(CCTV Shared Service Presentation)
The Chair reminded members that this Committee had considered the implementation of the CCTV review in January 2020 and at that point had requested that a post implementation review be brought back to this Committee in around 12 months time. The Chair introduced the Portfolio Holder for Regulatory and Community Safety, the Assistant Director, Neighbourhoods, the Head of Housing Management & Neighbourhood Resilience and the Head of Safety, Security and Emergency Planning at West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) (Mr Mark Babington).
The Assistant Director, Neighbourhoods provided an overview of the strategic objectives for the CCTV review and the partner role that CCTV played, together with other partners, in supporting the Tamworth Community Safety Plan, as well as an overview of the first 12 month delivery plan, the cross border collaboration, the digital access for the police and the capital upgrade which had been accelerated.
The Head of Housing Management confirmed that the shared service launched on 30 March 2020, at the start of the first lockdown, on budget and on time.
Further detail was provided to the Committee on the following areas:
· Better value for money – during year one savings remained on track to meet the expected £500,000 savings over five years.
· Improved and modernised service - the camera system had been reviewed and a new privacy impact assessment completed. The system was reported to be fully compliant with the Surveillance Camera Commissioners Code of Practice.
· Dedicated Tamworth operators, and the development of local intelligence – both initial and ongoing training for dedicated operators was undertaken to train operatives to build up their local knowledge as well as their knowledge of local services provided in respect of on call directors and facilitating access to the Castle toilets.
· Investment in the CCTV camera and infrastructure upgrade accelerated the majority of the cameras were upgraded in the first year and those remaining were expected to be upgraded early in the second year.
· Improved digital connectivity with the police – a digital link to facilitate efficient police access had been installed which was largely funded by the PCC, with the potential for an additional local access point in Tamworth to be installed subject to funding agreement.
· Intelligence led approach – a quarterly report process had been developed to identify and monitor trends and key geographic locations which could help inform wider community benefits.
· CCTV monitoring data intelligence – where it was reported that whilst the period, due to lockdown, had not been a typical period, the new service had identified key hotspot areas, where incidents and activities identified included anti-social behaviour, assault, medical issues and rough sleepers. In terms of activity, incidents were highest on Friday, Saturday and Sundays, requests from the police averaged 30 footage requests per quarter, whilst there were 25 camera faults per month these were all resolved within 48 hours.
· Camera and platform recording quality – the upgraded equipment had delivered significantly better image quality and better data, and together with that it was reported that the cameras had additional analytics capacity which could be utilised in time. It was also expected that as cameras were upgraded the level of faults would (and indeed had over the previous 12 months) declined.
· Continual improvement delivery plan – year two – this would include reviewing the location of cameras, reviewing emergency planning resilience, looking at the capability of the cameras from an analytics perspective, working collaboratively with the Partnership against Business Crime in Staffordshire (PABCIS) and looking at the Council’s own CCTV accreditation.
The Committee sought and received clarification in the following areas:
· Partnership working with the police in respect of the implementation and ongoing delivery of the CCTV service as a tool for the police where the Assistant Director confirmed to the Committee that support had been requested in three areas; digital access; live streaming, and airwave radio access, and digital access and radio access had been resolved and was working, and that discussions on live streaming and additional digital access points was continuing.
· The local knowledge of the CCTV operators - it was confirmed that no existing staff had transferred over the shared service, however, there were dedicated staff at the new control centre and significant work had been undertaken to develop the local knowledge of such staff, in addition to them having access to data mapping technology.
· The extent of cross border collaboration - such collaboration remained an objective and was a particular focus in terms of transport across borders, and additionally staff at WMCA were members of public sector associations which supported collaboration with Officers at neighbouring authorities operating CCTV services.
· Funding of digital access for the police – it was reported that the majority of this funding had been from PCC sources.
· Location of cameras and Quality assurance / accreditation – an emphasis was requested on the evaluation of the location of cameras across the borough to reflect developments since the initial location of cameras, including in neighbourhood areas as well as the town centre. The Officers highlighted the role that self-assessment processes played, which were part of any accreditation process, in driving improvement and the deployment of cameras.
· Deployable cameras – whilst this was an area under consideration, and the camera system was scalable, there remained further work to do.
· Working with other partners – close working with the county council and the police continued to be important together with the CCTV service to deliver as safe an environment as possible.
RESOLVED that the Committee:
1. Noted the successful implementation of the new CCTV service and the major steps forward and thanked Officers and partners; and
2. Invited officers and partners to provide a further update to the Committee in September 2021.
(Moved by Councillor Dr S Peaple and seconded by Councillor S Goodall)
The Officers and guests for this item then left the meeting.