Whittlesey – CCTV

After last weeks Town Council meeting, where I hoped there would be a ‘robust’ debate on whether our pretty substantial contribution to Fenland/Whittlesey CCTV was:
1/ Value for money.
2/ How effective the system is.
3/ Whether the Police are supporting the system.

There was NO robust debate on this occasion.

I have been asked by someone ‘anonymous’ to clarify my comments…no problem..

As chairman of Whittlesey Neighbourhood Watch, I am guided by its members and as such relay any concerns they may have.
One has to look at the Pro’s and Con’s of Town Centre CCTV systems.

1. Deter Crime.
This is the biggest and the most obvious benefit of installing security cameras.
Once they are placed, you will be able to see their effect on people almost immediately.
Even if they are placed discreetly, you will start feeling a sense of security, which is priceless.
The mere sight of the camera staring back at would be criminals and the sheer thought of getting caught red-handed are intimidating enough for mischief-makers to be on their best behaviour as they would know that their identity and illegal activity have been captured.

2. Monitor Scenarios and Activities.
Fenlands CCTV system is a 24/7 365 operation based in a ‘secret’ location – Wisbech

3. Gathering Evidence.
Having cameras installed in strategic places comes in handy when you need to monitor actions of people or during an event. High-quality video capabilities, the clear images makes them more efficient than ever at recording a series of happenings.
This is particularly helpful when dealing with a legal scenario, wherein the eye witness may have forgotten a certain important detail or may be providing with an accurate account of what really transpired.
With a security camera, the legal authorities can see the series of events as they really unfolded.
Incorrect, inappropriate or fabricated claims made by suspects can be sorted out

4/Maintain Records.
As previously stated , FDC’s CCTV system provides recordings 24/7 365 days….and is manned 24/7

1. Privacy
For information about this subject please read link – Information Commissioners Office.https://ico.org.uk/for-the-public/cctv/
New RIPA Rules

All councils have to abide by ‘rules’

2. Cost.
Town Councils who subscribe to the system have to pay for a service level agreement which in Fenlands case lasts for 3 years.

3. Vulnerability.
Clever and not so clever low life/criminals know many ways to circumvent CCTV, we have been subjected to this in the past. I’ll not go into the technicalities here but it doesn’t take a lot to find ‘how’ to avoid being ‘captured’

4. Missing information.
Fenlands system is getting quite ‘old’ and as far as I am aware does not have a 360° capability. Camera’s on occasions pointing in the wrong direction when incidents occur.
Fogging and misting up has been issues in the past.

The above is not a conclusive argument for or against the system and only highlights part of the scenario –

Only last week – Chatteris Town Council singed up for a ‘New’ 3 year Service Level Agreement with FDC.
I would ‘think’ that Whittlesey will follow at next months Town Council meeting – that doesn’t stop – Robust debate – and that’s how I started the argument.

If you are interested in helping keep your neighbourhood/street safe with your neighbours, why not join Whittlesey Neighbourhood Watch contact me – my details are on the top tool bar.

or –
Come along to the next NHW meeting at:
Whittlesey Town Council Offices (side door – up the stairs)
Grosvenor House (Opposite the Bus Station/stop)
on –
Friday 24th November at 7pm

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