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Police Commissioner pledges extra funding for CCTV and monitoring hubs in Devon and Cornwall

Devon and Cornwall’s Police and Crime Commissioner Alison Hernandez has pledged an extra £200,000 funding to increase CCTV capacity across the force area and encourage the development of monitoring ‘hubs’.

Police Commissioner pledges extra funding for CCTV and monitoring hubs in Devon and Cornwall

The initiative is highlighted in her newly published Police and Crime plan.

“High quality and interconnected CCTV plays a major role in helping to keep people safe.” said Ms Hernandez

 “It is an invaluable resource for the police to investigate crime and enable emergency services to find and help vulnerable people.

 “I want to support local authorities to better monitor their existing systems. It’s very much about building them into a hub, where you’ve got excellent staff monitoring CCTV on behalf of local authorities. 

“This helps reduce the cost to them, it helps provide reassurance to the public, and it also protects police officers on the street and ensures we have some good evidence when we need it.” 

CCTV has a key role to play in supporting community safety:

•          Providing reassurance for the local community, including the public and officers working in those areas –    especially in the evening and night-time economy areas

•          Supporting police in investigations and detection

•          Contributing to the evidence base for civil actions – such as Public Space Protection Orders, premises closure notices and other orders to prevent Anti-Social Behaviour

•          Safeguarding vulnerable people – including lost children, individuals with mental health problems, elderly people who may have gone missing, individuals who have been drinking with friends and have become detached from them.

Local authorities can face challenges in establishing and maintaining local CCTV systems – in particular the capital purchase of equipment and the complexities and costs associated with monitoring systems.

A centralised CCTV monitoring hub and service is provided by Cornwall Fire and Rescue in Tolvaddon. With 9 Cornish towns currently connected in, and the capacity to extend it significantly, this initiative has already gone a long way towards rationalising CCTV provision in Cornwall.

 “I think this is a fantastic opportunity to team up with the Police and Crime Commissioner who is totally committed to the systems and is prepared to put money towards the capital investment of it.” said Cllr. Geoff Brown, Cornwall Council’s Cabinet member for Communities. 

“Not only does it benefit the fire service because we can monitor situations when there are fires, but we can collate the data for the police. This saves the police officers time when they can be better employed out on the streets.” 

The development of the Tolvaddon hub by Cornwall Council presents opportunities for other local authorities. The PCC will work with them to develop this model and to deliver similar interconnected systems in Devon. Her Investment Strategy is focused on supporting capital investment (not running costs) 

“I welcome the Commissioner's commitment to CCTV.” said Cllr. Tom Wright, East Devon District Council.  

 “East Devon District Council is taking the  opportunity afforded by the redevelopment of Exmouth Town Council building to explore with the PCC and other towns in the district how, by working together, we can achieve enhanced CCTV coverage throughout the district. There is no doubt good CCTV schemes are a deterrent and also provide valuable evidence post incident.”

 Alison Hernandez:

“I want to create safe, resilient and connected communities. That involves CCTV as well as police officers on the street helping to keep us safe. Let’s try and work with other partners to protect our communities. That’s what it’s all about.”

The PCC has invited councils to get in touch with her office if they wish to ask for financial and technical support.  David Eaton can be contacted at any time to discuss this opportunity.

How the PCC will look to support investment in CCTV

•          Commitment to support local authorities that wish to invest in CCTV systems.  

•          PCC’s approach will be to provide a contribution to capital investment costs (not revenue). The focus will be on supporting the creation of interconnected, high quality and sustainable systems.  

•          The PCC has committed to providing ‘up to £200,000’ over the lifetime of the Plan.  

•          The PCC will make investment decisions through a clear process – advised by a CCTV Investment Advisory Board.  

•          All local authorities will be given a further opportunity to express an interest in becoming a ‘hub’ and/or taking services from a hub.

•          Devon - the focus will be on delivering ‘monitoring hub’ capability across Devon and then supporting local authorities who wish to connect their CCTV systems into a ‘hub’. A range of options are being considered with partners – including the expansion of capacity at the existing CCTV centres and the creation of new monitoring hubs. 

•          Cornwall, the existing ‘hub’ at Tolvaddon has capacity and so the focus in Cornwall will be on supporting local authorities who wish to connect their CCTV systems into the ‘hub’.  If demand levels require an expansion of existing infrastructure at Tolvaddon then PCC contributions will be considered.

•          The Commissioner is not opposed to independent, volunteer led systems but the focus for the CCTV Investment Strategy in Year 1 remains on the creation of and connection to “hubs”. The potential to provide any wider support will be considered at the end of 2017/18.