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Plaistow’s CCTV out of action for months ahead of Newham Council refurb

PUBLISHED: 07:00 11 February 2020

Clockwise from left: A disconnected CCTV camera off Valetta Grove; empty posts at Settle Point Car Park; a  camera in Stratford Road that has been down for more than two years. Pictures: Hannah Somerville/Google Streetview

Clockwise from left: A disconnected CCTV camera off Valetta Grove; empty posts at Settle Point Car Park; a camera in Stratford Road that has been down for more than two years. Pictures: Hannah Somerville/Google Streetview

Archant

More than 10 security cameras have been down for months in Plaistow as the council finishes an overhaul of its CCTV network.

A disconnected camera at the far end of Fothergill Close, which is waiting to be upgraded. Picture: Hannah SomervilleA disconnected camera at the far end of Fothergill Close, which is waiting to be upgraded. Picture: Hannah Somerville

Old cameras in a cluster of key locations near the tube station are either pointing downwards, pointing up at the sky or have been removed.

All of them have been judged beyond repair and are set to be replaced as part of a borough-wide effort that has seen 550 cameras in Newham upgraded so far. But this work might not be completed until summer.

In Plaistow at least 11 cameras are out of action, including one facing the park off Valetta Grove and three at Settle Point Car Park.

Two at the end of residential streets Dimsdale Walk and Fothergill Close are off and pointing away from the street.

Settle Point Car Park behind Plaistow Station, where three cameras were operating in April 2019. Picture: Google StreetviewSettle Point Car Park behind Plaistow Station, where three cameras were operating in April 2019. Picture: Google Streetview

All of the cameras were up and running in April 2019 - except for one on the junction of Stratford Road and Valetta Grove, which has been aiming at the pavement since at least September 2017.

Plaistow youth campaigner Raheel Butt contacted the council with concerns after beginning to notice the issue last September.

He said: "My main concern now is how much crime has taken place, and how many people have got away with it? Will people see this as an opportunity to continue doing what they're doing?

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"This is a core location and it needs to be heavily monitored. This could be leaving people exposed to crimes that will go unchallenged."

According to police data there were 1,504 crimes reported in Plaistow last year, including 393 reports of violence and sexual offences.

There were also 339 incidents of anti-social behaviour and 139 vehicle crimes. Some 39 incidents took place in Terrace Road, 23 in Fothergill Close and 12 in Dimsdale Walk.

Last July a £1.8million contract with Romford-based firm Openview Security Solutions to repair and maintain CCTV cameras came to an end.

The camera on the corner of Brooks Road and Stratford Road in April 2019, October 2019, and this week. Pictures: Google Streetview/Raheel Butt/Hannah SomervilleThe camera on the corner of Brooks Road and Stratford Road in April 2019, October 2019, and this week. Pictures: Google Streetview/Raheel Butt/Hannah Somerville

Newham Council has installed its own fibre and wireless network and is installing hundreds of new digital cameras, linked to its control centre in Bridge Road. The new technology is already up and running in Chadd Green and Lettsom Walk.

About 25 cameras in Newham still need upgrading. Some of the disconnected ones have not yet been taken down because of the disruption the work could cause.

A Newham Council spokeswoman said: "There are other new schemes which will be coming online at a later date, particularly around Maryland, Manor Park and Forest Gate.

"Later this year it is proposed to commence an upgrade of all the housing estate analogue cameras and migrate them onto the council's digital cctv network.

The camera at the far end of Dimsdale Walk has yet to be replaced and cannot be taken away without a cherry picker. Picture: Hannah SomervilleThe camera at the far end of Dimsdale Walk has yet to be replaced and cannot be taken away without a cherry picker. Picture: Hannah Somerville

"When the programme is complete it will provide a state of the art CCTV system to keep the borough and its residents safer."


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