Central Bedfordshire Council’s Executive has approved plans to invest in a new CCTV system.
The decision means that a new multi-functional CCTV control room will be created, replacing the existing control room in Dunstable.
The council will also procure new HD cameras and use wireless technology to improve the quality of images and reduce signal transmission costs.
Councillors considered three options: moving the CCTV control room to Priory House or another location and upgrading the system; leaving the control room at Watling House and decommissioning the whole system.
The final option would incur a one-off cost of around £230,000 and then lead to savings of around £250,000 per year. However, the report to the meeting said that not only would the cost to do so be “significant and once removed would be prohibitive to restore”, but also the fact that “the service commands wide public support and withdrawal of it would be detrimental to our communities’ sense of safety and security”.
With the current system nearing the end of its working life, the software not supported by the manufacturer as it has been superseded by newer versions and replacement parts difficult to maintain, members ruled out the status quo of leaving the system at Watling House.
Instead a new control room will be created with new technology employed.
While this will incur a one-off cost of between £640,000 and £700,000 it is expected to lead to savings of around £80,000 per year as well as other benefits such as better quality images, enforcing HGV weight limits in our towns and keeping vehicles out of bus lanes.
The new system will also be more cost effective to run and maintain than the current system, and will provide more opportunities for generating income such as the third-party monitoring - which the council already does.
For more information about CCTV in Central Bedfordshire, visit www.centralbedfordshire.gov.uk/community-safety/cctv/overview.aspx