110 CCTV cameras offline for months as Rotherham Council brings in specialist
RMBC embarked on a £400,000 project in September 2022 to upgrade its network of 100 fixed cameras and 97 mobile units.
The fact that so many were offline emerged after problems with anti-social behaviour at Thrybergh Country Park.
Trouble-causers were allegedly fishing without a licence – and then kicking the fish they caught.
A meeting was set-up with police, rangers and elected members of the two nearest council areas.
Cllr Lewis Mills, who represents the Bramley & Ravenfield ward, said: “We found out that one of the cameras on there was offline. Looking into it, 112 council cameras have been offline since June.”
“I think it’s disappointing that the council has let it get this bad, especially when it could have been potential evidence.”
Cllr Mills asked at this month’s full council meeting why it had taken five months for the sim cards to be upgraded.
Cllr Saghir Alam, cabinet member for corporate services, community safety and finance, said: “Due to the increased cost with the current supplier and the need to comply with financial regulation, officers have been required to source a new provider for sim cards and arrange for installation.
“In addition, each camera required reprogramming with new software to enable the sim cards to work, and additional security measures have been implemented to improve security and access to the systems.
This upgrade required a technical CCTV specialist to undertake the work and therefore this had to be externally sourced.”
He added: “I’m afraid it’s not as easy or perhaps as simple as we think, transferring the sim.”
A third of 112 cameras done by October 4, with the rest expected to be back online by the end of the month.
Cllr Mills said: “It seems the council have dragged their feet in identifying the need for the upgrade, like with various other problems this town faces on a regular basis.
“The taxpayer expects a certain level of service or the high rates that we pay.”