In response to the findings of the Limerick Hinterland Study, Limerick City & County Council working in partnership with An Garda Síochána, installed in 2018 in a pilot project an integrated Smart CCTV platform in 14 towns of Limerick County included in the Hinterland Study.
1. Newcastle West
Detailed proposed CCTV locations are available for download at http://opendata.limerick.ie/cctv.html
Smart CCTV Pilot Project Locations
As a number of rural Garda stations have closed down during the economic downturn many communities have requested over the years the installation or an increase in the presence of CCTV. This is necessary for a better response to local concerns in relation to public order, combating offences and community safety (Rathkeale, Newcastle West, Askeaton, Fedamore, Bruff, just to name a few). While the demand is much higher than the funding available the aim of this pilot project was to develop an integrated Smart CCTV platform that can be expanded and better support local communities to combat crime and the fear of crime in the longer term when more funding becomes available.
The overall aim is to support the development of safer communities in Limerick from all points of view and to bring multiple direct and indirect benefits to the local communities including:
- Improved community safety and perception of safety by the local communities by enabling offline and live access for An Garda Síochána to any CCTV cameras as necessary in performing its duties;
- Improve emergency response e.g. accidents, fire, major emergency or severe weather incidents;
- Better traffic management and control, traffic counting & categorization, traffic flow and parking;
- Reduce damage to private and public properties & infrastructure;
- Combat and reduce anti-social behaviour;
- Cleaner environment and public spaces, combating illegal dumping, better animal control and an overall better environmental control;
- Smart CCTV features will support not only the collective efforts of combating crime and prosecuting offenders but will also facilitate the development of “smart” communities that have access to near real-time open data such as traffic counting, pedestrian counting, etc. The data provided by features such as Automatic Number Plate Recognition - ANPR, traffic counters, intrusion detection, line crossing will help An Garda officers, and also local authority operational and strategic departments to make better decisions.
- Help promote tourism and the events organised in town centres (festivals, markets, parades, etc.) to an international audience by providing online streaming service in a number of locations (pending costs estimation and technical details). This feature will also help connect people from local communities that are living abroad with their home towns (see Global Limerick Network report).
- Improve civic engagement and community support by enabling local communities to contribute to their development as safer communities.
Due to budget limitations the projected demand for CCTV installation in the 14 towns has been met by installation in two waves.
Wave 1 CCTV installations have been completed in 2018 in all 14 towns with all 14 systems recording live footage.
In Wave 1, 48 High Spec / High Quality cameras (or the equivalent of at least 88 cameras) have been installed in 23 new locations in the 14 towns, as follows:
• 11 x 360' Panoramic PTZ cameras
• 9 x 270' Panoramic PTZ cameras
• 3 x 180' Panoramic PTZ cameras
• 18 x ANPR cameras for Automatic Number Plate Recognition
• 7 x PTZ cameras for Active Monitoring (Live Streaming)
The system is currently in an initial transition (test) period when An Garda Siochana officers are provided with the CCTV footage needed for the purpose of securing public order and safety in public places by facilitating the deterrence, prevention, detection and prosecution of offences.
In Wave 2 of this project, another 13 locations with 22 CCTV Cameras will be installed in 2019 using the funding secured from the Department of Justice Community Based CCTV scheme.
This will see the installation of all the CCTV locations authorised by the An Garda Comissioner and the Limerick Joint Policing Committee in 2017.
CCTV Live Monitoring
A critical element of any CCTV system is the ability to raise the alarm when needed. Therefore proactive CCTV monitoring is critical aspect.
It is proposed that CCTV monitoring to be provided by the Moyross Community Enterprise Centre (MCEC) located in Limerick City that developed the necessary experience, processes and capabilities over the past 20 years in monitoring almost 200 cameras in Limerick. The Moyross Community Enterprise Centre is a social enterprise funded by the Department of Social Protection and LCCC with a €2.7m investment in 2017. It provides not only a professional CCTV monitoring service but also the development of skills, training and certifications as CCTV Operators for applicants under Community Employment and other Job Initiatives. Moyross Community Enterprise Centre currently employs staff from 7 different towns of Limerick county. All monitoring staff have passed Garda vetting.
Monitoring will be strictly controlled according with all the relevant legislation and in particular the Garda Síochána and the Data Protection Act 2018. The MCEC representatives also attend Court proceedings to provide statements as needed.
Monitoring from a central location brings additional benefits for the local community:
• Savings and economies of scale by using a single CCTV monitoring centre, reduction in staff costs and operational costs
• Easier access from a single point of contact / location for An Garda officers for investigating crime and offences
• Increased security and access control to the CCTV Monitoring centre
• Single Point of contact for Data Requests under the Data Protection legislation
• Improved governance and adoption of standards and best practice in CCTV Monitoring
• CCTV Data Backup for local CCTV Schemes (in case of vandalism)
Data Protection & Privacy
Privacy and personal data protection is paramount.
The Smart CCTV platform is implemented with privacy, data protection and information security by design.
Video recording, processing and monitoring together with any data generated will be strictly controlled and governed under the relevant legislation and in particular the Garda Síochána and the Data Protection Act and also the requirements of General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
Engagement with local communities
As part of this project extensive information and consultation has been undertaken with representatives of local communities. Between March and July 2017, 4 presentations have been made to the 3 municipal district councillors; 55 representatives from 28 organisations (Estate Residents Representatives Forum, Local Community Councils, GAA and Development Associations) representing the 14 towns have been consulted in relation to the proposed locations and use for Smart CCTV. During this engagement the demand for further installation of CCTV in these communities has been captured and also the potential locations where CCTV should be installed when funding becomes available. A list of community representatives contacts that wish to continue and participate in the development of Smart CCTV has been developed.
The proposed CCTV locations have been defined with the support and in consultation with the local An Garda Síochána officers. Also, all the relevant departments in Limerick City & County Council (Community Support Services, Social Development, Economic Development, Physical Development & Traffic Management, Planning & Environmental Services, Regeneration, ICT & Digital Strategy and Local Area Engineers).
Domain: Community & Citizenship
Timeframe: 2017 - 2019
Metric: 40 Smart CCTV in 14 towns
Organisation: LCCC – DS, LCCC – CSS, LCCC – IT, An Garda Siochana