Agenda item

Minutes:

The Chairman gave a brief overview of the work undertaken to date in relation to the review of CCTV.  The objective for the review was to gain an understanding of CCTV, how it contributes to the Council’s Corporate Priorities and consider the impact CCTV has within the community.

 

The Chairman explained that to date the Panel had held two meetings to discuss the topic whereby Members had sought information to gain an understanding of Ashfield District Council’s CCTV provision, how the service operates and whether there were further areas that could be explored and improved to ensure that the CCTV provision within the District was effective and fit for purpose.

 

The Chairman also reported that a site visited to the CCTV Control Room at Sherwood Lodge was undertaken on the 21st March to enable Panel Members and Officers to gain a better understanding of the system, how it operates, the staffing resources and examine the quality of the imaging.

 

Members were advised that the site visit was both interesting and beneficial and provided an insight into how the cameras were used and the quality of imaging that could be obtained, which included being able to zoom in to face level whilst retaining exceptional definition.

 

The Service Manager – Democratic and Scrutiny Services then proceeded to give a brief update to bring the new Members on the Panel up to speed with the review thus far. 

 

He explained that there were a number of action points that were agreed at the last meeting to progress the review however, due to the change in the political administration of the Council, these had not been undertaken.  He assured the Panel that plans were in place to reschedule this work and a series of informal meetings would be held with the Community Protection Team, Commercialism Team and any other relevant Departments to assist the Panel in their deliberations.

 

Furthermore, a second visit to the CCTV Control Room was being organised for any Panel Member wanting to view the format and ask questions of the operatives based there.

 

The Service Manager – Democratic and Scrutiny Services also informed the Panel that he had recently met with the Portfolio Holder who has the executive responsibility for Community Safety.  Going forward partnership meetings with stakeholders and the Portfolio Holder would be scheduled to discuss any concerns and questions that Members felt were relevant to the review. 

 

Additional information provided by the Service Manager – Community Safety was circulated to Members at the meeting in respect of the CCTV budget for 2017/18 and 2018/19 and data illustrating incident categories and CCTV statistics for the period April 2017 to April 2018.

 

The Chairman welcomed to the meeting Rebecca Whitehead, the Council’s Service Manager – Community Safety who was in attendance to provide an overview of the current CCTV provision and assist the Panel with the review and possible outcomes.

 

The Service Manager - Community Safety briefly outlined the current position in respect of the provision of CCTV.  She explained that Ashfield District Council’s CCTV function was managed by the Community Protection Service and was part of a collaborative working arrangement with Newark and Sherwood District Council and Broxtowe Borough Council. 

 

All the CCTV equipment in the District was replaced in 2012 which was an expensive but essential exercise to ensure that the system remained effective and fit for purpose.  Ashfield District Council have 29 wireless cameras across the 3 town centres and other key locations.  In addition, the use of rapid deployable cameras at hot spot locations are agreed on the basis of partnership need as opposed to reported demand/statistics.

 

The Service Manager - Community Safety emphasised that CCTV was used to both detect and deter crime and could also make people and communities feel safer.

 

Panel Members took the opportunity to ask questions of the Service Manager - Community Safety and in doing so discussed the following:-

 

·         CCTV technology and reviews;

·         Links with Nottinghamshire Police – should a financial contribution be sought from the Police towards the use/upkeep of the CCTV system?;

·         The potential to share information/costs with the Police and other Stakeholders should facial recognition equipment be installed;

·         The analysis of data to illustrate the effectiveness of providing CCTV across the District;

·         The potential to examine expanding the CCTV collaborative arrangement with other authorities to reduce ongoing costs;

·         The current position with regard to the operation of cameras at Junction 27;

·         The maintenance programme for the CCTV cameras;

·         The criteria established for rolling out rapid deployable cameras;

·         The use of covert CCTV;

·         The potential to install CCTV dummy cameras in specific areas.

 

The Chairman thanked the Service Manager - Community Safety for her attendance and contributions towards the scrutiny review.

 

The Service Manager – Democratic and Scrutiny Services informed the Panel that following the action points being resolved from the last meeting a series of recommendations would be presented to the next meeting of this Panel to consider and thereafter refer to Cabinet for their attention.

 

RESOLVED that in readiness for the next meeting the Service Manager – Democratic and Scrutiny Services be requested to:-

 

a)        arrange a further visit to the CCTV Control Room based at Sherwood Lodge to enable Panel Members to view the format and ask questions of the operatives based there;

 

b)        extend an invitation to the Council’s Commercialism Team to attend an informal meeting to offer their expertise in relation to any potential income opportunities within the commercial/private sector to provide CCTV monitoring and response services through the control room;

 

c)         extend an invitation to the Council’s Planning and Licensing Teams to attend an informal meeting to offer advice regarding the potential for securing mandatory CCTV provision for various types of business/commercial premises through its Licensing and Planning processes, thus endeavouring to increase coverage and help support future crime prevention measures within the District;

 

d)        extend an invitation to the Council’s Service Manager - Community Safety to attend an informal meeting to assist the Panel with the review and its possible outcomes;

 

e)        extend an invitation to the Community Protection Manager and Emergency Planning and CCTV Officer at Newark and Sherwood District Council to attend an informal meeting to brief Members on the activities undertaken in the development of the CCTV commercialism plan;

 

f)          extend an invitation to the Police as a stakeholder to attend an informal meeting to provide a viewpoint on how CCTV can help to support crime prevention measures, address anti-social behaviour and assist with crime investigations;

 

g)        Panel Members be requested to compile a series of questions for the informal meeting and forward these on to the Service Manager – Democratic and Scrutiny Services or Democratic Services Team.

 

 

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