Police CCTV upgrade will boost response times and public protection

CCTV on side of building

CCTV Connectivity Investment - Credit: Sedgemoor District Council.

Police chiefs will get live access to more than 1,000 CCTV cameras across Avon and Somerset with a £200,000 upgrade to their system. 

Avon and Somerset Constabulary can currently only see real-time video from two council areas, with incidents in other areas flagged by radio by local authority control room staff. 

As the authorities upgrade their cameras from analogue to digital, the police’s ability to connect them fractures further. 

Avon and Somerset police and crime commissioner Sue Mountstevens has now signed off an upgrade to the force’s video management system that will cut response times and 'significantly' boost its ability to protect the public, its officers and staff. 

The decision notice says: “Dangers that officers and staff face policing in the UK are increasing and importantly CCTV will help to ensure Avon and Somerset police officer and staff safety.”

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There are some 1,000 CCTV cameras across Avon and Somerset, with more than 700 of them in Bristol.

Becky Tipper, the head of the force’s control room, said: “This has been a long-term project to improve access to live-time CCTV footage within our control room. 

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“At present we have 24/7 radio contact with all local authority CCTV control rooms who flag live-time incidents to us, assist with operational deployments and help provide footage for investigations and enquiries, all to help keep the public safe and bring offenders to justice. Our control room also has live-time access to CCTV systems within two local authority areas.

“Upgrading our video management system so we can connect with digital CCTV systems across our force area will give us more comprehensive live-time CCTV footage connectivity. 

“This will help us reduce response times even further, better protect the public and help us safeguard our officers and staff by carrying out real-time assessments of threat, harm and risk as incidents unfold.

“The new system will be live for Bristol and North Somerset by the end of April 2021 and will roll-out to include other local authority areas over the next two years. It will also enable us to connect with other key partners in the future, including the new Bristol Arena complex and Ashton Gate.”

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