Live Monitoring of Maidstone CCTV Cameras ( and controlled operation )

Live Monitoring of Maidstone CCTV Cameras ( and controlled operation )

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Michael SWAN started this petition to Maidstone Borough Council

Aim of this Petition

This petition has been created to request Maidstone Borough Council reinstate a Monitored CCTV "service" which they presently describe as discretionary, to assist in the detection of anti-social behaviour or crime and/or the identification, apprehension or prosecution of offenders.

There are a number of area's within Maidstone that regularly experience, serious, frequent anti-social / criminal behaviour which has shown to negatively impact on the wider community and which has continued despite actions by Safer Maidstone Partnership agencies to reduce/resolve the problem.

Without CCTV Monitoring and Operational Control of the CCTV Cameras, Public Safety is AT RISKThere are NO PREVENTIVE MEASURES if THERE IS NO-ONE WHO CAN MONITOR and OPERATE the CCTV.

This is particularly true for local business owners who are suffering due to loss of stock, Door Supervisors & Security Personnel who are prone to being attacked, threatened or otherwise abused while carrying out their duties in protecting members of public and venues and other shop workers and persons within the Maidstone Borough.

The details...

Under the present Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) Operational Protocol (outdated), Maidstone Borough Council operates it's CCTV camera systems in compliance with the 3 purposes set out in the Information Commissioners CCTV Code of Practice. 

It is written that; they can operate CCTV cameras for the following reasons:

  • To prevent crime including Anti-Social Behaviour - There is no longer any prevention without the CCTV being Monitored...
  • Improve public safety - Public Safety has been put at Risk with the removal of CCTV Operation & Monitoring...
  • National security - With CCTV NOT being Monitored, how can this be prevented? No use in reviewing CCTV after an incdent has already taken place...
  •  

Under Section 6 of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998, all Local Authorities have a statutory obligation to bring together named ‘Responsible Authorities’ to work in partnership to develop and implement strategies to protect the local community from crime and disorder related issues including; anti-social behaviour, drug or alcohol misuse and reoffending. 

It is written that; CCTV is employed for the following reasons:

  • To support delivery of the Safer Maidstone Partnership
    Community Safety Plan and objectives by assisting in the
    prevention and detection of crime and anti-social behaviour.
  • To ensure that Maidstone Borough Council’s CCTV systems are
    operated in accordance with regulatory requirements in a
    transparent and cost efficient manner, taking account of
    appropriate technological developments.
  • To assist in the protection of Maidstone Borough Council
    clients, staff, assets and public areas.
  • To assist Maidstone Borough Council, Kent Police and other
    statutory and enforcement agencies in carrying out their
    regulatory, investigatory and enforcement duties in Maidstone.

Maidstone Borough Council (referred to as ‘The Council’) is responsible for the management of a number of public realm Closed Circuit Television Camera (CCTV) systems which it operates in the Maidstone Borough.

The Council uses CCTV cameras to improve public safety and to assist in the prevention and detection of crime and disorder. -- Public Safety is NOT improved, and has been PUT AT RISK by removal the Monitoring & Operational Control of CCTV Cameras within the Borough.

The Council operates both fixed (static) location visible cameras and
a small number of mobile visible cameras.

Generally non covert cameras are used by the Council to cover:
public spaces

  • the outside of council buildings, (car parks/public
    areas/perimeters)
  • the public areas of council buildings. (receptions/interview
    rooms)

A number of mobile visible cameras are used by the Council to provide short term CCTV coverage of public spaces identified as hotspot locations for crime or disorder and/or to assist Council Departments in carrying out their regulatory, investigatory and enforcement duties.

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