After months of speculation surrounding the cctv on Sale West I am pleased to say that we finally have some facts and figures that will hopefully reassure the residents that they are indeed being “looked after” by fully operational cameras and dedicated council staff.
I arrived at Stretford police station this morning just before 10.30am to meet with Colin Wright and be allowed unprecedented access to the cctv office, on the understanding that I would pass on what I learnt to the residents…:)
The office is a hub of activity within Stretford police station on Talbot Road.The station itself is rather grand and deceptively spacious once inside…(think Tardis).
Equipped with loads of technology including multiple screens, projected images, police radio and much more Colin and his colleague were more than happy to show me ALL of the cameras on Sale West and beyond working and recording in real time and with crystal clear images.
Here are some facts:
1. The cctv does not have video analytic capacity. This means there is no facial recognition or cross referencing of faces from camera to camera.
2. There is no audio capacity enabled on the cameras…..they can’t talk to you and they can’t hear you either:)
3. The images captured by the cctv are recorded and are kept for 28 days. During this time the recordings can be requested by the police in order to detect and prevent crime. I can bear witness to this as two local officers called in to collect some footage whilst I was there today.
4. All of the cameras can pan, tilt and zoom in. I was shown many of the cameras in action and can clarify that Magnolia, Chepstow (Community Garden) and the Community centre area are all covered, as is the rest of the estate.
5. The cameras can see as well at night as they can during the day…I saw footage of Thirsk at night and can clarify that is was pretty clear…;)
6. The cctv is connected by both wire and wifi….wired at source and sending signal back to the station.
7. Whilst Colin is not originally from Sale it is apparent that he is very familiar with the area and is on the ball for matching cameras to locations etc. Other staff are local and also have a vested interest in the safety of everyone on Sale West.:)
8. The cctv is manned 24 hours a day 7 days a week, even at Christmas……these guys have that many cameras they are sure to have caught Santa doing the rounds to all our well behaved children many a time…..:)
9. Irwell Valley originally helped with the installation cost of the cctv on Sale West, with the balance funded by the council. Irwell Valley staff do not monitor the cameras and have no access to them, it is all viewed in house by the council staff that have full control over the cameras, in the police station.
10. Colin and his colleagues are responsible for over 100 cameras around Trafford and so this means that they are not always focused on Sale West. However, if they are alerted to something either by the police, public or simply spotting something on screen they can react quickly.
11. Whilst the off road biking has been picked up by the cameras it is often a fleeting glimpse as they head towards the more covert areas not covered, alleys, some car parks etc.
However…Colin did show me a log of mini moto related incidents that has been complied from sightings, public calls and police reports. It is a priority and will continue to be so, they just can’t see all the cameras all the time….
If you have any concerns about specific problems such as fly tipping, persistent dog fouling, off road bikers ripping up the pavements etc you can always report it, anonymously.
The cctv office can be contacted on 0161 912 1111
Calls are in confidence and will be acted upon.
General information regarding cctv in Trafford can be found on the council website.
Thanks to Colin for allowing me access to the previously unseen world of cctv, and for answering my many questions, some more sensible than others:)
CCTV cartoon from Google via Creative Commons
Camera photo with kind permission of lydia_shiningbrightly via Creative Commons