Agenda item

Non-Key Decision

Minutes:

The Service Manager for Scrutiny and Democratic Services presented the recommendations from Scrutiny Panel B in relation to the Council’s CCTV provision and its impact within the communities of Ashfield.

 

Two visits had been made to the CCTV Control Room at Sherwood Lodge to view both daytime and night-time operations and an informal Working Group meeting had taken place with representatives from Planning, Licensing, Communications, Community Safety, Commercial Development and the Police to further consider key lines of enquiry that had emerged from earlier Panel discussions.

 

It was acknowledged through the informal Working Group that any commercial development opportunities were not available at the present time and that the Council could better utilise its communications team to raise awareness of the Council’s CCTV provision and improve the public’s perception of its remit and benefits.

 

Cabinet were also informed that Panel Members had raised concerns that the out-of-hours call handling service, as facilitated by the Sherwood Lodge Control Room, could be better managed to enable the Operatives to spend less time responding to non-urgent calls and more time monitoring CCTV. The Control Room handled around 3,000 out-of-hours calls for the Council in 2018 and although many calls were pertinent, the majority concerned non-CCTV related issues such as Council Tax enquiries and repairs thus diverting staff on numerous occasions from their main duties.

 

The Chairman took the opportunity to thank the Service Manager for Scrutiny and Democratic Services and the Scrutiny Research and Support Officer for their detailed, informative report and reiterated the Council’s commitment towards the ongoing delivery of an effective and responsive CCTV provision.

 

RESOLVED that

a)    an investigation into the cost and benefits of upgrading cameras located on the Council’s parks to incorporate HD/infra-red capabilities and to continue exploring new advances in camera technology (both mobile and fixed), be approved;

 

b)    an evaluation exercise be undertaken without delay to consider the relocation of the three cameras identified within the report as being underperforming;

 

c)    public awareness of the Council’s CCTV provision be enhanced via all available platforms including social media, website and press releases;

 

d)    an ongoing commitment be secured towards increasing collaboration with the Police and gaining more analytical support from them as required;

 

e)    the feasibility and benefits of installing a call filtering system at the Sherwood Lodge Control Room to facilitate more time monitoring cameras and responding to relevant issues rather than answering a diverse range of non-urgent out-of-hours calls, be explored;

 

f)     further work be undertaken to enhancing the CPO work tasking programme based on real time CCTV evidence as reported, thus ensuring the correct level of enforcement capabilities are primarily available at any required point of need;

 

g)    the conclusions of the additional review of locations and camera upgrades be reported back to Scrutiny Panel B in due course.

 

Reason:

Consideration of Ashfield District Council’s CCTV scheme was added to the Scrutiny Workplan in September 2017 for review.

 

(During consideration of this item, Councillor Robert Sears-Piccavey left the room at 11.24 a.m. and returned to the meeting at 11.26 a.m.  Councillor Christian Chapman also left the meeting at 11.35 a.m.)

 

 

Supporting documents: