Overview

The closed-circuit television (CCTV) in Stockport is monitored by our control room and is an essential tool. It helps us to: 

  • protect areas used by the public 
  • deter and detect crime 
  • assist in the identification of offenders, leading to their arrest and successful prosecution 
  • reduce anti-social behaviour 
  • reduce the fear of crime 
  • encourage better use of facilities and attractions 
  • maintain and enhance the commercial viability of the town and encourage continued investment 

If you'd like more information or cannot find the information you're looking for, contact the Assurance team on 0161 217 6016 or email assurance@stockporhtomes.org  

How it works

Images are transmitted from the camera down optical fibre as a light signal. On arrival at the CCTV control centre the signal is converted back into pictures. The date, time and camera number is imprinted onto each frame of the image. 

Images from each camera are sent to one of the monitors or they're projected on display units on the video wall and to each of the spot monitors on desks. 

The images are also sent to 'lapsed time' digital video recorders and recorded on hard drives. All footage is recorded 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, throughout the year. 

In addition to 'lapsed time' recording, the CCTV system uses 'real time' recording equipment. These recordings will show events as they happen. 

When an operator observes an incident, they're able to monitor and record the event in real time. This is whilst they're initiating a response from the police. 

Once the incident is over, the investigating police officer can arrange to view the images for evidential quality. The police can request a copy of the recorded images to enable them to conduct their investigation. 

Images are recorded onto hard drives and are kept for 31 days before the hard drives are electronically erased. 

Staffing

The day-to-day operation of the system is managed by the Control Centre Management Team who report to the Head of Service. They take responsibility for the overall management of the Security Service function.  

The primary duty of staff is to operate the equipment to its optimum potential. 

They also actively patrol in the areas covered by the cameras to: 

  • deter crime 
  • detect crime and anti-social behaviour 

All Control Room Operators are trained to operate the equipment. They record incidents or occurrences in support of: 

  • the prevention and detection of crime 
  • public safety 
  • the prosecution of offenders 

They'll also: 

  • assist the police throughout an incident 
  • provide visual evidence of the incident / event 
  • attend court as a witness in support of the evidence they've supplied, if necessary 
Protecting your privacy

We take the issue of people’s rights to privacy seriously. 

Control Room Operators receive training on:  

  • Data Protection 
  • Human Rights 
  • the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Acts 

They also all hold the Security Industry Authority (SIA) public space licence. 

They're trained not to stereotype individuals and they are not permitted to follow people with cameras, unless: 

  • they've reason to believe they have or are about to commit an offence 
  • they've a concern for the welfare of the individual 

There are only 2 instances when a camera operator may view a private area, and these are both related to crimes in progress: 

  1. in response to a direct request from the Police
  2. when a camera operator has witnessed a crime and is directing a Police response 

In both cases, the operator is required to submit a detailed report justifying their actions. 

Any request from the Police for directed surveillance will be subject to authorisation on production of a signed Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (RIPA) form. Any complaint regarding the invasion of privacy will be investigated thoroughly. 

Code of practice

All local authorities should comply with the Home Office guidance on the appropriate and effective use of surveillance camera systems. 

The guidance within the surveillance camera code of practice sets out 12 principles to address concerns over the potential for abuse or misuse of surveillance by the state in public places. The activities of local authorities and the Police are the initial focus of regulation. The code of practice can be downloaded from the GOV.UK website. 

The Home Office have also developed a self-assessment tool so that councils can measure their compliance with the code and identify any improvements that need to be made. Part of this process requires the publication of the self-assessment tool