Blackpool’s CCTV system to be overhauled after controversy of switched-off cameras

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It is also proposed to relocate the CCTV monitoring centre

 

A key step towards upgrading Blackpool’s CCTV system has been taken with the council seeking a supplier for new equipment.

Councillors were warned in December existing equipment is becoming obsolete and needs replacing.

It is also proposed to relocate the CCTV monitoring centre from the former Bonny Street police station to Municipal Buildings on Corporation Street.

The council has advertised on local government procurement site The Chest for a supplier of surveillance and security systems.

The brief adds: “This contract is for supply only of CCTV equipment. During the life of the contract, additional CCTV projects and further equipment requirements may be identified, including the provision of replacement and spare parts.”

Potential suppliers have until September 10 to submit their bids.

No price has been put on the contract, but future provision of neighbourhood CCTV could be paid for from councillors’ ward budgets.

John Blackledge, the council’s director of community and environmental services, told a meeting of the audit committee last December that parts of the system were in danger of becoming obsolete, while there had been ‘under investment’.

He said an 18 month review of the system would be carried out, including of the town centre CCTV system.

He added: “Technology is moving on so much that some of this system is going to become obsolete quite quickly in terms of replacement and management, and we do need to do something.”

In July last year, Independent councillor Gary Coleman called for a full review of the town’s CCTV system after it emerged many cameras were either dummy cameras or non-operational.

He warned: “This can dangerously mislead the public and staff into believing they are in monitored areas, when they are not.”

Coun Coleman added: “We are letting our residents, staff and visitors down by making our CCTV coverage a lottery of effectiveness.”

Recent investment in CCTV includes £200,000 at Stanley Park paid for by Proceeds of Crime Act funding.