Published on 8 May, 2009
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Police in Westminster, in partnership with Covent Garden London, Sony and First Security have invested £150,000 to equip a converted Mercedes van
The West End's crackdown on street crime gets a state-of-the-art boost today with the launch of Westminster police's first mobile CCTV unit.
Police in Westminster, in partnership with Covent Garden London, Sony and First Security have invested £150,000 to equip a converted Mercedes van with all the latest in closed circuit television, cameras, recording equipment and LCD screens to more effectively monitor street crime.
Commander Simon Bray, the head of Police in Westminster, unveiled the dedicated CCTV vehicle in Covent Garden, one of London's most vibrant shopping and leisure destinations.
The vehicle offers 360-degree coverage through a number of sophisticated cameras and synchronised recording equipment. This will provide very high-quality images providing crucial assistance to investigations and future prosecutions.
It is the first CCTV mobile unit owned and operated by police in Westminster that can be deployed to critical and serious incidents by officers 24-7. The ability to deploy the vehicle rapidly will enable officers to obtain footage of incidents as they occur and to quickly identify people involved or leaving the vicinity.
Whilst deployed to major incidents, it also has the capacity to be used as a "command centre" for senior officers to coordinate police activity at the scene.
As well as being mobilised fast time to incidents, the vehicle will be deployed to areas where crime happens. Images can be recorded for up to 12 hours at a time and retrieved instantly from a hard drive.
It can be locked and parked in an area without needing to be manned by officers, providing an additional visible deterrent to would-be criminals and reassurance to the public.
First Security, the leading manned guarding business in central London, paid for the Mercedes and the unique number plate "P999 SEE", Covent Garden London funded the conversion costs of making the vehicle operational, while Sony fitted it out with the latest technology.
| Sony SNC-DM160 used on the Mobile CCTV unit|
The Sony Professional solution is designed to record, review and manage all activity around the van. Two different cameras - the SNC-DM160 megapixel mini dome camera and the SNC-RX570P / outdoor PTZ camera - allow CCTV operators to monitor activity and zoom in on specific areas of interest; while Sony Bravia TV Screens enable operators to view high quality images as they are sourced. Realshot Manager Software completes the process by managing all content.
This acquisition complements the already sophisticated CCTV infrastructure in Westminster, giving officers more flexibility.
Commander Bray said: "The van is a real asset and will make a very visible difference to policing in the West End, helping to tackle crime and disorder in the area. Westminster remains one of the safest places to visit in the world and we expect this new equipment will help make it even safer for the millions of people who visit, live and work in the area."
Ros Barclay, Head of Marketing of Covent Garden London, said: "We are delighted to support this initiative with Westminster Police. Covent Garden, with its accessibility and pedestrianised Piazza, is an area known for offering hassle-free shopping and dining, so this new tool in policing should further improve the visitor
| Sony SNC-RX570P allows CCTV operators to monitor activity and zoom in on specific areas |
Mike Crump, Managing Director of First Security said: "We have enjoyed a long and successful period of protecting businesses, people and assets throughout the West End and this significant investment reflects our continued commitment to security at the highest level."
Simon Nash, head of video security, Sony Professional Europe, said: "From the initial tracking to the review and management of the data, this combination of Sony Professional technology will enable Westminster Police to run a complete video surveillance process from a mobile unit. We are confident that it will improve policing in the Westminster area."