The organ at Chester Cathedral.
Protecting Chester Cathedral from Anti-Social Behaviour
Located in the heart of the city, the cathedral, originally built as a Benedictine Abbey in 1092, is surrounded by large grounds that are accessible from all sides and susceptible to anti-social behaviour including loitering, drinking and drug use. An effective security system was needed to monitor the grounds and deter this type of behaviour.
Chris Jones, Inspector, Chester Cathedral Constables, has been trained by the Police and is registered as a Police Officer with similar powers:
“In looking for a new CCTV system, I referred to the Home Office guidelines and sought the best possible solution with the greatest functionality so it was future-proofed for years to come.”
Following a number of site surveys with the cathedral’s architect and English Heritage, strict aesthetics guidelines were imposed to preserve the site’s Grade I listed status.
Chubb specified a system that included a number of long-range and short-range pan, tilt and zoom cameras as well as static dome cameras installed inside and outside the historic landmark. An automatic number plate recognition camera is also installed at the barrier protecting access to the site, and all systems are hard-wired or wirelessly routed through a series of network switches to the network video recorder in the security office.
Each of the cameras is mounted on a bracket that was bespoke-built by an ironmonger and spray-painted black by a specialist company. Each of the brackets had to be drilled into the mortar, not the stone, to ensure damage was limited. A number of health and safety briefings had to be held to ensure engineers’ safety when climbing spiral staircases and accessing external roof voids and walkways.
“I have been thoroughly impressed with the work carried out by the team. They have had to go to extraordinary lengths to comply with the restrictions we have placed upon them to install the CCTV cameras,” concludes Jones. “The installation itself was also not straightforward as the building is very old and difficult to manoeuvre around. The system is operating as we had hoped and we are pleased with the outcome of the project.”