May 24 2013 Latest news:
Melissa York, Reporter
Wednesday, March 20, 2013
Concierges could be replaced with CCTV cameras on housing estates and council blocks, if new security proposals are approved.
Newham currently has 959 CCTV cameras, 90 mobile cameras and two CCTV vans to tackle crime and anti-social behaviour but the council is reviewing its security policy to add more.
The full impact of the CCTV expansion on jobs will depend on the outcome of the consultation but all concierge staff and residents who may be affected have been written to with details about the proposals.
According to police figures, there were 32,809 crimes recorded in Newham last year and 249 of the arrests were made as a direct result of CCTV cameras.
Resident Helen Alleyne, who lives with her son in Settle Point, London Road, Plaistow, said neighbours had already held a meeting to talk about their concerns.
She added: “We already have CCTV around the block but that’s not the point. You feel safer with the concierges being there and there’s a couple of elderly people and vulnerable people in this block and they pop in and check they’re alright.
“We pay an extra charge on top of our rent for concierges but people here don’t mind paying it because they’d rather have them here.”
Under the proposed changes, CCTV would be centrally monitored 24/7 and emergency call points to the main control centre would be installed.
There would also be a 24-hour security service and a new cleaning service but the regularity of their visits are still being worked out.
Sign in/out books, introduced following complaints about anti-social behaviour and bogus callers, would also be scrapped with CCTV recording everyone entering and leaving the building.
A Newham Council spokesperson said: “We have also written to all those blocks that may benefit from the proposed service inviting them to take part in the consultation.”
To share your views on the consultation, complete a survey at www.newham.gov.uk/housingsecurity, email email@example.com by April 30.