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Plans for major upgrade to enhance and extend CCTV coverage in the town

To replace the existing analogue system with an advanced digital platform

Date issued: 21 January 2020

Colchester Borough Council’s Cabinet is set to discuss plans to install and extend a new state-of-the-art digital CCTV system in the Town Centre, when it meets on 29 January.

Members will look at proposals to replace the existing analogue CCTV network with a modern, high-definition digital monitoring system.

Under the proposals, £250k of funding would be allocated to replace the existing analogue system with an advanced digital platform with new and additional capability and capacity to monitor areas in the Town Centre and beyond, including Castle Park and the Northern Gateway.

The current network of cameras, covering more than 100 locations, is monitored day and night by a team of operators working across both CCTV and the Helpline service and is managed and operated by Colchester Amphora Trading Ltd (CATL).

If agreed, CATL would deliver and continue to operate the new digital system, utilising ultrafast fibre infrastructure being rolled out following a successful bid, on behalf of the council, for £3.45m from the Government’s Local Full Fibre Network Fund to improve Colchester’s digital connectivity.

Councillor Theresa Higgins, Portfolio Holder for Commercial Services, said: “We are committed to investing in our Town Centre, to make it a safer and even more welcoming place where people feel comfortable to shop and enjoy their leisure time.

“Our ongoing work to deliver ultrafast broadband across the borough will enable us to deliver new state-of-the-art digital CCTV more economically than would have otherwise been possible.

“We know our current analogue cameras are coming to the end of their life span and don’t always provide clear enough images to help the police with prosecutions. If approved, the new digital system will play a key role in helping to reduce crime and the fear of crime across the Town Centre and other locations in the borough not yet served by existing CCTV.

“We recognise that CCTV can divide opinion, but residents and visitors should be reassured that we will continue to adhere strictly to the Codes of Practice that regulate public surveillance, to help prevent and detect crime and antisocial behaviour, protect vulnerable individuals and promote social and economic wellbeing, which are so important for any successful and thriving community.”

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