Mansfield’s CCTV network to get £524,000 upgrade

READY FOR AN UPGRADE -- Mansfield's CCTV control room, which is to get new energy-efficient monitors as part of the improvements..
READY FOR AN UPGRADE -- Mansfield's CCTV control room, which is to get new energy-efficient monitors as part of the improvements..

The fight against crime and anti-social behaviour in Mansfield is to be boosted by a major upgrade of the town’s network of CCTV cameras.

Mansfield District Council has announced that it is to replace its old fibre-optic CCTV system with a state-of-the-art wireless system.

The upgrade, which will cost £524,000, has become necessary because much of the council’s current equipment is nearing the end of its useful life.

Work to replace the old system will begin in August and take about six months to complete. It will include replacing some cameras and erecting wireless signal poles in some parks and open spaces.

The central control room will also be refurbished with energy-efficient split-screen monitors, a new IT system and a new recording system.

The council expects the new wireless system to not only offer CCTV security in previously hard-to-reach areas, but also pay for itself within six years.

This will be due to savings made on not having to maintain the current underground fibre-optic cables and by offering local businesses, schools and other councils a paid-for CCTV monitoring and data management service.

There are already a number of contracts in place on the current system that offset the cost of running this service. The council expects the wireless system to open up new markets because it will be capable of reaching different areas.

The current CCTV system has become expensive and runs a risk that the equipment will fail. Some of it, judged to have a lifespan of seven years, is now 15 years old and parts to fix it were obsolete, making it impossible to repair.

By upgrading the system, the council can offer at least the same level of service but at reduced running costs, and also generate enough income to pay for the service.

The council feels CCTV cameras not only help to detect and reduce crime but also and encourage investment and revitalisation, creating an improved climate for job creation and growth.

The value of CCTV cameras in cutting crime in Mansfield has been proven over many years.

Only in April, dramatic footage was shown on national TV of a hit-and-run victim who was struck by a car that mounted the pavement on Leeming Street. And CCTV footage was crucial in the investigation into the death of Mansfield man Emiel Blankert in 2013. Images were released by the police, and then hours of film was shown at court.

Coun Mick Barton, who is the council’s portfolio holder for public protection, said: “Replacing the fibre optics with a wireless system was the only sensible option to deliver an effective CCTV service. The bonus that it should become self-financing because the council can offer it as a paid-for service to other councils and businesses in the area.”

DO you think this is money well spent? Why not have your say?