Doubts continue about the status of Penarth’s obsolete CCTV camera system following the publication this week of an internal Vale of Glamorgan Council report.
The new council report fails to confirm whether the 12 CCTV cameras – which it says are located in Penarth – have yet been repaired, replaced or restored to full working order.
The cameras are operated on behalf of the Vale Council by Bridgend County Borough Council under a deal which implemented under the previous Labour administration on April Fool’s Day 2016. However what is described as “monitoring and strategic management the service” is the responsibility of the Vale of Glamorgan Council
In coded and prolix language, the Vale Council report – which comes before councillors tomorrow – in effect admits the CCTV system wasn’t working – something which will not be news to PDN readers.
The report says “In September 2016 a number of operational problems with the service were noted, including a large number of faults with the camera stock”.
The council report goes on to claim that an improvement plan “has been implemented resulting in significant operational improvements.” and goes on to assert that “ the service is now operating effectively and in line with service requirements” – but does not categorically state that all the cameras – or indeed any of the cameras – are working in Penarth.
- On September 18th 2016 PDN revealed that not a single one of the CCTV cameras in Penarth was working – a point later confirmed by South Wales Police (See https://penarthnews.wordpress.com/2016/09/18/none-of-penarths-town-centre-cctv-cameras-work-say-police/)
- On November 4th 2016 PDN was assured by Inspector Gary Smart at Penarth Police station that the cameras would be repaired or replaced.
- On September 5th 2017 we asked the South Wales Police by email whether the cameras in Penarth were now operational – but received no reply.
- On October 10th 2017 PDN emailed Cllr Andrew Parker the Cabinet Member for Housing and Building Services who is responsible for CCTV to ask him what the status is of CCTV cameras in Penarth. No reply has been received.
This week’s Vale Council report says there are “currently 77 CCTV cameras across the Vale with 61 cameras located within the Barry area, 12 in Penarth and 4 in Llantwit Major”. The cameras are actively monitored by staff for only for 125 hours per week and are – allegedly – left on “record” for the remaining 43 hours in the week.
The Vale Council says a new maintenance agreement for the cameras has been negotiated for both the Vale and Bridgend under which 15 cameras can be prioritised for “same day” attention. A new management monitoring arrangement is said to have begun in September this year.
The Vale Council says “Whilst CCTV is an excellent tool for preventing and detecting crime and disorder it is also very costly to install, maintain and monitor. It is not a statutory function for the Local Authority and therefore the expansion of CCTV relies heavily on the provision of external funding . Due to the reduced funding opportunities and costs, expansion of CCTV system is limited and is only considered in areas of high priority. The annual cost for the CCTV service is £91,220.