Sunday, 29 November 2015

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Cumbria CCTV network would be among biggest in UK

Police chiefs say a planned Cumbria-wide CCTV network would be one of the UK’s biggest.

Bernard Lawson photo
Bernard Lawson

Top-level documents show the proposed system is set to go live next year, and would run from a modern central control room at the county force’s headquarters near Penrith.

It is being heralded as positive news, as bosses believe the system should be “sustainable into the next decade” – whereas previously it was feared there would be no system at all.

A report from Cumbria’s chief constable, Bernard Lawson, to the county’s crime commissioner, Richard Rhodes, gives an update on the plan, which has been worked on for some months.

Documents say the proposed locations for the core system of cameras are likely to be in Workington, Maryport, Whitehaven, Carlisle, Penrith, Kendal and Barrow.

Firm details have yet to emerge about the costs involved, but plans show it would be “a centrally managed, 54-camera, county-wide CCTV system, operated by Cumbria Constabulary”.

The move would be a new development for a service up to now run by local authorities that came under threat in the wake of cash cuts.

Live monitoring of Carlisle’s system was stopped as a result. The network continues to record.

The city council is not alone in making cuts, with other authorities switching off cameras or systems facing the axe.

Police chiefs have been talking to the district councils, with the local authorities, the office of the crime commissioner and the force all poised to chip in to costs.

Mr Lawson says in the report that CCTV has played “a crucial role in delivering a safe and secure environment for people who live, work and visit Cumbria”.

“CCTV deters criminals,” he said. “It provides invaluable evidence to support investigations – particularly serious violent crimes – and helps bring offenders to justice.”

He says operators will work with beat teams to prevent and detect crime.

“Local policing teams will be able to use and operate the system from dedicated terminals or mobile terminals to support directed policing operations,” added Mr Lawson.

“Evidence will be gathered and stored digitally, offering the opportunity to deal with offenders quickly and at less cost to the criminal justice system.

“This initiative will create one of the largest CCTV systems in the United Kingdom in terms of its geographic reach.

“It will be modern and cost-effective. It will be sustainable for the long-term.

“The proposal is that the system will go live during 2014-15.”


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