What is CCTV?
Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) is a television system which operates on a "closed loop" basis.
Unlike broadcast television which is available to anyone with a suitable receiver, CCTV pictures are only available to those directly connected to the loop which, in Torfaen's case, is the central monitoring control room.
The loop is a physical link consisting of a fibre optic cable which carries the picture from the camera to a monitor.
CCTV plays a major role in making Torfaen safer, helping to provide evidence where a crime has been committed and ultimately, reducing crime where cameras are operational.
The Scheme aims to:
- Assist in the detection and prevention of crime (including vehicular crime)
- Provide evidential material to assist Police investigations
- Deter those having criminal intent
- Reduce the fear of crime and give confidence to the public that they are in a secure environment
- Provide safer communities
- Reduce acts of vandalism
- Assist in the prevention and detection of antisocial behaviour
- Assist with traffic management
Does it Work?
The success of CCTV in reducing incidents of crime and disorder and the fear of crime in the areas covered has been marked.
From research on crime and disorder it is clear that CCTV has also contributed to reducing the fear of crime and increasing the perception of security in the areas covered by the cameras.
Significant investment on CCTV has taken place within the borough and this has led to many recorded and reported incidents.
How many cameras are there?
Presently in Torfaen we have 22 cameras covering public open spaces:
- Blaenavon - 5
- Garndiffaith - 1
- Trevethin - 2
- Pontypool Town Centre - 8
- Riverside Car Park - 6
We also have a number of cameras protecting schools and other public buildings.
What is the process?
All data is recorded 24/7, on to a Computer Digital Systems hard drive. This is over-written every 31 days. If requested by the law enforcement or licensing authorities within that 31 days, specific footage may be saved for longer-term storage into a secure Evidence Locker. If no longer required by the requesting authority or after 60 days, it is irretrievably deleted. There is a facility for producing still images also on this Digital System. These images are stored securely and are deleted as soon as they are no longer needed. Hard copies are not normally produced.
Any actions performed on the system (for example, viewing, copying to storage) are recorded and reports of all system features can be obtained, by the CCTV Supervisor/Manager.
When evidence of an incident is saved and then burnt to a DVD for the police, a report of all relevant data that accompanies it, is stored by the system. This is then printed for the police to be used as an evidence trail in court. To ensure that an unbroken evidence trail is preserved, a unique code, linking the computer record to the DVD, is burned onto the DVD. This precludes any form of tampering.
In these processes, Torfaen CCTV is fully compliant with all the relative legislation. All new CCTV installations will be subject to submission of a formal Business Case. This will aim to provide the reasons why CCTV monitoring is required. Each Business Case will be submitted to our Legal Department and our Information Security Team to ensure compliance with statutory guidelines and legislative compliance.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I come and view some footage of an incident?
This may be possible in some circumstances but is dependent upon the specific case. Viewing of CCTV footage is governed by the General Data Protection Regulation 2018 and the Human Rights Act as well as other legislation.
How can I find out if there is footage of an incident?
You can request information on an incident, via the following link DPA@torfaen.gov.uk.
You will need to supply the date and approximate time (2 hour time slot), the exact area in which the incident occurred and information pertaining to the incident.
Once the recordings have been checked we will contact you with the outcome. TCBC will supply a standard form for all CCTV Subject Access Requests made under the General Data Protection Regulation. These will be subject to a fee.
Where is the CCTV room located?
This information is not available to the public.
Is CCTV run by the police?
No. Torfaen County Borough Council runs the CCTV centre, although we do work in partnership with other agencies including Gwent Police. Police Officers are allowed 24/7 access to view footage
When is the CCTV service in operation?
We operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.
Who sees the pictures?
Torfaen County Borough Council employs trained operators, who will continually monitor the pictures 24 hours-a-day, 365 days-a-year. Any pictures viewed by the operators can also be made available by Gwent Police or Licensing Authorities.
We aim to provide a first class service but, should a member of the public have cause to be unhappy with this service, a formal complaint may be made here.
Last Modified: 12/02/2020
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