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Brussels opened new Crisis Centre

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On 29 September, the Minister-President of the Brussels-Capital Region, Rudi Vervoort, officially opened the brand-new Regional Crisis Centre. In the future, all major events, crises and emergency situations in the region will be monitored and coordinated from the Centre, so that the Police, State security and other services can work together in a more streamlined way, assisted by state-of-the-art technology.

The Regional Crisis Centre utilises all available information that may possibly help the authorities to take control of such situations – large wall-sized monitors are used to display detailed images of streets, while image analysis programs are used to check data forwarded by around 4,400 security cameras.

The new Crisis Centre also brings together all of the authorities involved – the Federal and Local Police, the Firefighting and Emergency Medical Assistance Service, the public prosecutor's office, the State security service, the federal Coordination Unit for Threat Analysis and the security services of the Brussels Intercommunal Transport Company (STIB-MIVB). As a result of this, it therefore creates a framework for increased collaboration between all of the actors within the security domain, ensuring that events, crises and emergency situations in the Brussels-Capital Region can be managed in real time in an optimised and integrated manner within this operational headquarters.

The operational development of a Regional Crisis Centre formed one of the priorities set out in the Global Security and Prevention Plan (GSPP). As a supplement to the existing tools already available to the Brussels government, it serves as a tangible illustration of the role that Brussels Prevention & Security (BPS) is seeking to play in the coordination of security policy within Brussels-Capital Region.

The Brussels Regional Informatics Centre (BRIC) also made its own contribution to this initiative – Brussels Prevention & Security was able to have recourse to a number of our framework contracts, such as IRISnet 2, in order to ensure everything was completed on time. Staff from the IRIS team within Brussels Prevention & Security played a part in the development of this Crisis Centre and the BRIC itself helped set up the programs and processes used to analyse the immense flow of images forwarded by the Regional Video Surveillance Platform. In his role of project manager, our colleague, David Huygh, also provided an expert explanation of the image technology on the VRT television news.

Above the Crisis Centre, the Regional Communication Centre will soon be taken into service. Its role will be to coordinate the everyday communications of emergency services such as the Fire Brigade and the Police.

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