Salford City Council uses a Cadcorp solution, based upon Ordnance Survey mapping, to locate and access information from CCTV cameras for crime and disorder prevention, detection and deterrence.
It is thought that there is now in excess of four million CCTV cameras capturing images across Great Britain. Salford City Council was aware that there were hundreds of publicly and privately run CCTV cameras across their region, which could all be potentially used for crime and disorder reduction, but they were unable to accurately locate them, ascertain each camera’s technical capabilities or use them in real-time investigations. Salford was keen to see how many ‘external’ CCTV systems operators they could gain access to and whether they could subsequently save on the deployment of additional council-operated systems.
Cadcorp’s CCTV Mapping System, underpinned by geographic information from Ordnance Survey, provides registered users with the tools to manage and share CCTV information in their area and access camera details across a wider community. The system has been designed and developed to meet emerging national requirements and standards relating to CCTV information. The system allows local authorities, emergency services and other crime and disorder reduction agencies rapid access to all the available CCTV information within their area of interest, using a simple web interface that includes navigation via familiar map tools and drop-down menu options.
Salford City Council now has at least 660 cameras (report of Salford’s Neighbourhoods Overview and Scrutiny Committee, 21 September 2009) in their system with detailed field of view information for 438, and individuals and organisations are encouraged to add details of their systems through the Council’s web pages.
An examination of the incidents log for the CCTV Control Services shows that during the months of January to October 2009 (inclusive) the CCTV operators dealt with a total of 2 900 incidents of crime and antisocial behaviour, with recorded footage assisting in 197 arrests.
The Salford System includes 260 council cameras and over 300 ‘other’ cameras, and now boasts some 178 users and has the capacity to host information for all of the 10 Greater Manchester Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnerships.
In a short period of time, and for an investment of less than the cost of a single new pole-mounted CCTV camera, Salford Council has implemented a system that provides great benefit to itself and its partners, which aids in crime detection and which further benefits crime prevention and CCTV network planning.
Those who monitor the systems are benefiting from better quality and better informed requests; and those who need access to footage have a far better idea of where to look and the likely quality and availability of any footage.
- Optimisation in the planning, investment and development of CCTV coverage (each camera costs approximately £100 000 to commission).
- Easier sharing of information between numerous organisations, quickly and efficiently.
- Faster response times to disturbances and antisocial behaviour.
- Improved crime prevention, detection and deterrence.
- Greater private company and individual ‘buy-in’ for crime and disorder reduction.
- Reduced time to identify cameras that may monitor incidents.
- The ability to define access routes and determine the potential of camera footage.