CCTV upgrade helping to make North Somerset a safer place

10:00am - 16 November 2022

New state-of-the-art CCTV cameras are helping to make North Somerset a safer place for residents and visitors.

North Somerset Council has now replaced old analogue cameras with state-of-the-art digital ones. This forms part of a £300,000 upgrade of the public surveillance system.

The 80 new cameras in Clevedon, Nailsea, Portishead and Weston-super-Mare produce clearer images. This will provide better evidence to relevant enforcement agencies and with prosecutions. They will also help maintain public order by preventing anti-social and other nuisance behaviour. Improvements that will aim to provide reassurance to the public.

The new technology allows authorised police to log in and access cameras remotely from agreed locations. The upgrade also includes separate mobile cameras. These can be sent to hotspots to deal with issues such as anti-social behaviour and littering.

The previous system had been in place for 20 years and was fast becoming obsolete. The upgrade are funded by contributions from town councils in Clevedon, Nailsea, Portishead and Weston. 

The cameras are monitored 24 hours a day, 365 days a year by a team of trained operators at North Somerset Council's emergency control centre.

The operators have direct radio communication with police, council enforcement officers, businesses, and street wardens.

They also deal with:

  • emergency out-of-hours calls to the council
  • lone worker monitoring
  • provide a dedicated operator for the night-time Carelink service. 

"Our emergency control room plays a key role in preventing and responding to crime and disorder incidents. This helps to keep residents and visitors to North Somerset safe," said Cllr Mike Solomon.

"The huge advance in camera technology enables much higher definition images to be transmitted to the control room. This gives our operators greater control of the cameras on the streets. We are already seeing positive outcomes. For example, the police recently caught two drink drivers who could easily have caused serious harm to themselves."

The council also plans to use some of the Safer Streets funding award to provide re-deployable mobile digital CCTV cameras. These will be placed in locations with a disproportionate volume of offences, and a high level of fear of crime. They will have direct wi-fi transmission to the emergency control centre.