St Albans City and District Council has published the Community CCTV Annual Report for 2012. The document gives an overview of public space CCTV operations during the year and highlights planned future improvements.
The Council has 99 public space CCTV systems across the district and there are also two systems, each consisting of four cameras, which are used on a redeployable basis at identified crime and anti-social behaviour hotspots.
A total of 5,131 incidents were dealt with as a result of the CCTV cameras in 2012, made up of 4,460 in St Albans and 671 in Harpenden. This equates to an average of 14 incidents per day across St Albans District and the figure for the year was up on the 4,694 recorded in 2011.
The report claimed the police were the highest source for incidents but pro-active patrolling by CCTV operators also generated a large number of incidents. Across St Albans District suspicious behaviour was the type of incident recorded most frequently, followed by shoplifting.
Councillor Beric Read, portfolio holder for Community Engagement and Localism at St Albans City and District Council, said the report shows that the use of CCTV is “bringing positive benefits” to the District.
He added: “The Council takes great care to ensure that law-abiding members of the community are not subject to intrusive surveillance. The system is used to help improve community safety by preventing and detecting crime or assisting with accidents or incidents of anti-social behaviour. “
Mark Loveday, neighbourhood inspector from Hertfordshire Constabulary, said: “We work closely with the Council and CCTV operators to detect and prevent a wide range of crimes and anti-social behaviour. CCTV also acts as a deterrent to reduce crime and help improve the safety of residents, workers and visitors to St Albans District.”
The Council outlined plans to upgrade the CCTV control room, providing funds were available. The upgrade would see outdated monitors replaced with flat screens utilising multi-media capability to provide better image quality and flexibility for CCTV operators.