Agenda item

CCTV Service update

To consider and comment on a CCTV Service update from the CCTV Service Manager, Somerset Council.


The following items are included for further information; -

·         CCTV Annual report SSDC 2022

·         CCTV Annual report SDC 2022

·         CCTV Annual report SWT 2022


The Chair welcomed Ryan Kelly, CCTV Manager for Somerset Council to give a presentation to the committee. He invited comments and questions from the committee and the committee noted the update.  



The Chair welcomed Ryan Kelly, CCTV Manager for Somerset Council to give a presentation to the committee, which highlighted the following key points: - 


The service in incredibly busy, with the team working 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.


This is an income generating service.


The service is run from a control hub in Bridgwater House, all members of the committee are invited to visit the hub. 


The CCTV Service has covered SSDC, SW&T and SDC areas for some time, and now includes the MDC area. 


Following a review, the annual fee charged to the Avon and Somerset Police has been doubled to 20k for the year 23/24. 




The Chair thanked the CCTV Manager for a very interesting and informative presentation and the following comments and questions were received and discussed with members: - 




Regarding monitoring of crime hotspots, assuming these hotspots change over time, how easy is it to move equipment to continue to monitor the areas more likely to be affected by criminal activity?


Several members expressed an interest in a site visit to the CCTV control hub in Bridgwater House. The committee clerk would be in touch with members to organise this. 


What are the statutory duties of the CCTV service? The CCTV Manager advised that under the Criminal Justice Act 2003 the statutory duties of a local authority are to monitor the most vulnerable hotspot areas.  


Is there any more than can be done to support retail businesses with shoplifting? The CCTV Manager advised that the team are building strong relationships with retail businesses, through Business Link, and the police to tackle shoplifting in Somerset. Most retail premises in Somerset are covered by the Somerset Council CCTV Network, and the service also works with businesses to mitigate shoplifting in other ways, such as advice around shop layouts and positioning of high value goods. He added that the CCTV Service is an integral link between retail businesses and the Police. Whilst Police response times can be frustrating, the footage obtained by Somerset Council CCTV network is a key piece of evidence. 


How much does the CCTV Service cost Somerset Council per year? The CCTV Manager advised that the most recent annual cost for the service was 182k, and that this is usually financed by external contributions (from parish and town councils, police etc...) and other sources of income and funding. The 182k figure does not include payroll, and this detail can be provided to the committee on request.  


How can members obtain a breakdown of the locations of all 233 cameras in operation in Somerset? 


Why does Yeovil only have 29 cameras in operation currently? The CCTV Manager advised that the coverage is Yeovil is currently under review, and as well as equipment upgrades the service are working with Yeovil Town Council to increase the number of cameras in operation in Yeovil. 


On the pie charts (slides 9,10 & 11) what does the section ‘review’ mean? These are incidents that are currently under investigation. 


On the pie charts (slides 9, 10 & 11) what does the section ‘others’ mean? These are incidents that do not fall under any of the other types of crime on the pie charts sections.


Regarding CCTV coverage in Shepton Mallet and Frome, is the CCTV network going to be expanding in these areas? The CCTV Manager advised that it is a priority to upgrade the CCTV network in Shepton Mallet and Frome by late spring 2024.


Regarding the higher prevalence of alcohol related ASB incidents in Bridgwater at night, what are the key issues and does the nighttime economy contribute towards the cost of the CCTV network? The CCTV Manager advised that this is currently a police priority, the CCTV Service is working with the police, and that some establishments do contribute towards the cost of the Somerset Council CCTV network in Bridgwater.  


Regarding the footage obtained, who has access to it, and how long is it kept by Somerset Council? The CCTV Manager advised that the retention policy is 28 days, unless it is requested. If it is requested, it is then kept in a secure vault for 6 months. 


Can farmers sign up to Business Link? The CCTV advised that some farms could sign up to Business Link, but this may be tricky for farms in the most remote rural areas. 


Regarding the need for the team to maintain the 24/7/365-day monitoring demands, are there any staff pressures in the CCTV Service team currently? The CCTV Manager reassured members that there are currently no known issues with recruitment or retention of the staff in the CCTV service.




The Chair once again thanked the CCTV Manager for attending and taking questions from the committee. He asked that Democratic Services arrange a site visit to the CCTV Control Hub for all those members who had shown an interest in doing so.






The Scrutiny Committee – Communities noted the CCTV Service update report. 

Supporting documents: