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Colchester’s new digital CCTV system lauded by community safety partners

PUBLISHED: 5 October 2021

 
Colchester Borough Council has transformed its traditional CCTV system into a new state-of-the-art, high-definition digital monitoring system for the town centre and beyond.
 
Now complete, the improved system is already playing a key role in the prevention and detection of crime across the Town Centre, with clearer images to identify suspects and fast communication between operatives and Essex Police.
 
The CCTV transformation programme was project-managed by Colchester Amphora Trading Ltd (CATL), the council’s commercial company. Despite the challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic, it was completed on time and within budget.

Significant cost savings were achieved by aligning the project to the roll-out of ultrafast fibre broadband infrastructure, a project funded through £3.45m from the Government’s Local Full Fibre Network Fund to improve Colchester’s digital connectivity. This saw the installation of new digital cameras undertaken alongside LFFN installation on a location-by-location basis and utilising a single contractor.

Cllr Beverley Oxford, Portfolio Holder for Communities, said: “This is a vital transformation project for Colchester. Investing in digital technology to replace aging analogue cameras ensures our Town Centre continues to be a safe and welcoming place for people to shop and enjoy their leisure time.

“This project was made possible by seizing the opportunity to align the delivery of this upgrade with the installation of ultrafast broadband across the borough. This enabled us to introduce state-of-the-art digital CCTV more economically than would have otherwise been possible.”

An expanded network of cameras, with enhanced functionality, now covers new locations not previously served by CCTV. A team of skilled operators, working across CATL’s CCTV service, monitor cameras day and night, liaising directly with Essex Police.

Chief Inspector Rob Huddleston, District Commander for Colchester, added: “This is really positive for the safety and wellbeing of people living, working and studying in Colchester.

“State-of-the-art CCTV means incidents taking place in the town centre can be identified more clearly and quickly allowing better and faster communication between the CCTV operators and our officers.

“It means that we are more likely to be able to identify suspects because the images are clearer and that means we stand a better chance of getting justice for victims of crime.”

Pam Donnelly, Chair of the Safer Colchester Partnership, said: “We welcome the introduction of this new advanced CCTV system in Colchester. Extending and improving the CCTV coverage of the town centre will enhance public spaces and assist in deterring crime and anti-social behaviour. People should feel reassured the cameras will help play a significant part in making the borough an even safer and more attractive place for residents, businesses and visitors alike.”

CATL adheres 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.

Image shows,
L to R: Chief Inspector Rob Huddleston, Essex Police District Commander for Colchester; Cllr Beverley Oxford, Portfolio Holder for Communities; and Wayne Powell, Amphora Operations Manager (CCTV), at the upgraded control centre
 

Page last reviewed: 5 October 2021

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