Highland CCTV Review (28/04/08)

A paper was presented at the Inverness City Committee today giving members an update on the CCTV system in the city and advising them that a comprehensive review of the city system will be undertaken as part of a Highland review.  The review will look at improvements needs to increase the effectiveness of CCTV cameras, and a strategic improvement plan will be drafted.  Members comments on this plan will be sought after it is presented at a future city committee.  City members have already approved the installation of CCTV cameras for Ness Islands and a further report on the technical options and costs for the installation will also be prepared
The Highland wide review will involve looking at the technical options and investigating the investment required to meet the needs of Highland communities.

Currently there are 9 separate CCTV systems in Highland, incorporating 96 cameras in Thurso, Wick, Tain, Invergordon, Dingwall, Muir of Ord, Inverness, Nairn and Fort William.  Most of these systems were originally installed through local initiatives and fund-raising by local CCTV Partnerships involving public and business interests. They are all separate systems, installed by different suppliers.  In 2002 The Highland Council adopted these separate systems and has already invested in improvements and upgrades.

The Highland Council now works in partnership with Northern Constabulary to run the Public Space CCTV initiative in Highland.  The Council is the owner of the systems with Northern Constabulary registered as the Data Manager of the systems, controlling the management of images within the Data Protection Act requirements.

The report presented to Inverness members explained that in the city there are 29 cameras covering almost all entry and exit routes and main pedestrian areas, making it the largest “self contained” system.  Images from the city cameras are routed to a central matrix in the city centre then conveyed to the control room at the Police Station on Burnett Road.  Approval was given in January 2007 to extend the system to include 2 additional cameras at Ness Islands.  Investigations are on-going concerning the most appropriate technology to use to cover this area and also looking at taking into account the changing City Streetscape.

The Highland annual revenue cost in 2007-08 was £173,000 which was met by contributions from the Council, Government Community Safety Fund and Inverness and Tain Common Good Funds.  The report highlighted to members, that CCTV technology is rapidly changing and further investment is required for installing new equipment as well as increasing funds to cover maintenance costs and the revenue costs for providing a monitoring service.

A working group is being established between The Highland Council and Northern Constabulary to undertake the Highland wide review and their findings will be reported back to the City Committee.


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