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Improving crisis communication

August 2021: Chris Berry from Inistys explains how CCTV and the software its systems use can play a pivotal role in getting responses right and in improving overall communication between responders and authorities


Recent events have shown that there has to be an improvement in how responder agencies, local authorities and other stakeholders communicate.

For the past 20 years, the situation has gradually worsened, despite enhancements in communication technology. A possible reason for this is the psychology of the silo, with each department not wanting to give up its area of responsibility. A failure of the government to introduce combined services control rooms indicates the depth of the problem, despite attempts at forcing the issue.

With Local Resilience Forums (LRFs) tasked with providing a conjoined service at level one and level two responders, one solution is to use town and city surveillance centres as points of contact in a crisis or significant incident, without creating additional crisis management centres. These resources are under extreme threat owing to a shortfall in cash made available for supporting them. Increasing their responsibility will give them options to raise additional funding from local authority budgets.

Technology exists to connect diverse CCTV systems so that when town surveillance centres are unstaffed, cameras connect to bigger counterparts in cities, which often have the budget to continue. CCTV plays a vital role in any incident and none more so than during a crisis. The technology can automatically call images from systems on demand, based on geographic dependencies. Cameras for traffic management and public protection all have a role to play.

The same software can also turn even the most complicated plan into an actionable script capable of connecting level one and level two responders and providing feedback to all stakeholders at a level appropriate to their responsibility. These scripts ensure that the messaging and co-operation between responders is as quick and straightforward as possible while logging every action, providing public relations gateways and ensuring the right message in every incident.

Initsys is a CRJ Key Network Partner.

Image: Pikepicture/123rf

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