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Hounslow Homes

Aiding in prosecutions and preventing anti-social behaviour with the SHADOW range of covert cameras.

Customised car with covert CCTV system installed

Hounslow Homes is wholly owned by the London Borough of Hounslow and is tasked with managing over 16,500 homes. It is responsible for providing a complete range of services including home improvement works, leaseholder services, resident participation, home ownership, rents, customer services, training, partnering and procurement and service development.

The challenge

Hounslow Homes is committed to stamping out anti-social behaviour, harassment, hate crime, domestic violence and the abuse of adults and children at risk.

To ensure that reports of these types of behaviour are dealt with appropriately, it’s Anti-Social Behaviour and Tenancy Team works closely in partnership with the police and other agencies to prevent this type of unacceptable behaviour, take action against perpetrators as well as supporting and protecting victims.

CCTV plays an important role in this process and Hounslow Homes wanted to improve the way that incidents were monitored and enhance its ability to gather evidential quality images that would aid successful prosecutions.

The solution

"The cameras delivered impressive results from the start, providing compelling video evidence that has resulted in a significant increase in successful prosecutions..."

Rapid Vision Systems has been providing Hounslow Homes with a range of covert and overt CCTV solutions since 2009. The company was selected because it had proven experience of developing cost effective solutions for other housing associations and the rapid deployment capabilities of the system demonstrated to tenants the commitment to resolving anti-social behaviour issues.

Rapid Vision Systems worked closely in partnership with Hounslow Homes’ Anti-Social Behaviour and Tenancy Team to develop a wide a range of covert solutions including cameras installed in common household objects. They are mounted in inconspicuous locations and deliver excellent low light performance allowing target locations to be monitored around the clock. The excellent covert hides being paramount in making the tenants feel secure with their usage.

“The cameras delivered impressive results from the start, providing compelling video evidence that has resulted in a significant increase in successful prosecutions, enabling us to take immediate and decisive action to improve the living environment for residents,” commented Peter Jordan, Professional Witness Officer for Hounslow Homes. 

“They have also helped us to achieve a rapid return on investment by speeding up the whole legal process. I would estimate that this has delivered savings of more than £50,000 over the last three years by speeding up the evidence gathering process and reducing court appearance costs as perpetrators are presented with indisputable images of their crimes.

In addition, there are now fewer offenders as they are aware of the effectiveness of the cameras.” The cameras have made a big impact on residents particularly one who had been viciously attacked by a neighbour and was in fear of the family having made a statement to support Hounslow Homes’ action against the perpetrators. A covert camera was placed in his property to provide support and prevent or detect any offences. Following the eviction of the family monitored, he wrote to thank Hounslow Homes for the immediate and effective support of the camera and the reassurance it provided to him and visitors to his property.

The Anti-Social Behaviour and Tenancy Team also works closely in partnership with local wardens to deliver the highest level of service to residents.

"We couldn’t believe how simple it was to install and use compared with the traditional CCTV cameras..."

Their liveried warden vehicles have been equipped with windscreen-mounted cameras and on-board DVRs, supplied by Rapid Vision Systems, for use in a variety of surveillance applications.

The vehicles have been deployed to capture evidence of anti-social behaviour, drug dealing and other such incidents with evidential quality images captured at distances of up to 200 metres.

“We couldn’t believe how simple it was to install and use compared with the traditional CCTV cameras that we previously used.

Rapid Vision Systems has an unrivalled level of technical expertise and knows the importance of providing simple ‘plug and play’ solutions that can be quickly and easily deployed within 5 minutes by any member of the team without requiring extensive training,” continued Peter Jordan.

This partnership approach extends to the development of new products as needs arise. An example of this is a new battery powered covert camera that can operate for several weeks without recharging. Designed using the latest technologies, the camera remains in sleep mode until the movement sensor activates to record unfolding events.

“Rapid Vision Systems has shown that it understands what we are trying to achieve and has provided us with a range of CCTV solutions that are making a significant impact on reducing the incidence of anti-social behaviour and making Hounslow a safer place to live. The company consistently produces what we require to combat the issues that need to be resolved,“ concluded Peter Jordan.