Big Brother celebrates 10th birthday in Fife
BIG Brother is celebrating his 10th birthday as CCTV cameras notch up a decade of snooping in Fife.
The cameras have been credited with catching thousands of criminals and saving thousands of hours of police time over the last 10 years.
A total of 456 missing people have been traced and 5340 people arrested between 2005 and 2011 due to the work of CCTV operators.
The scheme is a community safety partnership between the police and the local authority which was introduced in Dunfermline in 1999.
It has since expanded across the whole of the Kingdom including Inverkeithing and Kelty in West Fife.
A team of 11 CCTV operators and one CCTV review officer work in a central control room in Glenrothes with state-of-the-art digital recording and display equipment.
The fixed cameras are also aided by a mobile camera van.
CCTV manager Mark Waterfall said, "The operators constantly monitor the police radio channels and are therefore able to quickly respond to ongoing incidents.
"Very often they are the people who see things happening which require a police response and are able to direct officers precisely to where something has happened, or somebody needs help.
"Much of our work is in helping to trace missing persons and also suspected shoplifters, and the high-quality images captured by the system also allow us to print off still images or DVDs which can be used as court evidence."
Camera chiefs are hoping to bust a number of CCTV myths and reassure West Fifers that the surveillance equipment is used only to combat crime and not to spy on their lives.
Mr Waterfall added, "A number of myths surround the system. However, these are unfounded and I'm proud to run a department which is both professional and dedicated to keeping the people of Fife safe through contributing to reducing anti-social behaviour and other criminal activity."
Myth: There are tens of thousands of CCTV cameras in Fife.
Fact: There are 101 cameras which are monitored by the Fife Community Safety Partnership.
Myth: Operators can zoom into people's houses.
Fact: Cameras are prevented from intruding on private dwellings by Dynamic Privacy Zones (software) and the Operators being trained in the relevant legislation.
Myth: Operators can make hundreds of pounds on the side by selling footage to TV shows.
Fact: There are very strict rules about what footage can be kept and what can be done with it. Selling to anyone is expressly forbidden and has never happened in the 10-year history of the scheme.
Have your say. Post a comment on this article.
Sep 6, 13:57
perhaps the cctv system which operates in a community safety partnership set up could in the interests of community safety identify and report the many vehicles which regularly ignore no entry signage and endanger both the general public and other drivers by illegally driving the wrong way through the one way system in the supposed pedestrianised area with apparent impunity.
of course this can only happen if the cctv operators are aware a one way system exists.
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Sep 7, 08:13
It's been talked about many times on here & it's little wonder people are sick that nothing appears to be getting done about it. It's either a pedestrian precinct or it's not. Very few of the drivers parking their vehicles on the high street lok disabled to me. Don't get me wrong disabilities come in different shapes & forms but I don't see why the vast majority can park their motors in the car parks provided like the rest of us and walk to the high street.
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Nov 26, 07:29
I'm pleased to see big brother celebrates 10th birthday in Fife. CCTV system is really a great process and development technology to capture criminals and so far these technology activities are very much appreciated. Brilliant job mate! Thanks for this nice contribution.
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