Cumbria’s hi-tech CCTV system goes live

Cumbria has gone live with its new county-wide CCTV system that incorporates one of the UK’s first ‘digital evidence stores’ designed to help manage the complex array of potential evidence in an increasingly digital age.

Aug 26, 2015
By Paul Jacques

Cumbria has gone live with its new county-wide CCTV system that incorporates one of the UK’s first ‘digital evidence stores’ designed to help manage the complex array of potential evidence in an increasingly digital age.

The Collaborative Digital Information Store (CDIS) forms part of the Home Office’s criminal justice system digital reform programme, designed to reduce costs and streamline case management.

The CCTV system includes 53 new cameras as part of a £2.5 million investment in advanced surveillance systems and will cover key locations, including Carlisle, Workington, Whitehaven and Penrith.

It will be managed from a central location at Cumbria Constabulary’s headquarters and replaces the previous systems, which were managed by local authorities until budget cuts put them under threat.

Cumbria Constabulary Chief Constable Jerry Graham said the new cameras will be invaluable in helping officers track offenders and gather evidence, as well as acting as a deterrent to would-be criminals.

“The new system will provide consistent and improved CCTV coverage across Cumbria,” said Mr Graham.

“The number and location of cameras was decided following analysis of incidents, consultation with neighbourhood policing teams and the funding opportunities provided by the office of the police and crime commissioner (PCC), district councils and Cumbria Constabulary.

“The CCTV system has been designed in a way that means it can be expanded in the future if and when additional funding can be secured.”

Cumbria PCC Richard Rhodes said the new system, which is the first phase in a seven-year contract with the secure IT and communication supplier Tellemachus, will maximise the instant support to operational policing, both pro-actively and reactively.

He commissioned the project in conjunction with the six local district councils. The scheme was awarded funding of £539,000 from the Government’s £20 million 2013/14 Precursor Police Innovation Fund.

“This is an exciting first for Cumbria,” said Mr Rhodes. “This is an excellent example of how collaboration within the county can work well across the public sector, led by the office of the PCC and in conjunction with the constabulary and the six local district councils.

“In every sense this is an innovative scheme and is the first of its type in the country.

“CCTV will play a vital role in delivering a safe and secure environment for people who live, work and visit Cumbria. At the same time CCTV will help in reducing anti-social behaviour, crime and disorder as well as providing proactive support for the business community.

“When I came into office in November 2012 there was the real prospect of all the CCTV cameras in the major urban areas across the county being switched off. Today, we have a state-of-the-art system, which will be supported for the next seven years.”

Councillor Philip Tibble, Allerdale Borough Council’s executive member with the Transformation portfolio, said: “We’re very pleased to have been involved with the partnership which has overseen the rolling out of this new CCTV system. It shall no doubt be an invaluable tool in crime reduction and prevention.”

Leader of Carlisle City Council, Councillor Colin Glover, added: “We are pleased to be working in partnership with the PCC ?to support the delivery of modern and effective CCTV coverage. The new scheme will provide important operational policing support and help to create a safe environment for local people and visitors to Carlisle and around Cumbria.”

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