Our investment in the CCTV network increases safety

Published: Friday, May 31, 2024

Investment in the council’s extensive CCTV network is pivotal in helping tackle crimes and keeping residents, businesses, and members of the public safe.

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Wandsworth council operates 1,250 cameras that are monitored around the clock - more than almost every other borough in London. In addition, we have temporary deployable cameras which respond to resident or police concerns. These are key in the fight against crime.

The extensive coverage they now 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.

Over the past few weeks, the cameras have helped police investigate the following incidents:

  • On May 9 in Battersea, there were reports of an intoxicated male exposing himself. The male was located on camera approaching females and in and out of traffic. CCTV images were relayed to police officers who were guided in as he left the area. The male was arrested for indecent exposure and possession of drugs.
  • On May 10, there were reports of a group of youths fighting on Battersea’s Doddington estate. Thanks to the cameras, the group was located and when police arrived, CCTV was able to provide information to the officers at the scene and positively identify suspects. One male was arrested based on the CCTV evidence.
  • On May 11, there were reports of a male threatening passengers on a bus. The male was located on cameras getting off the bus at Trinity Road and tracked as he went in and out of shops. He was stopped and arrested with further checks revealing he was wanted on a warrant for breaching a court order and failing to appear in court.
  • On May 14, there were reports of possible drug activity in the Tooting Broadway area. When officers arrived the suspects ran off but thanks to the cameras they were caught soon after.
  • A few days later on May 16, there were reports of an intoxicated male attacking a female in Sainsbury's carpark in Balham. The male was located on CCTV and police guided in to make an arrest.
  • On May 19, there were reports of a domestic abuse incident outside an address in Earlsfield. The offender was located on camera and tracked as he drove off. Police were updated with details of his vehicle which led them to make an arrest a short time later.
  • On May 21, police reported four people causing a disturbance in Balham. CCTV located them involved in an altercation with shop security staff, enabling police to make two arrests.
  • And on 25 May, police involved in a high risk missing person investigation were aided by CCTV which found the missing person in Tooting Broadway and guided police to her location.

It’s not just in helping to solve crimes that the cameras are showing their worth. They have also proved invaluable in helping direct police and other blue light emergency services to locations where people seem determined to harm themselves or take their own lives.

  • On May 1, a male was seen putting rocks into his pockets at Albert Bridge and walking into the Thames. The male was located on camera and rescued by police with the help of another member of the public and the man taken to hospital.
  • On May 21, a male appearing to be a suicide risk was spotted heading towards Putney Bridge. CCTV was able to guide officers to his precise location and prevent him coming to harm.

Cabinet Member for Community Safety Graeme Henderson said: “The Council’s investment in the extensive CCTV network is instrumental in maintaining the safety and security of our residents, businesses, and visitors. With over a thousand cameras now monitored around the clock, Wandsworth sets the standard for CCTV coverage in London, significantly contributing to our status as inner London’s safest borough.”

In the past week, there were a total of 110 logged calls for the week and over 126 hours of hotspot patrolling was carried out across Wandsworth.

The cameras are monitored in the council's emergency control room, which is operational 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.