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Agenda Item No 5

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

 

Homes and Safe Communities Scrutiny Committee: 8th  November 2017

 

Report of the Director of Environment and Housing

 

CCTV Provision within the Vale of Glamorgan

 

Purpose of the Report

  1. To provide an update regarding the current CCTV service provision within the Vale of Glamorgan following the service transfer to Bridgend County Borough Council (BCBC).

Recommendation

  1. That Committee notes the current arrangements for the provision of CCTV in the Vale.

Reason for the Recommendation

  1. To provide reassurance to Members regarding the CCTV provision in the Vale of Glamorgan following the service transfer to Bridgend County Borough Council (BCBC).

Background

  1. In 2013 Cabinet approved the development of a business case for transferring the operational function of CCTV from the Vale of Glamorgan Council to BCBC.
  2. Cabinet approved the Business Case on 20th October 2014, (Minute No. 2492 refers) and the operational CCTV service transferred and relocated to BCBC on 1st  April 2016.
  3. As part of the original business case it was agreed that the monitoring and strategic management the service would be held by the Vale of Glamorgan Council and would sit within the Community Safety Team.
  4. In September 2016 a number of operational problems with the service were noted, including a large number of faults with the camera stock. An improvement plan was agreed by Cabinet on the 3rd July (Minute No. 23) and has been implemented resulting in significant operational improvements. The service is now operating effectively and in line with service requirements.

Relevant Issues and Options

  1. There are currently 77 CCTV cameras across the Vale with 61 cameras located within the Barry area, 12 in Penarth and 4 in Llantwit Major.
  2. The cameras are actively monitored 125 hours per week by BCBC trained staff who liaise directly with the police when suspicious activity is witnessed. For the remaining 43 hours in the week the cameras will still be recording and if an incident occurs and the police require assistance, then a BCBC trained operator would be able respond on an agreed overtime rate.
  3. A new maintenance agreement for the cameras has been negotiated for both the Vale and Bridgend, resulting in an increased number of maintenance visits per year and improved call out times. The agreement also allows for 15 cameras to be prioritised under a fully comprehensive maintenance and service package, resulting in a same day engineer visit for faulty cameras.
  4. In order to monitor the service, a performance management framework has been agreed and will be provided to the Vale on a monthly basis. This will commence in September 2017 and provides information relating to:
  • Number of incidents
  • Number of 3rd party viewings
  • Number of playbacks over the telephone
  • Number of cameras not fully operational.
  1. Whilst CCTV is an excellent tool for preventing and detecting crime and disorder it is also very costly to install, maintain and monitor. It is not a statutory function for the Local Authority and therefore the expansion of CCTV relies heavily on the provision of external funding . Due to the reduced funding opportunities and costs, expansion of CCTV system is limited and is only considered in areas of high priority. There are other forms of crime prevention and detection that can be used in order to provide reassurance and incidents are managed on a case by case basis, to ensure that the most appropriate response is provided.
  2. In order to ensure that the service provided by BCBC is communicated and transparent with partners, and internally within the Local Authority, a number of engagement visits have taken place or are in the process of being organised. Ongoing meetings with South Wales Police are continuing to ensure that information exchange and priority areas maximise the use of the CCTV resource and Business PACT, Neighbourhood Watch Committee and Scrutiny Members have all been invited to see the system in operation.
  3. Publicity to involve the community in appeals for information and to inform them of the impact of CCTV is in the process of being drafted. It is hoped that this will raise awareness and assist further in the prevention and detection of crime and disorder.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

  1. The budget for the CCTV provision is due to be transferred to the Community Safety section in November 2017. The annual cost for the CCTV service (including maintenance and circuit charges) for the first year of the joint service is £91,220.

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

  1. Discussions are taking place between BCBC officers and Vale Council officers to identify ways to work together in order to provide more sustainable services.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

  1. BCBC is to provide the CCTV service on behalf of the Vale of Glamorgan. Regular monitoring meetings will take place to ensure service delivery is in line with contractual obligations.
  2. BCBC is to ensure that the Surveillance Camera Code of Practice is adhered to and complies with the following legislation:
  • Data Protection Act 1998
  • Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (RIPA) 2000
  • Protection of Freedom Act 2012.

Crime and Disorder Implications

  1. The primary function of CCTV is to prevent and detect crime and disorder. It also provides reassurance to community members to reduce their fear of crime and increase their feeling of a safe community.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

  1. There are no specific Equal Opportunities implications with this report.

Corporate/Service Objectives

  1. This report is consistent with the Corporate Objective of the Council.

Contributes to outcome 9 of the Community Strategy 2011 - 21 and the Wellbeing Outcome 1: An Inclusive and Safe Vale of the Corporate Plan 2016 - 20.

Policy Framework and Budget

  1. This is a matter that is within the policy framework and budget.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

  1. There are no specific implications for Ward Members as a result of this report.
  2. The Community Safety Partnership (Safer Vale) has been updated on the CCTV service development.

Background Papers

None

Contact Officer

Deborah Gibbs - Principal Community Safety Officer

Officers Consulted

Finance - Elinor Hughes

Legal - Sarah Burgess

Responsible Officer:

Miles Punter - Director of Environment and Housing

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