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Extra staff to monitor York's CCTV
MORE staff could be drafted in to monitor York’s CCTV network once the city’s new council headquarters are completed.
The system was criticised in 2010 after a former member of staff in City of York Council’s CCTV control room claimed it was regularly left unmanned for long periods and the bank of screens was sometimes switched off.
A report which will go before the authority’s community safety overview and scrutiny committee next Wednesday has now said the move to the new HQ at West Offices in Station Rise, where the control room will be based, may allow extra staff to be employed to ensure footage is monitored round the clock.
The number of CCTV operator stations will double from two to four and a dedicated “footage review suite” will be created, while a separate facility for monitoring traffic and transport issues is also to be set up.
The report, a briefing note from Darren Capes, the council’s transport systems manager, said the council was to move away from using “expensive” analogue technology and switch to a fibre-optic network, saving money and potentially allowing more cameras to be installed around the city in future.
He said: “Ultimately, the increased flexibility offered by the move to West Offices, where all staff will be based from next March, and the revenue the service can attract by providing cost-effective, high-quality services to other areas of the council and beyond, will allow the service to grow.
“This could mean additional staffing to ensure true 24/7, 365-days-a-year monitoring is possible and that a minimum of two operators can be on duty at all times. This would allow the service to offer a wider range of functions, such as building management and security and active traffic management.”
The control room was previously based at Fulford Road police station but recently moved to the council offices at St Leonard’s Place.
The report admitted there were times when it was left unstaffed “due to the number of operators available”, although footage from around 80 cameras was recorded at all times.
Council officers have said the new system will mean feeds from CCTV in council buildings, Park&Ride sites, school and libraries can be recorded centrally, which will also cut costs.