Bournemouth’s CCTV system is getting a £268,000 upgrade. As part of its Safer Communities programme, the council is upgrading the recording and monitoring facilities.
The Synectics system is being upgraded from MPEG-2 to H.264 which will involve replacing the servers and video encoders.
The council will also replace all the review clients, keyboards and monitors in the control room and three other sites connected to the system.
Councillor David Smith, Cabinet Member for Communities, said: “Bournemouth’s CCTV system is an extremely effective tool in improving community safety and reducing crime and disorder in the town. We work closely with the police in the operation and use of CCTV footage and this technology plays an essential part in providing vital evidence in order to successfully prosecute.
“CCTV is a cost effective tool for the Council and the police and so it’s important we invest now to ensure that the standard of our CCTV equipment is maintained so that we can continue to tackle anti-social behaviour in Bournemouth.”
Martyn Webster, Visual Images, Identification & Detections Officer (VIIDO) at Dorset Police, said: “CCTV is a vital element in the investigative process and assists the police in a number of ways. It has helped on numerous occasions in convicting offenders from simple public order matters to more serious offences. The CCTV operators work in close harmony with police officers in responding to incidents and can give an early indication of potential problems and in many cases they can be resolved before they escalate further.”
Tony Gleason, CCTV manager at Bournemouth, told us that the money represented a welcome and sizeable investment by the council in the CCTV system.
The cameras on the beachfront are next in line to be upgraded he said, with the current PTZ units being replaced by Predator 360 cameras with white light illuminators. They’ve been trialling a unit on the beachfront for several months now and have been very pleased with the results, he said.
Bournemouth is one of the oldest public area CCTV systems in the UK, with the first 49 units going live in 1985. Today the system comprises 150 cameras monitored by two operators 24/7.
In the Spring 2011 edition of CCTV Image magazine, the director of the CCTV User Group revealed these statistics regarding the effectiveness of Bournemouth CCTV in crime reduction:
- Total incidents logged: 10,825
- Operator generated by pro-active monitoring: 2,238
- Arrests viewed by operators: 949
- Arrests made as a result of calls by operators: 451
- Viewings of video footage by police: 1,386
- Discs seized: 1,116
- Persons charged where relevant CCTV evidence was included: 1,115
These include 292 public order offences, 205 assaults, 95 thefts, 60 cases of criminal damage, 22 burglaries, 22 assaults on police, 17 cases of possession of drugs with intent to supply and 15 robberies.