So how useful is CCTV in the city? By day, CCTV can help out with; shoplifters, burglaries, drugs pushers, car break-ins, harassment, anti-social behaviour, RTC's (road traffic collisions), hold-ups, lost children, truants and street crime. By night, the falling-down drunks, the fights, the kind of crazy antics people get up to when they think they're not being watched, particularly after the clubs have closed. What they don't realise is that they are being watched. Better than that, it's being recorded from the control room in case it is needed at a later date.
The cameras – and there are 66 of them placed in strategic locations throughout the City Centre, they play a major role in cutting down on crime and especially the fear of crime. But crime isn't necessarily what it's all about. We use CCTV for lots of vital day-to-day services: calling for ambulances if operators spot someone falling over or being taken ill, monitoring flood levels at hard-to-reach locations, tracking missing or lost children, calling assistance to help broken-down vehicles to prevent them interrupting traffic flow, monitoring car parks and summoning police help to stop an incident becoming a crime.
In hardware terms alone, the statistics are impressive: 62 PTZ (pan, tilt, zoom) cameras strategically placed around the City centre, every one with 360o pan facility, 625-line TV quality, 23x optical zoom, colour optimising and 3.6-90m focal length. All are a ‘low light enabled" giving an effective infra red type colour picture even in the dead of night.
The control room operates 24/7, from the 1st May 2011 all CCTV images are viewed from a control room at Pershore, Worcester City Council entered into a Service Level Agreement with Wychavon District Council and look forward to successful CCTV monitoring over the coming months. Control room operators each have the ability to switch from camera to camera at the touch of a button, all linked in to the police radio system, Citynet and NightSafe.
There are also another 58 cameras in St Martins Gate car park alone - even in the lifts - and a similar facility in Crowngate which is operated privately but is linked into ours. In fact Worcester city car parks are amongst the safest in the country.
So wherever you are in the City, even down some of the alleyways, you're in the range of at least two cameras. Public safety is the most important thing and there no shortage of incidents supporting the advantages of CCTV and its impact on deterring crime in Worcester.
The best advice is: don't change your habits, by all means go out and have a good time, but at the same time, feel comforted that the cameras are there for your benefit.
On the other hand, if you are of a mind to misbehave, think twice. You probably will be ‘captured on camera'!
For more information please contact Safer & Stronger Communities
Community Safety Officer
TEL: 01905 722437