This report provides information on the progress of the CCTV improvement programme being carried out by Medway Council.
The Committee received a report setting out information on the progress of the CCTV improvement programme being carried out by the Council.
The Committee discussed the report and in response to questions, the Director Regeneration, Culture, Environment and Transformation and Deputy Chief Executive agreed that subject to the agreement of the Portfolio Holder, a list of all CCTV camera locations on a Ward by Ward basis would be circulated. However, he stressed that this information was required to be treated as confidential and should not be shared or circulated for crime prevention purposes.
The Head of Regulatory Services informed the Committee that when determining the removal or replacement of individual CCTV cameras, officers were required to have regard to the Information Commissioner’s Guidance on the location of CCTV cameras, the activity and functionality of each camera and whether they breached privacy regulations by virtue of their location. He advised that some cameras had been in place for many years and their location meant that they now breached privacy regulations as a result of recent nearby developments and, as such, were required to be removed.
He informed the Committee that both the Police and the Community Safety Partnership had worked with officers in reviewing the need for each CCTV camera, based on individual merits. He stated that even if a CCTV camera had been removed, the infrastructure had been left in place so that a rapid deployment camera could be provided if there was a spike in anti-social behaviour or criminal activity. The priority areas for the use of CCTV cameras were the High Streets, those areas with a night-time economy and transport hubs.
Any cameras that were not functioning were required to be removed in accordance with the Information Commissioner’s Guidance.
The Head of Regulatory Services gave an assurance that the CCTV improvement programme had been completed within budget.
A Member referred to Minute 593 of the meeting of the Committee on 6 December 2018 and asked whether Medway Commercial Group (MCG) had provided copies of the information that it claimed to have supplied to
the Council in 2017 on the condition of the CCTV camera stock.
In response, the Assistant Director Frontline Services informed the Committee that whilst correspondence had been provided by MCG, this did not include the information referred to by MCG in December 2018. Officers had therefore submitted a further request to MCG for the information but owing to the review currently taking place this information had not yet been provided.
A Member referred to discussions at the meeting of the Committee on 28 March 2019 and confirmed that those issues concerning the cost of the CCTV improvement programme, the lack of information from MCG and the scope of the project had now been addressed and he thanked officers for the work undertaken to resolve these issues. However, he expressed concern that there was currently insufficient information to enable the Committee to scrutinise Priority 4 of the improvement programme covering Rainham, Strood, Luton, Parkwood and the Peninsula and he requested that a briefing note be provided setting out information on this element of the CCTV Improvement Programme along with information as to the future maintenance of the CCTV stock.
The Head of Regulatory Services informed the Committee that officers were in the process of re-negotiating the core contract concerning future maintenance of CCTV stock and therefore he was unable to comment upon the contract at this meeting. However, he reported that officers were notified of any issues with CCTV cameras within 30 minutes of any issues arising and he praised MCG for its response to a recent problem with a particular camera.
It was appreciated that officers were unable to comment upon current contractual negotiations concerning future repairs and maintenance of the CCTV camera stock and it was suggested that a briefing note be provided at a future date when these negotiations had been concluded.
The Committee expressed its appreciation to the Head of Regulatory Services and his team for the work undertaken on the CCTV Improvement Programme and the new business relationship with MCG.
a) noted the positive progress made on the CCTV improvement programme as it draws to a close.
b) agreed that the Committee receive a briefing note setting out information as to the re-negotiated contract with MCG once this had been finalised.
c) agreed that subject to the agreement of the Portfolio Holder, Members be provided with a Briefing Note setting out information as to CCTV cameras in their Wards, it being noted that this information must be treated as confidential and therefore not shared or circulated.
d) agreed that further information on Priority 4 of the CCTV Improvement Programme be provided to the Committee by way of a briefing note.