A brand new report shows how effective West Lancashire Borough Council’s CCTV operations are in helping to keep crime low in the borough.
Over the last five years the Council has invested heavily in the public open space system and expanded the scheme to install cameras in areas which previously had no coverage. The authority has just published its annual report on the CCTV it operates, and key achievements highlighted for 2015/16 include:
Public Open Space CCTV cameras can act as a deterrent and can assist in the identification of people or vehicles involved in criminal activity. Many of the newer cameras are located near to roads on West Lancashire’s borders and are helping to tackle travelling criminals intent on committing crimes in West Lancashire.
The Council currently operates 104 public open space cameras and these are monitored 24 hours a day 365 days each year. Nine of these have been installed over the past year to provide an even wider coverage with the aim of making West Lancashire an even safer place.
Councillor Kevin Wright, Portfolio Holder for Community Safety said: "The report underlines the tremendous value for money the system and its operators provide. The experience of the operators and their close working relationship with the police helps to ensure we achieve great results from our system, and the staff deserve great praise for their efforts.
“CCTV can deter criminals and help the public feel safe, and 79% of respondents to the 2016 West Lancashire Citizen Survey agree that West Lancashire is a safe and secure place to live. West Lancashire is a safe place to live and work and we want to ensure this continues for years to come."
West Lancashire Police Inspector June Chessell said: “Lancashire Constabulary fully support the use of CCTV and it can assist us in providing key evidence. I am extremely impressed with the WLBC scheme which continues to go from strength to strength.
“The operators also perform a key task in relation to preventing crimes and perform a vital link between the streets of West Lancashire and ourselves. My officers regularly visit the suite and look at the footage.”
One of the issues the Council must have due regard to is the privacy of private residents. The software that is used allows for parts of the CCTV image to be completely blanked out. There are several existing cameras where privacy settings are installed to completely blank out windows or whole houses so that residents' privacy is ensured. If you have any comments about privacy in relation to existing cameras, please email email@example.com.