Fife installs digital CCTV system

Fife Constabulary and Fife’s Community Safety Partnership have installed a state-of-the-art digital CCTV system to replace the old analogue tape equipment.

Mar 22, 2007
By David Howell
Lissie Harper. Picture: PA news agency

Fife Constabulary and Fife’s Community Safety Partnership have installed a state-of-the-art digital CCTV system to replace the old analogue tape equipment.

The old system only allowed tapes to be checked or reviewed once recording had finished. The advantage of the new technology is that it lets operators go back and examine footage while the recording is still taking place

Stills can easily be downloaded and e-mailed to individual police officers – meaning they save time by no longer having to travel from all over Fife to Police Headquarters to make identifications.

The equipment records far more frames per second on the 97 cameras than the analogue system. It also allows operators to zoom digitally into the picture – making it easier to capture vital evidence in the 12 communities covered by the CCTV network across Fife.

CCTV Supervisor Mark Waterfall said that since its launch in 2002, CCTV had become a vital tool in helping the police detect and deter crime. “This new equipment takes that to the next level. Instead of the laborious process of recording then reviewing hours of CCTV tapes, we can check the footage instantaneously. This makes it even easier for us to establish if something suspicious is occurring and alert police officers to the incident. Considerable police time will also be freed up by the e-mailing of images and needless to say, digital disks take up a great deal less storage space than bulky tapes.”

Head of Operations Chief Superintendent Alan Maich added: “The Town CCTV system has been a success story for Community Safety and partnership working. This upgrade to digital technology will build on this success, and improve efficiency and effectiveness.”

Fife’s Community Safety Chair Councillor Andrew Keddie added: “We will always support the police in trying to achieve greater detection rates and this is one way of reaching that goal.”

Sixty people were apprehended during February 2007 as a direct result of Public space CCTV.

The CCTV system is also a very effective tool in identifying and assisting to trace vulnerable people.

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