15 March 2010>
CCTV is playing a vital role in helping ensure that Caerphilly county borough remains a safe place to live, work and visit.
Operators at Caerphilly County Borough Council monitor over 150 cameras throughout the borough 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, and are keen to highlight how effective CCTV is in detecting criminal and anti-social behaviour and disorder.
One instance where CCTV proved particularly useful in detecting criminal behaviour was during an incident in Bargoed recently where a male was spotted on CCTV passing a substance to a female, who then both snorted the substance.
The CCTV operators immediately contacted officers from Gwent Police and gave them a detailed description of the man. Gwent Police Officers stop-searched the male and found drugs about his person. This male was arrested for supplying drugs, and later received a three-year sentence.
Another instance involved CCTV operators witnessing a burglary from a charity shop. They contacted Gwent Police with a detailed description, and officers were then able to identify and arrest the male for the offence.
Cllr Lyn Ackerman said, "Our team of CCTV operators work tirelessly to ensure that our towns and villages are monitored 24 hours a day, and the way in which the operators responded to these particular incidents illustrates just a few examples of how effective CCTV is in helping to further tackle anti-social and criminal behaviour in Caerphilly county borough."
As well as monitoring over 150 CCTV cameras borough-wide, the CCTV operators also have control of a series of 'talking' CCTV cameras, which enable them to issue a warning to people involved in an incident via a speaker system that their behaviour is being monitored, and that where necessary, the police will be/have been called.
These speaker systems have been used effectively on a number of occasions, and in most cases have diffused the situation completely.
In addition, the council also have 12 deployable cameras, called OSCARs, which offer even greater opportunities for more flexible deployment, as well as two mobile CCTV vehicles that can be deployed to 'hotspot' locations as and when required.
Help buttons linking straight to Caerphilly's CCTV operators have also been installed at Blackwood bus station to aid passengers calling for help. The buttons, which are there to increase public safety, are located throughout the bus station and when pressed, CCTV cameras zoom in on the area and allow control room staff to talk to the person who presses the button, via an intercom system.
For further information, please visit the Safer CCB website.
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