Agenda item

CCTV Update

To receive a report providing an overview of the local position in respect of CCTV capabilities within Rotherham and upgrades of existing assets.


Consideration was given to an update report in respect of use of CCTV assets tactically throughout the Borough. The presentation included an overview of CCTV projects as well as case studies of CCTV results, particularly in respect of enforcement procedures around fly-tipping. The report provided an overview of the local position in relation to CCTV capabilities within Rotherham from existing assets, with a focus on upgrades utilising existing assets the Council already owns.


In discussion, Members requested more information around the procedure if perpetrators do not pay. The response from officers noted that the Courts chase the payment, and the Council monitors and ensures payment of fixed penalty notices.


Members requested information in respect of mean time to repair CCTV units. The response noted that average downtime was 4 weeks, with additional time to install. In future, the units will be interchangeable, so that one can be taken down and another put up in the same visit.


An example was provided by Members to illustrate a question around control and inventory of CCTV assets. The response from officers described an interactive map showing where assets are. The Home Office funding had resulted in acquisition of assets which become the Council’s own, which means that, in the short term, there was uneven distribution of assets, which were to become more evenly distributed in future.


Members also expressed interest in whether the CCTV cameras assist the police around speeding. The response noted that occasionally, enforcement around other types of infractions including parking enforcement and other nuisances have been assisted by CCTV technology, with potential for wider use as a deterrent.


The desire for Members to be informed of the location of CCTV assets in the wards was noted. Members were invited to get in touch with the service if they would like a demonstration or greater understanding of asset placement within wards.


Members also expressed interest in the best way to feed back information around perceptions of safety for women in Clifton Park. The response cited the new Community Safety Strategy, with a lead officer for each of several designated areas of focus. The service worked closely with the teams utilising the Towns and Villages Fund along with the Council’s own investment monies.


Members requested more information around the approach to planned maintenance. Officers conveyed that the service is looking into a longer-term maintenance contract, as currently, redeployable CCTV units are maintained on an ad hoc basis.


Some communities may underreport crime and anti-social behaviour; Members wished to know how the service takes this into account. The response from officers noted this is an area the service are keenly aware of, proactively utilising information and intelligence submissions that come into the service via a variety of channels. Officers emphasised the importance of residents to have the trust and confidence in the service to report issues.


More clarification was requested around the data collection and timescales to be able to show the effectiveness of CCTV. The response from Members noted the ambitious timescale, with just over a year until the first phase of this contract is due to be completed.


Further assurances were requested around timely repairs. The response illustrated that, without live viewing capability, it is only upon officers’ visiting a camera unit that it becomes noticeable that it requires repair. With live viewing, this will improve. This investment will be used to see a longer-term relationship with maintenance outcomes. If wards have purchased their own cameras, it could be useful to residents to understand the moneys required to support ongoing repair and maintenance, as the service works with ward members to resolve these needs on a ward by ward basis.


Members expressed interest in the potential benefits of having access to real-time footage of hotspots rather than reviewing. The response from officer noted that the South Yorkshire Police are responsible for staffing that area of the CCTV infrastructure. Those operators have plans to make use of a variety of approaches tailored for the specific area, such as virtual trip wires, such as on scrub land or waste land, drawing a virtual line around an area, that if crossed within a set time parameter beams live feed into an incident control room. These assets, however, are not redeployable.


Data protection before crime prosecution, seemed to Members an obstruction to the police which officers were invited to comment upon. The response noted that the Crime Disorder Reduction Act makes it clear that, where there is a clear use to deter crime, it is warranted to release certain information. The service works with information governance around this.


Members requested clarification in respect of environmental crime, if businesses and community buildings or private residents collect private CCTV footage, whether that information becomes usable. The response described how doorbell cams and dash cams can be used wherever possible; although, there is a balance in terms of how much time and resource can be used on small infractions or small fly tips. These often have to be backed up by a statement from the camera owner, and sometimes these images do not meet the threshold for quality.


Members also requested information around whether the cameras were insured. Officers noted that the Council only insures assets that are of a great enough value that it justifies the expense to insure. It was noted that people can now report through South Yorkshire Police to report crimes, for those who do not wish to call the 101 phone line.  




1.    That the report be noted.


2.    That valuable knowledge pertaining to the use of CCTV assets be made available to CAP meetings throughout the Borough.


3.    That the next update be submitted in 12 months or at an appropriate time, to include relevant timelines, targets, measurements of effectiveness, and plans and budgets for ongoing maintenance.


4.    That Members interested in a demonstration and briefing in respect of CCTV assets in their Wards reach out to the service leads to make arrangements. 





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