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Monday, 13 March 2017
Council set to invest in CCTV and tackle street drinking to make Brent safer
10 March 2017
PLANS to make Brent safer are set to get the go-ahead next week, as Brent Council's Cabinet are asked back improvements to CCTV in the borough and a new proposal to curb street drinking. The council's Cabinet will on Monday evening (March 13) be asked to back a report recommending the spending of around £2m on an overhaul of CCTV in the borough, which notes increasing operational costs of maintaining a 20-year-old system described in the report as "archaic" and requiring "an upgrade." Instead, it is suggested that the council switch to a wireless CCTV system, which would allow for a more cost-efficient and flexible CCTV network, and enable the easy relocation of cameras to crime hotspot areas as required, without the need to hard-wire a camera in. The proposed move to upgrade the borough's CCTV network comes as Brent was this week (March, 9) recognised by the Home Office's Surveillance Camera Commissioner for its work on CCTV, becoming one of only a handful of boroughs in London to be audited and certificated for following the twelve guiding principles, set out in the Surveillance Camera Code of Practice. Brent's Cabinet will also on Monday evening consider a proposal to better combat street drinking. Even though the whole of the borough of Brent has been a controlled drinking zone since 2007, anti-social behaviour linked to prohibited street is still an issue in areas including Harlesden, Kilburn, Ealing Road, Neasden, Wembley Park and Sudbury. In response, it is proposed that the Council introduces Public Spaces Protection Orders in these areas for six months to tackle the issue - a breach of which will be a criminal offence and carry a fine of up to £1,000. Cllr Tom Miller, Brent Council's Cabinet Member for Stronger Communities, said: "Our proposals to improve our CCTV and tackle alcohol-related anti-social behaviour follow the recent work we have we been doing in getting more police on our streets, in tackling crime linked to rogue shisha outlets and underlines our commitment in making Brent safer. "The investment in CCTV would not only replace a dated twentieth century system, but will mean we'll get a state-of-the-art, more flexible and cost-efficient system that ensures we can maintain a network that helps to keep residents safe. "We are also considering measures to introduce Public Spaces Protection Orders for street drinking, demonstrating that while we will always help those vulnerable people battling addiction, we will always take a zero tolerance approach towards anti-social behaviour."