NEW MYSTERY SURVEILLANCE CAMERAS PUZZLE PENARTH

One of the surveillance cameras is sited outside Penarth Leisure Centre

One of the surveillance cameras is sited outside Penarth Leisure Centre

Local residents are puzzling over the installation of – at least – two new solar-powered surveillance cameras in Penarth.

One camera has been installed on Windsor Road near the bus stop outside Penarth Leisure Centre. which gives it a view towards the Brains railway bridge.

The cameras have nothing on them to indicate whose operating them and who is watching us.

The new Raytech cameras in Penarth have nothing on them to indicate who is operating them – or why

The cameras have pan and tilt capability and are also equipped with infra-red lights enabling them to operate in total darkness.

The new camera at the bottom of Cliff Hill - near the lifeboat station can read a numberplate on Beach Road and see everything on the Esplanade - even in the pitch dark.

The new surveillance camera on Cliff Hill, Penarth – near the lifeboat station – can read a numberplate on Beach Road and see everything on the Esplanade – even in the pitch dark.(Photo John Clark)

Meanwhile an identical camera has been installed this week on Penarth Esplanade near Penarth Lifeboat station – mounted like the other one on a galvanised steel pole with solar panels on top.

The appearance of these cameras has mystified the “Safer Vale Partnership” – the South Wales Police  and Vale of Glamorgan Council  organisation which is responsible for all CCTV cameras across the county.

The Safer Vale Partnership had heard of the new camera at the Leisure Centre but was not aware of the second camera installed at the lifeboat station until this morning .

The installation on the Esplanade does nothing to enhance the Victorian ambience of the sea front (Photo John Clark)

The installation on the Esplanade does nothing to enhance the Victorian ambience of the sea front (Photo John Clark)

The Safer Vale Partnership says neither of the new cameras has anything to do with its CCTV network and that it has not installed any new cameras anywhere lately. In any case, when the Safer Vale Partnership installs CCTV cameras, each installation is usually well publicised – but there has been no publicity whatsoever about Penarth’s new secret surveillance cameras

The new cameras are made by RAYTEC an American company which makes surveillance infra-red cameras that can read numberplates and see people at a considerable distance in the pitch dark without street lighting.

The on-line magazine Professional Security says Infra-Red cameras “can see through some materials”. Quite what implications this has for the modesty of Penarth residents is unclear.

There is no  record of any planning application having been made for the new cameras and neither installation has been discussed at any Penarth Council meeting  – even though each installation requires a steel pole to be installed with a camera mount and solar panels at the top .

UPDATE: This afternoon the Vale of Glamorgan Council admitted that the newly-installed cameras were theirs and had been installed to monitor flooding and “overtopping” at Cogan and the Esplanade.

This afternoon the Vale of Glamorgan Council Highways Department - who appear not to have enough money to repair the potholes in Penarth - admitted the newly-acquired American cameras were theirs but failed to say how much they had cost the council-tax payers .

This afternoon the Vale of Glamorgan Council Highways Department – who appear not to have enough money to repair the potholes in Penarth – admitted the newly-acquired American cameras were theirs but failed to say how much they had cost the council-tax payers .

The Vale of Glamorgan Council Highways Department said in a public statement on Twitter this afternoon – the first yet made about the new cameras – that there was “No conspiracy, just keeping everyone safe”.

About NewsNet

Penarth Daily News email address dmj@newsnet.uk . Penarth Daily News is an independent free on-line fair and balanced news service published by NewsNet Ltd covering the town of Penarth in the Vale of Glamorgan, Wales, UK. All our news items are based on the information we receive or discover at the time of publication and are published on the basis that they are accurate to the best of our knowledge and belief at that time.
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23 Responses to NEW MYSTERY SURVEILLANCE CAMERAS PUZZLE PENARTH

  1. Frank Bird says:

    Suggestion, get the council to chop them down with a disk cutter and see who complains….?

    • Peter Church says:

      More cameras Councillor Burnett can get the footage from in case of another Post-it note incident, or more likely they can be used to monitor the flood of complaints against her.

  2. Christopher David says:

    Well I suggest Mr S Doughty MP answerers this one. Do something useful for his constituency. So Mr Doughty I’ll email your office so there’s no escape- but as we know you read this. Who owns these cameras? What are they for? Are they legal? What else can you tell us about them? If they are not official of course then the public have very right to remove them!

  3. daipop1 says:

    Big Brother is watching you?? The organisation responsible for their installation must have received permission from someone otherwise privacy laws have been breached – perhaps our police commissioner knows – ongoing?

  4. Ivor Bagman says:

    Probably to Identify white vans
    And flat bed trucks nicking
    Lead and copper from Penarth

  5. Vic says:

    How can this happen? You can’t just set up surveillance of this kind without notifying the public. I’m all in favour of cctv for security and safety, provided the rules are adhered to. I use it in my business and to comply with the law , I have to put up notices stating that cctv is in operation. Also, if these mysterious cameras have PTZ (Pan/tilt/zoom) it has to be registered with the Information Commissioner and run by trained/authorised staff. One more point about Cogan PTZ camera – can it see into nearby houses? Come on guys – play fair and put us in the picture! (excuse the pun ).

    • Steven says:

      I live within spitting distance of the Cogan camera and no one can tell me what it for. Been calling the council, etc. but no one knows anything. I have been waiting for a call back from the council since the camera was mounted on Wednesday.

  6. Gerald says:

    If these are public webcams it will make it much easier to find out where the traffic is before I leave the house to make my drive to work faster🙂

  7. Nortsy says:

    Whoever put them up must have had good reason. If it cuts crime & unsocial behaviour, or simply keeps our town ‘healthier’ for residents & tourists, bring ’em on!
    PS – a few down in the Marina wouldn’t go amiss!

    • Peter Phillips says:

      You can put up CCTV cameras without good reason. Some signs to say who are operating these ones would’t go amiss. Both P 64 and the marina itself operate CCTV but I’ve never observed the warning notices.

  8. Mark Foster says:

    The one on the Esplanade is to check when Philip Rapier visits the Sommerin Restaurant but I don’t know about the Leisure Centre one. Does anybody in the Labour Party actually take any exercise? Stephen Doughty?

  9. Penileaks says:

    They are probably Anti Semitic or Anti Islamic Remark Monitors, but now that everyone in the country is too frightened to mention either in their conversations, they will be quickly redundant I suspect !

  10. Jimbo says:

    They probably just got put up to annoy everyone on PDN! They appear to have worked!

  11. M davies says:

    It has been suggested they are to monitor flooding

  12. Andrew sarchus says:

    Ha given recent terrorist events I think MI6 are behind this. Burnet hasn’t issued a single post it so obviously she has been warned😉 . Do I joke…..or not !

  13. AK says:

    Damn expensive way to monitor flooding !

    What’s wrong with a tide table and Derek Brockway ?

    • Penileaks says:

      If it truly is just to monitor flooding, it is another example of VoG spending madness, when, as AK points out, there is an easily accessible tide table available and endless weather reports and predictions available on TV, radio and the internet.
      I would suspect that there is more to this than the VoG are admitting to as the equipment appears to be far too sophisticated for watching a bit of water rising once or twice a year.
      A pair of eyes and a mobile telephone call or two should be enough !

  14. Andrew sarchus says:

    Exactly AK. Things are happening in Penarth- its MI6 and Liz post it Burnet who likes to park around there when giving her expense account some exercise.

  15. Danny Evans says:

    We the people demand that the Highways Department remove these cameras. They already know there is overtopping at very high tides at the Esplanade and flooding at very high rainfall in Cogan.

    The cameras are used to put your car numberplate into the GCHQ database when you go to visit your separated girlfriend on Cliff Parade.

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