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wolfie
Posted on: May 25 2010, 10:08 AM


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All very reassuring from the police about "being there" but during the evening its CCTV and the Door staff that monitor and react to incidents, the police are just a taxi service taking those who do get arrested back to the warmth of the hospitality suite (formerly Gaol) Same during the day. Fri and Sat night they do turn up at closing but till then the streets are police free zone. People knock the PCSO's but at least they are there sometimes even if they lack the powers.

As for Bart St, Pound st and the rest. some cameras there havn't worked for ages in Bart St and the reason the other areas didnt get the 2 cameras removed from 2 other areas was shifting the monitoring elsewhere - not so much a Win Win situation for everybody then.

It was supposed to be all working by April 1st. Any more news on that?? Gone very quiet......
  Forum: Newbury News · Post Preview: #17981 · Replies: 4 · Views: 2,779

wolfie
Posted on: May 14 2010, 06:59 PM


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I agree - see my comments about Guidance about Schedule 12ALocal Government Act 1972. This I believe contains the allowed exemptions to full public disclosure of committees etc. As I said below, its not there to cover up waste, rather to protect business negotiations etc. And it must pass the public interest test.

The loyal team that served Newbury for years, often doing ovetime not because they needed the money but because they felt obliged and duty bound to protect the citizens of West Berks who and in many cases are their friends in the security environment, as well as the police officers responding.

W
  Forum: Newbury News · Post Preview: #17751 · Replies: 15 · Views: 8,268

wolfie
Posted on: May 14 2010, 06:51 PM


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I know people in the CCTV department, and it is no secret that the Council have managed (mismanaged) the operation so badly it should really be subject to an investiagtion. They have spent over £25,000 on consultancy fees for the new project which still isnt finished as they got rid of the manager.
They always cite commercial confidentiality to cover their tracks but in most cases it is not a defendable position, they just hope that people are put off from digging further and finding the massive waste. The operation was moved internally 3 times and ended up in a department part of the role of which is to spread disinformation ( the "communications" part of policy and communications department).

Its no secret either that alternative proposals about moving it to Maidenhead or whereever were not properly put to the executive members prior to their decision. The end result is that instead of an upgrade linking all the council buildings and town centre together only a 1/3 of the available cameras will be transferred. Thats value for money. The team were told categorically in Dec 2009 ( the month after signing new contracts) that they would be redundant and the new system of remote monitoring in by 1 Apr (very apt) 2010. The management didnt even realise they would have to go to tender to do this and didn't do it until mid april so that explains a lot. Sheer incompetance.

You can expect any request to be met with "commercial confidentiality" or subject to some other thing like "security of personal" or "the location" (when it is no secret where it is anyway). These may all be legitimate under Guidance about Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972 BUT only where there is not an overriding public interest. And wasting thousands through incomptetance and trying to cover it up is not in the public interest.

The latest lot to have responsibilty for the fiasco are non-technical and have been unable to even keep the place fully manned. This is because they destroyed the goodwill that is always required to keep any shift operation going.

CCTV and the store detectives or security is one of the best tools the police have for catching up with offenders, as they are usually too busy with paperwork or in cars patrolling to have much of a presence in the town centre.


  Forum: Newbury News · Post Preview: #17750 · Replies: 15 · Views: 8,268


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