Leedswatch CCTV network to go fully digital during upgrade

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The network of CCTV cameras used to tackle crime and disorder in communities across Leeds is to be fully digitised as part of a major system upgrade.

A Leeds City Council panel heard network costs are “inconsistent” across the city, because the monitoring relies on a third party fibre broadband provider.

Its rate is based on the distance between a camera’s location and the Leedswatch control room in Middleton.

Officials had planned on modernising the CCTV network when the existing contract ends in April 2018, but now councillors are being asked to consider delaying the work until the end of next year.

Delaying means that the new contract can be tied in with a wider full fibre broadband project for the whole city and all council buildings.

It is hoped this will offer the chance to secure better quality images and bring an end to the pricing inconsistencies.

Council officers leading the Leedswatch upgrade were quizzed on the benefits by the Environment, Housing and Communities Scrutiny Board this week.

Harvinder Saimbhi, head of operations for delivery, communications and environment, said: “It gives the council a great opportunity to have just one fibre network contract. It would also not be financially prudent if we were to procure a separate solution for Leedswatch.”

She assured councillors that the network of more than 1,000 cameras would continue to record incidents just as it did now, with operators monitoring live footage at hotspots.

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