Tayside Police unveils hi-tech mobile surveillance

Tayside Police has fitted out a new vehicle with the latest hi-tech CCTV products to help in its fight against anti-social behaviour.

Feb 28, 2008
By Paul Jacques
Picture: BRC

Tayside Police has fitted out a new vehicle with the latest hi-tech CCTV products to help in its fight against anti-social behaviour.

Working in conjunction with the Angus Community Safety Partnership, two re-deployable CCTV cameras will be available for use anywhere in the county where there is an identified problem with anti-social or criminal behaviour.

The cameras are designed for operational flexibility. They can be deployed as a stand-alone system, or integrated with existing networks. They can be powered by mains, battery or other power source.

This means that the cameras can be quickly moved to any area where there are existing problems or where information suggests that new problems are beginning to emerge. It can also be used as a mobile command and briefing unit at major incidents and events.

Unlike other areas, the images recorded by the Angus cameras, through this pilot project, will be beamed back to police divisional HQ in Forfar and monitored by staff within the CCTV unit.

Chief Superintendent Alan Campbell, Eastern Divisional Commander, and chair of the community safety partnership, said: ‘‘This demonstrates our clear commitment to deal effectively with issues of anti-social behaviour that blight our towns and communities in Angus. Although content that our crime rates have been falling steadily over recent years, problems caused by underage drinking, inconsiderate driving and alcohol related disorder have become greater concerns for local people. The cameras will greatly assist Tayside Police and our partners in making the Angus community safer.

‘‘It is important that a partnership approach is taken to address these issues and this project demonstrates the determination of the Angus Community Safety Partnership to effectively deal with community concerns.’’

Purchased by Tayside Police and Angus Council, with the assistance of additional funding for Angus Youth Justice Forum and Communities Scotland, the technology is part of a new generation of wireless camera surveillance systems.

Councillor Jim Millar, convenor of neighbourhood services at Angus Council said: ‘‘The types of deployment only highlight the diverse range of problems these cameras can be used for.’

‘‘Importantly for me, CCTV cameras help to reduce the fear of crime on the streets. Not only are they deployed to prevent instances of anti-social behaviour they also provide the police and other partners with intelligence and evidence for enforcement, all crucial in dealing with the longer effects of the problem.’’

The vehicle was kitted out by Crown Conversions, specialists in the conversion of light commercial vehicles. A Forward Vision Metal Mickey (MIC-400) was mounted to the van on a six-and-a half-metre extendable mast, giving a total height of eight metres above ground level and allowing operators a very clear view of the area. Four Vista fixed domes provide perimeter protection for the van, while two 17in Vista monitors allow operators to view the images. A Sony DVR with expansion drive and CD/DVD writer provides the back-up of information and hard copies can be produced on-the-spot using the Mitsubishi video printer. As well as the main control room, CCTV images can also be transmitted to other police vehicles in the force, especially useful during major incidents events in the area.

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