Crime is low in West Lancashire and the Borough Council’s CCTV operations help to keep it that way. This important role is highlighted in a new report.
Over the last five years the Council has invested heavily in the public open space system and expanded the scheme to install cameras in areas which previously had no coverage. It currently operates 95 public open space cameras and these are monitored 24hours a day 365 days each year.
The authority has just published its second annual report in relation to the CCTV it operates, and key achievements highlighted in the report include:
- CCTV staff assisted in 363 arrests by police officers in West Lancashire
- Evidential quality footage was provided to the Constabulary on 223 occasions
- CCTV staff were involved in 499 missing/vulnerable person “incidents”
- They were also involved in monitoring 345 cash deliveries/collections to ensure they were carried out without incident
Operators also identified 1096 incidents themselves through their general monitoring
Public Open Space CCTV cameras can act as a deterrent and can assist in the identification of people or vehicles involved in criminal activity. Many of the newer cameras are located near to roads that can be used to access or exit West Lancs and are proving useful in helping to tackle travelling criminals intent on committing crimes in West Lancashire.
The figures in the report show the value of the system. There are 10 more cameras to be installed over the next year to provide an even wider coverage with the aim of making West Lancashire an even safer place.
Councillor Kevin Wright, Portfolio Holder for Community Safety said: “I am pleased to see this report as it underlines the value of the system and its operators. The experience of the operators and their close working relationship with the police helps to ensure we achieve great results from our system.
“CCTV can deter criminals and assist with making the public feel safe. West Lancashire is a safe place to live and work and we want to ensure this continues for years to come.”
West Lancashire Police Inspector June Chessell said: “Lancashire Constabulary fully support the use of CCTV and it can assist us in providing key evidence. At a local level I am extremely impressed with the WLBC scheme which continues to go from strength to strength.
“The operators also perform a key task in relation to preventing crimes and perform a vital link between the streets of West Lancashire and ourselves. My officers regularly visit the suite and look at the footage.”
One of the issues the Council must have due regard to is the privacy of private residents. The software that is used allows for parts of the CCTV image to be completely blanked out. There are several existing cameras where privacy settings are installed to completely blank out windows or whole houses so that residents’ privacy is ensured. If you have any comments about privacy in relation to existing cameras, please email email@example.com.
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