3.0 Current Position 6
4.0 Priorities 8
4.1 Increased efficiency & Income Generation
4.2 Operational Effectiveness
4.3 Effective Partnerships with Nottinghamshire
4.4 Customer Relationships
4.5 Marketing, Communication & Consultation
4.6 Performance Management
4.7 Protecting Council Property & Employees
4.8 Expand CCTV control room contribution
to community safety
5.0 Operational Requirements 14
6.0 Monitoring Delivery of Strategy 16
1 Camera Locations 17
2 Delivery Plan 19
Introduction and Background
This report provides a strategic plan for development of Mansfield District Council’s (The Council) Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) scheme for the three year period from April 2010 to March 2013.
A CCTV scheme in Mansfield was first established in 1996, in response to the retail sector’s requirement for assistance in regenerating the town centre of Mansfield. The initial scheme comprised of 16 fully functional cameras and employed one manager and six part time CCTV Operators.
Public space CCTV has expanded since its introduction and as at April 2010, there are 167 cameras monitored in the Council’s CCTV control room at the Civic Centre. A list of camera numbers and their locations is attached (see Appendix 1).
In addition to monitoring cameras across Mansfield, the Council also provides a CCTV monitoring service for a small number of partners and businesses, including Ashfield District Council.
The Council manages one of the largest local authority public space CCTV systems in England. It is held in high regard by other local authorities and is considered a “flagship” control room for the CCTV industry.
This strategy does not provide information on procedures, policies and processes for handling data, operational matters or technical details. Details of these can be found in the following documents:
CCTV Codes of Practice Policy Document
CCTV Codes of Practice Operator Procedural Guide
CCTV Operator Aide Memoire
2. Aims and Key Objectives
Reducing crime and disorder is a corporate priority for the Council. The aim of the CCTV scheme is to contribute to creating safer town centre areas and neighbourhoods for local communities, visitors and businesses. For those areas covered by CCTV cameras and monitored by the Council’s CCTV service, specific aims are to:-
reduce the fear of crime and to reassure the public
maintain public order and reduce nuisance behaviour
deter, prevent and detect criminal activities and behaviour
aid in the identification, apprehension and prosecution of offenders
The Council recognises that significant resources are required to provide a CCTV service. The Council supports provision of a CCTV core service in Mansfield in achieving the above aim. Additionally it aims to ensure that Mansfield’s CCTV service operates in the most efficient and effective way possible, providing value for money.
Mansfield CCTV Core Service: A Definition
The Mansfield CCTV core service comprises schemes within the District of Mansfield which are local authority owned and managed including:
Mansfield Town Centre scheme
Mansfield Woodhouse Town Centre scheme
Warsop Town Centre scheme
Public Parks and Open Spaces
Mansfield District Council property and buildings
In providing a CCTV service, the provision of monitoring services to partners and businesses will only be undertaken if it increases overall efficiency and if there is no increased burden for Mansfield’s taxpayers over and above providing the core service as defined above.
To achieve the above aims, there are a number of key objectives for the Council’s CCTV service as follows:
increase efficiency including income generation
ensure operational effectiveness
maintain effective partnership working with Nottinghamshire Police
manage customer relationships
improve marketing, communications and consultation
establish a performance management framework
protect Council property and employees
expand CCTV service contribution to community safety
Achievement of the above key objectives forms the priorities for the CCTV Service and more information is included in Section 4 of this Strategy.
3. Current Position
3.1 The Council owns, manages and maintains the CCTV system. The service operates and is fully monitored 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. There is a full maintenance programme for all Mansfield District Council owned cameras. This maintenance programme is valid until October 2014.
3.2 The CCTV system is a modern digital recording system. The majority of the system was upgraded and digitalised in October 2007. There are 32 static car park cameras that record onto video recorders. Investigations to upgrade the car park system are planned.
3.3 The service is managed on a daily basis by the Operations Manager, Community Safety, with assistance from 12 full time and 4 part time monitoring staff. The Control Room is currently staffed by a minimum of two CCTV Operators at all times. Staffing is increased during peak periods of activity, for example Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings and Sunday mornings, when demand for video evidence reaches a peak.
3.4 The ultimate benefactors of the CCTV service are Mansfield communities including local people, visitors and businesses. The main users of the CCTV system are Nottinghamshire Police. Police Command and Control, proactively resource incidents in the monitored areas and investigating officers interrogate recorded footage on a daily basis, to help detect crimes.
3.5 The CCTV service provides a monitoring service for Mansfield District Council, Ashfield District Council, East Midlands Trains as well as individual businesses which operate within the District. It works in partnership with A Division of Nottinghamshire Police in ensuring the Police are able to provide a responsive service to incidents observed by the CCTV operators, wherever they have the resources to respond.
3.6 The CCTV service collects a range of data relating to incidents observed and recorded by CCTV and those resulting in an arrest. Comprehensive monitoring data is available to partners and customers and weekly incident data is circulated, and information can be supplied upon request for any specified time period. The system results will be published at least annually at the financial year end.
3.7 Each year, for the past three years (from January 2007 to December 2009) over 12,000 productive activities1 have been recorded by the Mansfield CCTV service. In 2009 1134 Authority to View [CCTV footage] requests were received, mainly from police officers with 724 DVDs produced as a result. For the year from April 2009 to March 2010 there were 7205 incidents resulting in 1369 arrests.
3.8 Working with individual police officers, in order to assist them in locating incidents, is a key task for the CCTV monitoring staff and can often be a slow, time consuming activity depending upon the timescales required to be viewed. The majority of viewing is now carried out by a team of dedicated police CCTV volunteers, managed by Nottinghamshire Police.
Members of the public are recruited to be a CCTV volunteer viewer and are vetted in accordance with the Police guidelines for non police personnel vetting procedures. They are tasked to view footage in specific areas and at specific times and work mutually agreed hours in order to evenly spread the workload. Their specific duties include interrogating recorded footage to examine it for evidence that may help support or bring about a criminal prosecution.
3.9 Mansfield District Council owns and maintains 8 deployable cameras. These are cameras that can be deployed anywhere throughout the District, to allow the Council and the Police to effectively address crime and anti-social behaviour issues within the main town centre areas.
However, the deployable camera system is wholly dependent upon an infrastructure that allows the signals to be transmitted back to the CCTV Control Room in real time without any delay. Although the deployable cameras are of excellent quality and are robust enough to withstand frequent re-location, the area to which they can be deployed is currently limited to the area immediately surrounding the inner ring road in Mansfield town centre. Beyond that area, although demand for cameras of this calibre has been identified, there is currently no infrastructure in place, allowing the deployable system to be rolled out.
The deployable cameras are deployed to the most vulnerable areas of the District, taking into account the limitations of the technology, based upon analysis of crime and disorder information.
3.10 In 2007, a CCTV Focus Group was established. The purpose of the Focus Group is to ensure the service and all resources are used as effectively as possible. It oversees the operation of the system in order to identify areas for development and maintain the continuity of the service. Membership comprises all interested partners associated with CCTV, ie representatives from Mansfield and Ashfield District Councils and the Police.
The following are key priority areas for development during the lifetime of the strategy and a delivery plan is attached at Appendix B which details how they will be progressed.
4.1 Increased efficiency and income generation
It is necessary to recognise that the service is unlikely to ever become totally self financing, and ongoing revenue financing will be required from the Council for the system to remain operational and effective.
The CCTV system generates an income for the Council (£212,000.00 in the year to 31 March 2010). However, the annual running costs were £520,000.00 in the same period, with income covering approximately 40% of costs. There are uncertainties over the continuation of current contracts with a high risk of a significant reduction in income.
A review of the entire system’s effectiveness including service staffing levels is currently being undertaken. The aim of this is to identify cost savings which, following the introduction of digital recording can be delivered with minimum impact on the service levels.
Income generation will continue to contribute to the annual costs of operating, maintaining and monitoring the CCTV system. Income generation will be prioritised, to offset the costs to the Council of providing a CCTV service and the number of external customers (businesses and partners) increased. Software systems are currently installed in the CCTV Control Room that allow cost effective monitoring solutions in anticipation of this.
Further development and improvement of the CCTV system will balance the need to meet the changing needs of the beneficiaries of the CCTV system, advances in technology and the requirement for replacement with the need to minimise the cost of providing a CCTV service to the Council.
Current methods for setting charges for monitoring services have been in place for some years. The current approach will be reviewed to ensure the council’s CCTV monitoring services offer demonstrable value for money. Options will be explored for alternative approaches to how charges are set for both internal and external customers.
The CCTV service is a major user of energy and there is potential to make savings and contribute to improving the council’s carbon footprint leading to a positive impact on the climate change agenda. All CCTV systems and equipment will be reviewed and a cost benefit analysis undertaken to ensure that the most efficient systems are in use. This will include wireless technology.
The CCTV service is a major user of transmission services provided by BT and NTL. The council’s Information Services section is also a major user of similar services. There is potential to explore the feasibility of CCTV and Information Services sharing transmission services, with no reduction in levels of service and a feasibility study will be undertaken.
4.2 Operational Effectiveness 4.2.1 To ensure the CCTV system is as effective as possible, a comprehensive review of the system, including camera use by location and incident, has been completed. This information will be updated and reviewed on an annual basis by the Operations Manager and CCTV Focus Group. This data will help the Council and partner agencies to make informed decisions regarding the CCTV system. The review data is available to support planned upgrades or other changes to systems.
4.2.2 CCTV Operators review camera images live and in real time. Cameras are connected to the Civic Centre by a network of fibre optic connections. Fibre optic is currently the preferred option because of the clarity and reliability of the signal produced. However, technology is advancing at such a rate that other options, although not yet as reliable as fibre, are emerging. These alternative solutions need to be explored to ensure the system remains as effective, flexible and cost-effective as possible.
4.2.3 In addition to exploring alternative solutions to fibre optics, there is also a requirement to work with CCTV network providers to identify the potential for increasing the areas which can be covered by the CCTV system using current infrastructure.
4.2.4 The potential to pass recorded footage directly from the Civic Centre to existing Police Control Room/CCTV secured networks allowing Police Officers to view incidents from their own work stations will be explored. A review of the costs and benefits of this upgrade to the system will be undertaken to decide whether the efficiency savings for the public purse are sufficiently great to justify any related set-up costs.
4.2.5 There is an Automatic Number Plate Recognition System linked to the CCTV system which enables vehicles to be identified that may be of interest to police, eg not taxed or insured or known to be involved in/connected to a crime. Currently, use of the ANPR system is instigated by the police. It is vastly under-utilised and benefits and potential alternative uses of the system will be assessed to determine its future role.
4.2.6 The police volunteer scheme now recruits CCTV viewers to assist with directed viewings to identify potential offences and offenders. This is a new scheme and initial evidence is positive. There is a need to benchmark the number of cases resulting in a positive disposal (including detection of crime) as a result of the Police CCTV Volunteer Viewers and continue to increase the numbers year on year.
4.2.7 The CCTV section receives regular, sensitive, up to date, live intelligence from the Police on a daily basis. This information assists the CCTV team to prioritise and manage their daily workload. This information is not currently available to front line operational Council staff due to secured access and in some circumstances, data protection issues. There is an opportunity to improve the service provided by the Council by ensuring that relevant intelligence is shared with appropriate front line staff as and when it is received. This also applies to intelligence held by the Council which would be of benefit to the Police. The potential for increasing the sharing of intelligence to support the efforts of all partner agencies in the reduction of crime and disorder will be explored. Information Sharing Protocols and relevant legislation governing the sharing of information are strictly adhered to.
4.3 Effective Partnership with Nottinghamshire Police 4.3.1 CCTV plays a unique role in preventing and detecting crime, particularly in relation to alcohol and drug related crime and disorder in town centres and vehicle crime in car parks.
4.3.2 In order to maintain an effective CCTV service, a co-operative and responsive relationship between the Mansfield CCTV service and Nottinghamshire Police is critical. Senior police officers should be designated with responsibility for CCTV. The officers designated with responsibility for CCTV are expected to be core members on the CCTV Focus Group.
4.3.2 A Memorandum of Understanding will be developed, to incorporate all aspects of the partnership working arrangements. This will include an effective communications strategy, to ensure that police staff and officers, including Safer Neighbourhood Teams in A Division, receive timely information about incidents in all the areas monitored by the CCTV control room and provide an appropriate response to ensure confidence in the service is maintained.
Mansfield CCTV aims to provide an excellent, value for money service to its customers. In order to do this, it is important to establish effective working relationships and where a major contract is agreed, the council will seek to encourage customers to designate senior officers in their organisations with responsibility for CCTV.
Each organisation entering into a CCTV monitoring contract with Mansfield District Council will be invited to nominate a representative(s) to attend the CCTV Focus Group.
Contracts and/or Service Level Agreements are important in agreeing the service to be delivered and clarifying expectations from each party in the arrangement. All Contracts and Service Level Agreements will be reviewed to ensure they are fit for purpose.
Bi-monthly updates on the operation of the CCTV system are provided to the Mansfield Safer Business Partnership’s Town Centre Security Group to ensure that partners are aware of the services provided and to have an opportunity for the service to respond to the needs and concerns of local businesses and other partner agencies.
In 2010 a Business Improvement District (BID) was approved for Mansfield Town Centre. This will be in place for five years. The service will build positive and productive relationships with officers of the BID and work co-operatively and in partnership to ensure that CCTV is able to play a full part in realising the BID objectives.
4.5 Marketing, Communications & Consultation 4.5.1 The Council must ensure that partners, customers and communities are informed about the effectiveness of the CCTV system. There is a need to publicise the service and demonstrate value for money in order to maintain public confidence in and support for the system.
4.5.2 There are challenges in promoting the services and successes due to the sensitive nature of the work carried out. One option is to rely on successful outcomes of prosecutions that have been through the Court process. This can take several months or even years and good news stories can very often be old stories. However, it is vital that we are provided with relevant information by partners in the wider criminal justice system, particularly police and Crown Prosecution Service in order to make the most of every opportunity.
A marketing and communications plan will be developed in conjunction with the council’s Public Relations section to incorporate innovative ways of informing all stakeholders about the CCTV services contribution to improving community safety.
It is important to evidence public opinion about the CCTV service provided and the resources needed to provide the service. A consultation plan will be agreed in conjunction with the Council’s Community Engagement service to test public support for the Service.
Historically, it has been difficult for CCTV schemes to measure performance, compare with peers and set improvement targets as there are no agreed tailored performance indicators in place. For some time, Home Office, police and other partners have been working to agree national Key Performance Indicators for CCTV.
This matter is now under review and a new set of national CCTV/Police indicators is expected in 2011. This is the ideal outcome, however, work towards national Key Performance Indicators has been ongoing for some years with little results and if they are not forthcoming, local performance indicators will be agreed.
The service will also seek feedback from key stakeholders and undertake user satisfaction surveys to benchmark current satisfaction levels and identify areas for improvement.
4.7 Protect Council property and employees 4.7.1 Securing the Civic Centre, all property owned and maintained by the Council and council employees has been identified as a priority for the CCTV service.
4.7.2 In order to safeguard the Council’s property interests, and to protect council employees who provide a front line service to communities, a need has been identified to enhance the current camera surveillance equipment located in and around the Civic Centre building and other council buildings and property. This will ensure that the council is able to make best use of its own CCTV service in protecting buildings, property and employees.
In order to effectively tackle crime and anti-social behaviour within the Parks of the District, and to tackle the fear of crime, there is a need to extend public space CCTV cameras to cover more public parks within the district. This will assist in reducing levels of anti-social behaviour occurring in public spaces, and will enhance the general security within the parks.
A review of public space CCTV coverage in parks will be completed, informed by crime and disorder trends, whilst priority will also be given to improving CCTV coverage in those parks incurring the highest financial costs as a result of criminal damage.
Potential for installing help points which are linked to cameras and the CCTV Control Room, initially to protect lone workers in vulnerable areas will be explored. This has potential, if viable, to be made available for members of the public.
4.8 Expand CCTV control room contribution to community safety 4.8.1 The CCTV service already plays an important role in improving community safety in areas covered by CCTV cameras. The CCTV Control Room has direct radio links with Police in A Division and the Neighbourhood Warden Service. There is also a radio-link with Shop-watch and Pub-watch.
4.8.2 The CCTV service will contribute to the problem solving approach by the Mansfield Community Safety Partnership, by providing intelligence and information and being tasked to respond to specific issues at local Tasking & Co-ordinating meetings or any other appropriate meetings established to reduce crime and disorder.
4.8.2 An Antisocial Behaviour reporting line has been set up in the CCTV Control Room to allow communities to call in ‘out of hours’ and report low level antisocial behaviour problems to be passed to Neighbourhood Wardens. Opportunities for expanding the CCTV Control Room role, particularly in relation to tackling antisocial behaviour and providing enhanced services to communities will be explored.
5.0 Operational Requirements 5.1 By adopting the approach outlined in this Strategy to the maintenance of existing and introduction of future CCTV systems, the Council’s CCTV service will ensure that only high quality images are collected, with a view to maintaining our excellent levels of service in preventing and detecting crimes within the areas covered. To ensure the continuance of a successful CCTV service there are a number of resource and partnership implications outlined in the following section.
5.2 The public space CCTV camera surveillance system has a full maintenance agreement in place, valid until October 2014. The agreement covers all equipment faults and includes two preventative maintenance checks each year. It does not cover malicious damage. Damage caused maliciously, would need to be rectified at the expense of Mansfield District Council.
5.3 The fibre transmission solutions, for getting the signals from the camera, back to the CCTV Control Room in real time and without latency (we see what happens when it happens) is maintained by two suppliers, BT and NTL. The costs for transmission services and ongoing maintenance of these fibres, is included in the annual CCTV budget.
5.4 The recording of all CCTV signals received is now done in a digital format. All new services undertaken must be compatible with the existing equipment. Advice can be obtained by contacting the Operations Manager, Community Safety.
Expansion and other changes
5.5 Reference will be made to the Home Office Scientific Development (HOSDB) Operational Requirement, when planning, purchasing or upgrading CCTV schemes. This requirement outlines standards that public surveillance systems are expected to meet. It should be noted that Mansfield District Council CCTV scheme meets and exceeds the requirements set out in the operational manual.
http://scienceandresearch.homeoffice.gov.uk/hosdb/publications/cctv-publications/28_09_CCTV_OR_Manual0425.html?view=Standard&pubID=635835 5.6 When the purchase of new equipment is being considered, taking into account the high costs involved, a full maintenance programme should be incorporated to ensure reliability and sustainability after the initial twelve month warranty has expired. Experience in other areas, has shown that without a maintenance programme, cameras fall into disrepute.
5.7 Any public space CCTV camera must have the full support of the Police in order for them to attend incidents relating to that location. Therefore, the approval of the Divisional Commander for A Division should be sought when consideration is being given to the introduction of new camera/s.
5.8 All proposals for changes or additions to the CCTV scheme should be channelled through the CCTV Focus Group in order to create professional, synchronised and cost effective monitoring solutions.
6.0 Monitoring delivery of the Strategy and Action Plan 6.1 The Strategy is supported by an Action Plan which details how the objectives will be met. The Action Plan is constantly evolving to reflect activities. The CCTV Focus Group will regularly monitor the Action Plan to ensure that the CCTV Strategy 2010-13 is delivered, and will recommend revisions to the Action Plan and operation of the CCTV system as appropriate.
6.2 The CCTV service reports to the Council’s Portfolio Holder for Public Protection. The Portfolio Holder is invited to attend CCTV Focus Group meetings in order to maintain an overview of the progress made towards implementation of this Strategy and to ensure the system develops in line with Council priorities.
6.3 An annual progress report will be published and circulated to all stakeholders.