'Not fit for purpose' CCTV cameras set for upgrade

Barking Town Hall

The borough's CCTV system is managed from Barking Town Hall - Credit: Ken Mears

Barking and Dagenham Council is seeking a contractor to replace many of the borough's CCTV cameras, which have been described as "no longer fit for purpose".

Cabinet members approved on April 19 to proceed with the procurement of a supplier to deliver a CCTV upgrade and to provide a maintenance service.

A council report said the cameras and transmission equipment have "come to the end of their serviceable life and are no longer fit for purpose".

It said the council has 111 CCTV cameras and 16 CCTV systems on council housing blocks.

Among the areas surveyed by the cameras are public areas with historically high levels of crime and anti-social behaviour.

The systems are currently managed from a control room at Barking Town Hall.

The report said: "The supplier is to be responsible for the supply and installation of equipment to replace the existing public space CCTV cameras, transmission and network equipment that were installed up to twenty years ago which have deteriorated over time and are no longer fit for purpose.

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"Remote systems installed at London Road car park and the council owned blocks that are operated at the control room are similarly worn-out and require replacement."

The analogue cameras are planned to be replaced with digital cameras and the introduction of a wireless transmission network.

Of the 111 cameras, 91 are to be replaced.

The contract as a whole is estimated at £4million, with £1.5m for the CCTV upgrade.

The upgrade of housing block systems and the refurbishment and installation of premises systems is set to cost £2m.

The report added: "The control room operators will be able to respond immediately to incidents they are notified of, to pan and zoom the cameras on to incidents to both assist the police and emergency services on the ground and produce high quality CCTV images that can be used evidentially for the investigation and prosecution of offences."

The digital wireless infrastructure would enable the public space cameras to be moved to different locations, it said.

Council leader Darren Rodwell told the meeting: "It's something we've been working on for a while now and new technologies mean they are easier to move around the borough as well - when and where we need them."