In 2008 East Cambridgeshire District Council (ECDC) in partnership with the City of Ely Council, Soham Town Council and the local Constabulary, successfully transferred the monitoring of the cameras in Ely and Soham from Cambridge City County Council, saving local taxpayers £100,000 each year, whilst significantly improving access to the CCTV by local police.
ECDC subsequently withdrew from the partnership and the final stage, which will save a further £40,000 each year, has been to move over to a modern wi-fi system. As well as being much cheaper, the system also provides a more flexible scheme for the future and was welcomed by all partners. A new Partnership was formed.
The purpose of the CCTV is to contribute towards ensuring the Town Centres of both Ely and Soham are safe from crime and social nuisance.
Monitoring of the CCTV cameras spread around Ely and Soham takes place in the Ely Police Station by a volunteer team, led by a Co-ordinator, and managed by the Clerk of the City Council.
The CCTV partnership is chaired by a City of Ely Council Cuncillor and comprises 3 further City of Ely Councillors, 2 Soham Town councillors, representatives of the Police and the lead of the Community Safety Partnership of the ECDC.
Ely & Soham Community CCTV Partnership
Ely and Soham CCTV cover the City Centre of Ely and the town centre of Soham. In addition it also covers the public car parks in both areas, the recreation areas in St Johns Road, Ely and Fountain Lane, Soham and also Ely Market Square. There are a total of 28 cameras in Ely and 7 in Soham.
The control room is located at Ely Police station where all the cameras are recorded 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, with cameras monitored at peak periods by volunteers.
Aims of the Scheme
The aim of the scheme is to reduce the level of vehicle crime, anti-social behaviour, violence, theft, criminal damage and commercial burglaries within the areas covered by the scheme.
The Ely Pub Watch and Shop Watch schemes link into the CCTV scheme via radios held by local pubs, clubs and shops, thus enabling precise targeting of actual and potential troublemakers.
Operation of the Scheme
The CCTV Scheme is owned by the City of Ely Council and Soham Town Council and operated by volunteers.
The cameras are operated within a strict Code of Practice and the viewing of private areas is strictly prohibited within this code. Part of this code also requires that CCTV signs are displayed in areas covered by the cameras.
Targeted observations are undertaken within the scope of the key objectives set out within the Human Rights Act 1998 and the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000.
For More information concerning the CCTV scheme and its operation, please contact The Clerk to the Council, City of Ely Council, email firstname.lastname@example.org, Tel: 01353 661016
How to Request CCTV Footage
Under the Data Protection Act 1998, individuals have a right to see CCTV images if they are the subject. This is called a Subject Access Request. To make a request, you will need to contact the City of Ely Council
To access to the images you will need to:
- Fill out a CCTV Subject Access Request Form,
- Pay a £10 fee
- Prove your identity (and that of any representative acting on your behalf)
To assist us in dealing with a request for such information please download the CCTV Subject Access Request form here and return it to:
The Clerk to the Council, City of Ely Council, Sessions House, Ely.
Once the City of Ely Council has received the completed form, relevant identification and the fee, it will take a maximum of 40 calendar days to get back to you with an answer. This is the statutory period under the Data Protection Act 1998. However, please be aware that the CCTV images are only retained for a maximum time period of 28 days.
You must provide sufficient and accurate information about the time, date and place to enable the data controller to locate the information. It is recognised that you may be unlikely to know the precise time. Under those circumstances, it is suggested that within one hour of accuracy would be a reasonable requirement.
It is important that the Council does not compromise anyone else’s privacy, so you will only be able to view CCTV footage that does not contain images of third parties or images that would enable you to identify other people (e.g. car registration details). Images of other subjects would need to be edited or blanked out to make sure no one else can be identified. This process is costly, and one which the Council has the right to refuse to undertake if the costs are disproportionate. Alternatively, the costs may be passed on to the person who has made the request.
The City of Ely Council is entitled to, and will, deny access to information in certain cases under the Data Protection Act, specifically where the information may be held for:
- The prevention and detection of crime
- The apprehension and prosecution of offenders, and
- Where giving you the evidence may prejudice either of these purposes.
Any authorised viewing of the CCTV data will take place at the CCTV Control Centre. The recording will only be played to the person who made the request.
You are also entitled to have a copy of the recording if it will not become part of a live criminal investigation, civil proceedings or a complaint.
If you have any questions please contact Data Protection at the City of Ely Council, Sessions House, Lynn Road, Ely. Download and complete the subject access request form.