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The Safer Runnymede Control Centre in Addlestone monitors the CCTV cameras used in about 20,000 incidents a year. It receives over 20,000 Careline calls a year, about 2,000 calls for out of hours services a year, and receives alarm activations from council premises. The Safer Runnymede 2015 CCTV annual report, by Safer Runnymede manager Les Bygrave, shows how public space CCTV users are required to show that their systems run in accordance with the Surveillance Camera Commissioners’s code of practice, accepting that gaining and keeping public support for CCTV is vital; and give an insight into how those users are working with others on CCTV, to make the most of footage.
A dual system of council and police fibre cabling gives the CCTV control room access to council and police networks/phones and radios. Besides the 24-7 monitoring of the cameras in the Surrey borough, similarly the council provides a dedicated operator to monitor the cameras in nearby Spelthorne, and Elmbridge and Epsom and Ewell. The control room also works for Thorpe Park and at St Peter’s and Ashford NHS Trust Hospitals during out-of-office hours. According to the report, a partnership with local train operator South West Trains expanded when Runnymede gained the Elmbridge, Epsom and Ewell contract that gave the ability to look at a wider number of stations in North West Surrey.
As for the value of CCTV, the report points to searches for missing people – whether the very young or the elderly or sick. “It is often difficult to place a tangible result on these events but as well as possibly preventing a tragedy and reducing emotional stress for the relatives, there are also considerable known savings to police resources.” Cameras also provide evidence of road traffic accidents; and identify town centre management problems such as rubbish, graffiti or broken street furniture so that such issues are dealt with ‘often before reports are received from the public’.
To view the nine-page report visit https://www.runnymede.gov.uk/.
Pictured by Mark Rowe; Runnymede, site of the signing of Magna Carta in 2125.