Knives off our streets thanks to new camera

alice_gilliatt_knifeA new safety camera installed at the request of concerned residents has led to three arrests following a fight involving knives in West Kensington.

Following a successful trial of new technology, the deployable CCTV camera in Alice Gilliatt Court began operating in February, following concerns from residents over anti-social behaviour and drug dealing in the area.

This week Hammersmith & Fulham Council’s CCTV  team used the camera to guide police officers to where two knives had been discarded after a man had been threatened at knifepoint during a fight.

The camera also tracked the three suspects who were then arrested for affray and possessing an offensive weapon.

“We listened to residents’ concerns, acted upon them and installed cameras in crime hotspots, leaving criminals with no place to hide. This has led to two dangerous weapons being removed from our streets and three arrests being made,” said Cllr Larry Culhane, chair of H&F Council’s Community Safety, Environment and Residents’ Services Policy and Accountability Committee.

“Tackling crime and reducing anti-social behaviour is a key priority for us, we’ll stop at nothing to ensure that residents feel safe in and around their own homes. I hope these arrests reassure residents of that.”

The new deployable cameras were jointly developed by Hammersmith & Fulham Council’s CCTV service and Vemotion. They can be set up in a fixed position at a given location and then manually operated by the H&F CCTV team.

They came into full operation in February following several months of successful trials.

Keith Hunter, 65, has lived in Alice Gilliatt Court nearly all his life and was mugged himself 15 years ago. He welcomed the new camera.

He said: “If there is CCTV, or a bit of a police presence it frightens them, so this is great news.

“It’s just as well they [the police and CCTV team] do what they do. It is well appreciated, as look what it’s done. It’s marvellous that they have made a couple of arrests.

“I do feel safer when there’s CCTV like that. It was badly needed, when you can deter it, because you don’t want that sort of thing. Drug dealing and muggings.”

H&F Council has put the most council-funded police officers on the streets in the borough’s history, with 44 more officers helping keep residents safe.