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Double success for West Lancashire Borough Council’s CCTV scheme

West Lancashire Borough Council’s CCTV scheme is going from strength to strength with two excellent achievements.

One of the CCTV team recently won a prestigious national Security Officer of Distinction Award.

The Council has also successfully passed the 2017 test for Surveillance Camera Commissioner’s code of practice certification.

This certification provides reassurance to the community that the Council’s public open space CCTV scheme is managed appropriately; the information gathered from the cameras is used in an appropriate manner and in accordance with the Surveillance Code of Practice guidelines. It also demonstrates the Council’s compliance with the Surveillance Code of Practice and proves good practice.

In 2016 the Council obtained the full five-year certification, but this is reviewed each year and the team passed again.

Councillor Kevin Wright, portfolio holder for Community Safety, said: “Both these achievements are great news for the team and prove how hard they work to provide an effective CCTV operation for the borough which provides great value for money.

“Congratulations to the member of our monitoring team who won the award and everyone involved with the CCTV team.”

The Council currently operates 107 public open space cameras and these help to keep crime low in the borough.

The Council’s 2016/17 annual report on the CCTV it operates showed that CCTV staff helped police officers make 282 arrests in West Lancashire in that period. They were involved in 643 missing/vulnerable person incidents and also identified 1637 incidents themselves through their general monitoring.

The certification scheme was launched by the Surveillance Camera Commissioner in November 2015 to enable organisations complying with the code of practice to be independently audited. This provides extra credibility and transparency to their claims of compliance.

One of the issues the Council must have due regard to with its CCTV system is the privacy of private residents. The software that is used allows for parts of the CCTV image to be completely blanked out. There are several existing cameras where privacy settings are installed to completely blank out windows or whole houses so that residents’ privacy is ensured. If you have any comments about privacy in relation to existing cameras, please email community.safety@westlancs.gov.uk.

For more information on CCTV visit www.westlancs.gov.uk/cctv.

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