Council’s CCTV cameras help rid streets of two-foot long machete

Published: Friday, June 21, 2024

An alert and quick-thinking camera operator at Wandsworth Council’s CCTV control centre has helped get a fearsome machete off the streets and aided the police in arresting its owner.

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Council's control centre video wall

Following a foot chase in Balham, an urgent request came over police radio last week for help in locating a discarded weapon.

The camera operator was able to instantly playback video from the area and by carefully examining the footage, was able to pinpoint the exact spot the machete had been discarded.

This helped the police recover the weapon – which was found to have a 24-inch long blade.

The council’s Assistant Director of Stronger and Safer Communities Kiran Vagarwal said:

“Thanks to the close working relationship our CCTV operators have with the police, a harmful weapon has been taken off our streets.

“It is in part thanks to the borough’s really extensive camera network that the council and police are able to work together to keep Wandsworth safe.”

Neighbourhoods policing Inspector James Griffin said: “Local police continue to receive excellent and timely information from Council CCTV control room staff in order to tackle crime and detain suspected offenders. This is another example of that strong partnership in action.”

The council operates 1,200 cameras and these are monitored in the town hall’s emergency control room, which is operational 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. As well as monitoring the cameras, staff in the control room are also able to respond to any out of hours emergency likes fires, floods and road traffic accidents.

Their presence, the extensive coverage they offer and the high-quality digital footage they produce are just part of the reason why Wandsworth has long held the title of inner London’s safest borough.