A report showing the results from the first six months of the year (April 2022-September 2022) on how CCTV cameras contribute towards deterring crime, reducing the fear of crime, increasing crime detection and protecting vulnerable people were discussed at the Town Council’s Town & Community Meeting on Tuesday.
The number of supported incidents from the 20 CCTV cameras located around the town was 68, a greatly reduced number from the first half of 2021-2022 where there were 218 incidents. This was due to fewer operators (2 instead of 4 operators in the control room). A third operator is now in post with a fourth currently going
through the police vetting process. The camera which has supported the most incidents is the camera located at the traffic lights at Hart Street/Duke Street/Bell Street junction.
Out of the 68 incidents there were 4 incidents that resulted in arrests from proof from CCTV footage. The most commonly monitored incidents were missing persons (9 incidents), fear of welfare (9), fighting/affray (6) and traffic prohibition (not legally allowed to drive) (5).
There two examples of incidents dealt with by CCTV operators in the report:
One day during the summer, our operator monitored a large group of young people consuming alcohol and jumping into the river. Due to a concern for their welfare, they contacted the police who subsequently attended, gave words of advice and ensured the safety of all those present.
Our operator was made aware that there was a man who had been threatening staff at the town’s library. Noting the description of the man in question, the operator on shift used the cameras to locate him in the local area. They informed police and then directed the officers to his location, where an arrest was made.
Police Officer, Barbara Taylor also spoke at the meeting and answered questions from Councillors. She confirmed that more police officers were coming through the 2 year training programme slowly and the level should be back up to the required level by the end of this year. She spoke about the difficult medical incident at the Bistro at the Boathouse restaurant where the lady collapsed and was not breathing for 19 minutes and sadly died later in hospital. When asked about drugs, Barbara warned that elderly and vulnerable people were being befriended by people who are drug dealers. A new clearer CCTV photo of the people who let down car tyres around town a few weeks ago has been forwarded to the police by a resident. Barbara confirmed that no one has been identified so far and the police are now assuming the suspects are not from Henley. One of the cars targeted was a doctor’s which had a knock-on affect on others.