the CCTV User Group for advice and quickly found help in the shape of Martin Beaumont, then CCTV manager at Cambridge City Council. Martin not only introduced him to other Group members but also came to see him at his control room for a friendly ‘inspection’.


What they found was enough to convince Stuart that he needed to go for accreditation to improve internal procedures such as training, operational protocols and policies and also demonstrate to the public that the system was being operated transparently and to the highest standards.


Since then, Stuart has gained third-party accreditation to the Home Office Surveillance Camera Code of Practice and the British Standard BS7958 for control room management. The third-party kitemark was awarded a year ago and BS7958 was achieved last month.


The kitemark – a stage-two UK surveillance camera award – ensures that the system is compliant with the Surveillance Camera Code of Practice including the 12 guiding principles, and was awarded following an inspection by the National Security Inspectorate (NSI).


BS7958 was awarded following a more detailed audit by the Security Systems & Alarms Inspection Board (SSAIB)*. BS7958 provides recommendations for the management and operation of CCTV within controlled environments which handles data that may later be offered as evidence. It must be earned through extensive work and a rigorous inspection which ensures that the control centre is operating to the highest standards and in line with the government’s Surveillance Camera Code of Practice.


Stuart says he was pretty confident going into the SSAIB audit because of all the work he had done including preparations for the kitemark inspection the previous year.


“I knew we had all the systems and policies in place thanks to the work we did on the kitemark and also all we had learned from working with the CCTV User Group and all the knowledgeable Members from around the country,” he said.


This most recent achievement has been recognised by his councillors and Cheshire police in a press release published on the council website.

Peter Webster, Director of the CCTV User Group, said: “Stuart is a perfect example of someone using standards as a tool to improve not only his operational protocols but also the public perception of the service. Well done to him and the team, his council and all those Members of the CCTV User Group who helped him along the way.”


Stuart will be joining us on 25 November 2021 for a Snapshot Webinar at which we will talk about the benefits of BS7958 and the road to accreditation. Visit our events page for more details: www.cctvusergroup.com/events-1


* CCTV User Group members may be eligible for a 10% discount on SSAIB inspection services. Contact Peter Webster for details at peter.webster@cctvusergroup.com.

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