New CCTV control room opens in Bury St Edmunds to monito 140 cameras in west Suffolk

CCTV room at West Suffolk House. Opening day for the new facility. Doing the official opening is May

CCTV room at West Suffolk House. Opening day for the new facility. Doing the official opening is Mayor Patrick Chung. - Credit: Gregg Brown

A new £400,000 CCTV room which is one of the most hi-tech in the country has been unveiled in Bury St Edmunds, creating a safer environment for shoppers, business owners and residents.

The former CCTV facility in Parkway multi-storey car park opened in 1995 and started off managing 48 cameras. But the old equipment needed updating and the room itself was too small to enable the service to expand.

So a decision was made last year to invest ?£400,000 in a new CCTV room at West Suffolk House.

This was launched at a special open day this week attended by St Edmundsbury mayor Patrick Chung, local councillors, and police.

The new CCTV room now controls 140 cameras across St Edmundsbury, Forest Heath and Stowmarket.

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In May 2014 the councils’ annual CCTV cost was ?£322,100, with an income of £75,750. Those annual running costs are now projected to be £285,252, which represents a saving of £36,848 to the service.

The new facility uses wireless connectivity where possible instead of expensive fibre rental, and energy efficiency savings will be made by using flat-screen technology. The camera footage is high-definition, which is more effective if needed for police evidence.

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At the launch, St Edmundsbury council leader John Griffiths said the idea was to develop the CCTV scheme into a commercial service which would ultimately benefit taxpayers.

He said: “The aim is to become not only cost neutral but also to possibly generate surplus that will support other services as Government funding changes.”

Mr Griffiths said the service would be a “huge benefit” to the local economy and would make west Suffolk a safer place to work, live and visit.

Robert Everitt, cabinet member for families and communities, also talked about CCTV’s role in public protection, such as when it is used to help locate vulnerable people who have gone missing.

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