Havering CCTV refresh delayed again

Further delays in a £5m ‘CCTV refresh’ across Havering mean it will not be complete until April 2023 at the earliest.

The programme to upgrade the council’s CCTV system was confirmed in March but the “roll out” is now not expected to start until next month.

The work was delayed by COVID-19 and the programme’s lead officer leaving, the crime and disorder sub-committee heard on Wednesday (October 6).

Last year a council report revealed that Havering’s CCTV network was plagued by faults, with 177 out of the 406 council-owned cameras not working properly.

“The hold up at the moment is knowing where our control centre is actually going to be,” the council’s assistant director of civil protection Julie Chandler told the sub-committee.

She added the project had to be “done thoroughly” and that funding wasn’t agreed until last year.

Ms Chandler did not directly answer when councillor John Tyler asked whether an outside consultant had cost the council more than £60,000 in the last four years.

She said: “230 cameras out of a total of 300 cameras are in housing estates.

“Each one of those sites had to be visited to check on equipment and there’s obviously quite a huge cost in doing that work.”

She added the cameras can’t be placed “willy nilly” and as a code of practice states cameras must follow “police intelligence”.

Her department has also used the time to make savings, such as the council laying its own fibre optic cables to avoid paying fees to BT.

Cllr Tyler said: “In these reports there’s not a great deal of detail if you like, at the end of the day this has been going for several years already, we’re talking about a £5 million budget for this financial year.”

Ms Chandler responded: “The project manager is starting soon, they’re fully qualified and have done projects like this over London.

“We have got a gantt chart and will be sharing that with members.”

Josh Mellor

Local Democracy Reporter