This petition is now closed, as its deadline has passed.
We the undersigned petition Westminster City Council to Remove the parking camera located at the corner of Elgin and Lanark W9 as it is adversely affecting purchases, sales and deliveries.
Petition update from the council, 31 January 2013Thank you for your petition, submitted last year, containing your and the other signatories' request to remove the CCTV camera located at the corner of Elgin Avenue and Lanark Road. Under the Council's petition scheme I am responding in my capacity as the Senior Council Officer responsible for CCTV within Westminster.
Firstly, it may be useful to outline the arrangements for coordinating and managing decisions relating to the use of public realm CCTV in the City.
In February 2012 the City Council adopted a comprehensive CCTV Policy, as set out in the Cabinet Member report ‘The future policy and operating model for fixed and wireless CCTV services’. A copy of the report can be found in the Committees and Cabinet Documents section of our website, at the following location: Cabinet Member Decisions/City_Management/2011-12/Post 10 May 2011/34 - The Future Policy and Operating Model for CCTV Services. In line with this policy, a new model for governance and decision making in relation to CCTV services has been established.
The key component of the new model is the CCTV Governance Group, which brings together, at a strategic level, the various services involved in delivering the City Council’s CCTV Services with our key partner, the Metropolitan Police Service. This group takes a strategic lead on CCTV services and acts as the single point of decision making and accountability in relation to deployment or removal of CCTV cameras or the commissioning or decommissioning of CCTV sites at locations in the City, in accordance with the new policy.
The purpose of these arrangements is to ensure that the delivery of CCTV services is consistent, proportionate and co-ordinated. It is also designed to ensure that all cameras are deployed in accordance with the stated policy with its requirement that the council will deploy public realm CCTV within Westminster when and only when:
a) There is a clearly identified and evidenced issue, either in terms of crime and disorder or in terms of compliance with parking and traffic management regulations, at that specific location;
b) The use of CCTV is considered to be the most effective and appropriate intervention to address that issue.
All proposals for the deployment or removal of a camera, or for the commissioning or decommissioning of a CCTV site, are subject to a Test of Appropriateness, based on these requirements. The strength of the proposal under this test will be considered by the CCTV Governance Group, who will be responsible for final sign off in each case.
As such, on receipt of your petition the City Council commissioned for the camera at this location to be subject to the Test of Appropriateness for consideration by the Group. In addition, it was considered that an independent compliance survey would be appropriate.
During the survey the percentage of vehicles observed parked in compliance to the parking rules was just 63%, which is considerably lower than the average of 99.36% for the parking zone and the City wide average of 98.8% (As assessed at our latest independent Compliance Survey of October 2012). This is reflective of the reports of Officers who have also visited the location on several occasions.
They key issue relates to vehicles parking on both the single and double yellow lines. The designation of the double yellow lines speaks for itself, however the two sections of single yellow line at the location are there to support servicing and deliveries to the businesses. If vehicles park in these areas vehicles which require access for legitimate activity such as loading, may have no choice but to double park and adversely impact traffic flow.
The Governance Group considered your petition and all associated factors under the Appropriateness Test. It determined that there is a requirement for a camera at this site. The camera will therefore remain in place.
I appreciate that you may be disappointed by the decision not to remove this camera as requested in your petition, but I hope that the above has set out the reasoning behind this.
The Council is clear that, while CCTV has a particular value in keeping our streets safe and the City moving, it should only be deployed where there is an evidenced need, having due regard to privacy and civil liberties considerations, and in accordance with clearly defined criteria, which in this case have been met.
However, in line with our policy we will continue to monitor compliance at the location and should an improvement be seen a further review will be undertaken.
Strategic Director of City Management
Cllr Lee Rowley, the petition creator, joined by: