Tuesday 21 September 2021

Crime Commissioner visits the CCTV nerve centre for Redbridge

On Wednesday 15th September 2021, crime commissioner Clare Patterson took a trip to the Redbridge CCTV control room to find out how this valuable crime fighting tool supports the work of the Metropolitan Police and Redbridge Enforcement Officers.

The work of the CCTV network in Redbridge has been discussed often at the meetings of the Community Crime Commission, in part due to the £1.5 million investment made by Redbridge Council in the advanced camera system.

After being greeted by the CCTV operations manager, Clare is shown into the nerve centre of all CCTV in Redbridge, The Steve Darby CCTV control room. Named after Steve Darby, a camera operator who sadly passed away from Covid-19, staff within the room monitor and operate over 300 cameras across Redbridge, all of which are active and record 24 hours a day.

As Clare questioned a CCTV operator against the backdrop of a busy radio picking up conversations of officers patrolling the streets, she heard the various things CCTV operators are on the look out for and how they prioritise types of crimes and locations at weekly tasking meetings supported by police intelligence.

It is revealed that the camera operators have memorised all cameras and their coverage across Redbridge and use this knowledge to track people fleeing the police, information they pass live to police officers.

Clare asks what training the operators receive, keen to pick up on any areas where the crime commission to recommend improvements and is informed that the camera operators go through extensive training which includes certified qualifications as well as possessing a Security Industry Authority licence.

Looking to delve deeper into the human side of the operation, Clare asks about the number of camera operators on the team as well as ways they are supported emotionally should they witness a particularly disturbing crime, where it is revealed there are support systems in place which have been used by operators in the past when they have unfortunately witnessed severe assaults and murder.

Reflecting on her visit Clare said “I really enjoyed getting to see behind the scenes of the CCTV network we have heard so much about. They have a great team of very passionate and dedicated camera operators and managers who do a fantastic job of helping to keep people safe in Redbridge.

I’m glad that work has been done recently to digitally upgrade the system and I can see the difference it has made. I’ll be reporting back to my colleagues on the crime commission to see if there are any recommendations we can offer to help improve the CCTV network to make Redbridge safer”