Work to expand Hull's current CCTV system by an additional 250 cameras citywide has been given the green light after the Home Office and Government Office for Yorkshire and the Humber confirmed a £5 million grant to support the scheme.
The existing CCTV system, which presently monitors 140 cameras around the City centre, has been successfully operated for two years, producing excellent results. It is regarded by both the Police and City Council as a key tool in the crime fighting strategy for the City centre, with a Home Office inspection describing the control room and its operation as amongst the best nationally.
It is now planned to install an additional 250 cameras around the City at strategic locations to monitor crime hot spots in residential areas. The new system will use the latest technology for the recording of all camera images with an ability to instantaneously replay recorded images.
Plans to move the scheme forward will be put into operation straight away. Specialist contractors and City Council teams will begin work as soon as possible on installing further CCTV cameras in Woodcock Street, which is considered a top priority. Last month the City Council took the first steps towards catching anti-social behaviour on camera and making residents in the area feel more secure when the first CCTV camera was switched on by members of the St Andrew's West Residents Association.
The expansion of the CCTV system in the Woodcock Street area will respond to calls for action by a task force set up in that area headed by Chief Supt Paul Cheeseman and Council Leader Simone Butterworth. It's also in line with City Council plans for Action Teams, one of which will be in West Hull, which will work to improve neighbourhoods and as part of their agenda strive to combat anti-social behaviour. The new system will use the existing Kingston Communications cable network to provide all the digital data and video transmission infrastructure around the City. This will significantly reduce roadworks around the City. The new system will use both digital and analogue video transmission links in order to ensure the highest quality images are achieved at all times.
It is also planned to incorporate innovative features such as: Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) system; integration of the Council's Urban Traffic Control system, separately funded; and undertaking bus priority lane monitoring to improve public transport. The new approach allows the City Council to meet its commitments to install 250 cameras around the City without the need for major capital investment by the Council.
Councillor Butterworth, Leader of the City Council, welcomed the news of the grant:
"The city will have a first class ((TV system to help crackdown on the misery caused to communities by crime and anti-social behaviour. 1 am particularly pleased for the residents of Woodcock Street who were promised more cameras would follow the one put in place last month. The Home Office grant means the complete network of cameras can now be put in place early in the New Year."