ACT Public Safety Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) Network Annual Report 2020-21

Minister’s Forward

I am pleased to present the 2020-21 Annual Report on the ACT Public Safety CCTV Network (CCTV Network) in accordance with the ACT Government’s Strategic Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) Plan 2020-2022 (the CCTV Plan).

This Annual Report supports the commitment by the ACT Government to provide enhanced reporting of the CCTV Network activities and achievements against the CCTV Plan.

The CCTV Network remains a critical part of the Government’s focus on keeping Canberran’s safe, and providing ACT Policing with the tools to deter, investigate and prosecute crime.

The CCTV Network has proven particularly important to ACT Policing during the COVID-19 pandemic to support the enforcement of health directions. In 2020-21 there was a significant increase in ACT Policing resources dispatched to an incident observed during CCTV monitoring, up a dramatic 222 per cent from previous years.

The ACT Government’s investment in upgrades and expansion of the CCTV Network continued to provide high-quality live and recorded footage to support public safety monitoring and crime investigations by ACT Policing. In late 2020, CCTV footage was instrumental in the identification and prosecution of an offender for the theft of brass from Henry Rolland Park in Acton.

As the Minister responsible for the CCTV network, maintaining public trust in how it is used to keep Canberrans safe and secure remains a top priority. In 2020-21, the Auditor-General completed a performance audit of CCTV systems within the Justice and Community Safety and Transport Canberra and City Services Directorates. The ACT Government was pleased to support the audit and the recommendations made by the Auditor-General to enhance processes and practices in the use of CCTV.

In 2020-21, the ACT Government also progressed the Project Bluesky initiative to reduce the costs of CCTV data storage through the consolidation of Networked Video Recorders (NVRs). The consolidation of NVRs used by the CCTV Network and their placement in purpose-built data centres has reduced duplication, increased efficiency, reduced costs and will extend the life of the equipment.

Further information about the Public Safety CCTV Network is available on the Justice and Community Safety Directorate’s website here.

Mick Gentleman MLA
Minister for Police and Emergency Services

 

CCTV Network Utilisation

Data on the use of the CCTV Network has been captured since 2018-19. The data (show in the below graph) demonstrates consistent use of the technology to support policing activities.

CCTV Network Utilisation Report 2020-21

Whilst most performance indicators remained steady, in 2020-21 there was a striking 222 per cent increase in dispatched police resources to an incident observed during CCTV monitoring.

This significant increase underscores the benefit of the CCTV Network to ACT Policing in proactively attending to potential or actual incidents prior to a request being received from the public.

 

CCTV Governance

CCTV Working Group

The CCTV Working Group comprises CCTV representatives and users from across the ACT Government and provides whole of government governance and coordination on CCTV matters. The CCTV Working Group is chaired by the Security and Emergency Management Division within the Justice and Community Safety Directorate (JACS).

The CCTV Working Group met on three occasions in 2020-21. Agenda items discussed included:

  • Progressing the development of a new whole of government CCTV Policy
  • CCTV network enhancements, including hosting of CCTV servers in secure data centres and combining servers for multi-agency usage
  • CCTV asset management and a whole of government register
  • CCTV Strategic Plan
  • CCTV use, access, and multi-purpose application across ACT Government directorates
  • CCTV over CBRfree Wi-Fi
  • The Auditor-General’s CCTV Performance Audit
  • Agency updates.

ACT Auditor-General Performance Audit on the Management of CCTV Systems

In 2020-21, the ACT Government supported a performance audit by the ACT Auditor-General on the management of CCTV systems within JACS and the Transport Canberra and City Services (TCCS) Directorates. This audit commenced in 2019-20 but was paused due to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Auditor-General’s report was tabled in the Legislative Assembly on 18 June 2021. The Auditor-General made six recommendations to improve administrative arrangements for CCTV. The Auditor-General found that effective processes are in place for the management of CCTV systems within JACS and TCCS.

Where enhancements have been identified, the ACT Government has agreed to strengthen these arrangements in response to the Auditor-General’s recommendations. The ACT Government has agreed to five of the six recommendations, with one recommendation agreed in principle to allow for further consideration of technology options. Two recommendations have been completed, with work underway to finalise the remainder.

 

CCTV Installations and Upgrades

The ACT Government progressed the following new CCTV installations in 2020-21:

  • Three new CCTV Network cameras were installed in Dickson (Wooley Street), Braddon (Lonsdale Street) and Civic (Genge Street) These cameras operate over the CBRfree Wi-Fi fibred network and expand the footprint of the CCTV Network to include popular entertainment, commercial and pedestrian areas to better support public safety initiatives.
  • Three solar powered CCTV cameras were installed at entrance roads to the new Throsby suburban development to support the deterrence and investigations of crime and illegal dumping.
  • One solar powered CCTV camera was installed on a time limited basis on Parkwood Road in McGregor to support deterrent and investigation of damage to road infrastructure.
  • One solar powered CCTV camera was installed on a time limited basis on Flemington Road in Gungahlin to support traffic monitoring purposes.
  • The design and installation of eight new CCTV Network cameras in Glebe Park was completed. These new cameras will significantly enhance public safety at this popular public amenity and better support ACT Policing to investigate reported crime. Noting this site did not previously have CCTV, the ACT Government is particularly interesting in measuring the benefits of CCTV at this location in reducing crime.
  • A second large Network Video Recorder (NVR) was installed at the Hume Data Centre as a failover and backup to the Fyshwick NVR. This second NVR has reduced the requirement for on-site NVRs at several bus stations and libraries.

 

CCTV Trials

To ensure ongoing innovation in the CCTV Network, in 2020-21 the ACT Government trialled a Trailer Mounted CCTV Capability at the 2021 Enlighten Festival in the Parliamentary Triangle. The trailer, provided by ACT Policing, provided a convenient, reliable, secure, and effective means to provide portable CCTV coverage of an event. Live and recorded footage was available to the ACT Government and ACT Policing to support event management, public safety monitoring and crime investigations.

 

CCTV Removals or Decommissions

The following CCTV removals or decommissions occurred in 2020-21:

Cameras

Site

Removal or Decommission Reason

Solarcam x 2

Mitchell Business District

Trial of cameras complete

Solarcam x 1

Parkwood Road, McGregor

Time limited objective achieved

Solarcam x 3

London Circuit carpark

Time limited objective achieved

 

Significant CCTV Network Faults or Outages

No significant CCTV Network faults or outages were recorded in 2020-21.

 

Complaints against the CCTV Network

No complaints against the CCTV Network were received by JACS in 2020-21.

 

Review of the CCTV Network

Pursuant to recommendation two of the ACT Auditor-General’s Report, Management of Closed-Circuit Television Systems, Report No.5, the ACT Government has completed an annual review of the CCTV Network for 2020-21. The key findings from the review included:  

  • There is no requirement to remove fixed CCTV Network cameras. Current cameras provide live and recorded footage in popular public entertainment, commercial, transport and pedestrian areas.
  • JACS will continue to engage with ACT Policing to confirm the priority sites for CCTV installation to address future public safety monitoring, crime deterrence/investigation or transport operations purposes. These may include Woden Town Square, Dickson, Kingston Foreshore, Kambah, and Belconnen.
  • JACS will continue to engage with ACT Policing to identify the ongoing need for solar powered cameras at four rural road sites as a measure to reduce rural crime and illegal burnout activities.
  • The solar powered CCTV Network cameras continue to provide a highly cost-effective portable CCTV solution for sites experiencing short or long term criminal activity. However, it is important to ensure that these cameras are cleaned and maintained.
  • With the completion of upgrade priorities in the current CCTV Operations and Asset Management Plan, the plan should be updated for future year requirements.
  • Completion of the installation of CCTV Network cameras in Glebe Park will provide the ACT Government with data on the impacts of CCTV in deterring and solving crime in that area.

 

Progress against CCTV Plan


In 2021-22, the ACT Government will continue to focus on progressing activities in the CCTV Plan. These include:

Priority Areas

Activity

Status

Summary

ENHANCING SAFETY, SECURITY AND LOWERING CRIME

Review of the Public Safety CCTV Monitoring Arrangements

Commenced

 

A Statement of Requirements (SOR) has been prepared for the review and will be progressed with ACT Policing following the easing of restrictions.

Public Safety CCTV Network Expansion

 

Completed

 

The ACT Government has completed the physical expansion of the Public Safety CCTV Network into Glebe Park, with eight CCTV cameras commissioned in July 2021.

Three new Public Safety CCTV Network cameras have also been installed in Dickson, Braddon and Civic. These new cameras expand the footprint of the CCTV Network into popular public, commercial or entertainment areas to help ACT Policing better deter and investigate crime.

Evaluation of Solar Powered CCTV Trial

Commenced

 

The ACT Government has undertaken an extensive trial of solar powered CCTV equipment. The outcomes are being finalised in a report due for completion by December 2021.

Expansion of the CCTV Network over the CBRfree Wi-Fi Network

Completed

The ACT Government has established formal contractual arrangements permitting the use of the CBRfree Wi-Fi Network to support the Public Safety CCTV Network. Five cameras have been deployed to priority locations.

CCTV Support to Major Events

Completed

The ACT Government has established the capability to provide CCTV support to major events using fixed and portable CCTV monitoring equipment. These major events include the National Multicultural Festival, Floriade and Enlighten. The use of CCTV equipment to support major events enhances event management and operations and public safety.

CAPABILITY AND CONNECTEDNESS

Integration of the Public Safety CCTV Networks and the Public Transport Operations Network

Completed

Integration has been completed, with the integration of networked cameras sharing common servers.

 

Efficiency in CCTV Data Storage – Project “Bluesky”

Completed

The ACT Government successfully trialled the use of a Networked Video Recorder (NVR) to connect multiple networks across the ACT Government. The use of a single NVR has decreased duplication of resources and improved the efficiency of CCTV storage costs. A second NVR has now been installed at a different Data Centre to provide additional capacity and future proof the CCTV Network.

Connection of the Canberra Theatre Centre CCTV Systems to the Public Safety CCTV Network

Commenced

 

An analysis of the Canberra Theatre Centre CCTV System has occurred to determine the technical requirements and costs involved to connect this system to the Public Safety CCTV Network. This work is ongoing and will progress into 2022, subject to budget requirements.

Hardware and Software Enhancements

Completed

The ACT Government has completed the hardware and software upgrades that were funded in the 2018-19 budget. Work is underway to plan the next phase of replacement requirement to address end of life requirements.

Access Review

Commenced

 

A review of access will be incorporated into the CCTV Annual Report preparation process to ensure the ongoing security and privacy of the Public Safety CCTV Network.

Networking other Government CCTV Systems

Commenced

 

The ACT Government has reviewed the option of integrating live traffic camera monitoring with the Public Safety CCTV Network. Due to compatibility and differing purposes and objectives of the system, both will remain as separate options. Additional systems that may benefit public safety are considered on a case-by-case basis.

GOVERNANCE AND TRANSPARENCY

CCTV Network Cost versus Benefit Assessment

Scheduled

For scoping commencement in the first half of 2022.

ACT Government CCTV Policy

Commenced

 

A new whole of Government CCTV Policy is currently being finalised. This will replace the 2009 Code of Practice for CCTV Systems. The policy will be considered by government in early 2022.

Reporting

Completed

An Annual Report for the Public Safety CCTV Network is prepared and published online by the Minister for Police and Emergency Services after each financial year. The 2019-20 and 2020-21 Annual Reports are available on the Justice and Community Safety website: www.justice.gov.au.

CCTV Design Standard

Scheduled

For commencement in 2022.

Panel of CCTV Repair and Maintenance Providers

Scheduled

For commencement in 2022.

INNOVATION

Use of the Territory Radio Network (TRN) to support CCTV Information

Commenced

 

The ACT Rural Fire Service is using the Territory Radio Network to support the relay of information from CCTV cameras used for remote fire detection and monitoring.

Public safety will look to use this to enhance its capabilities where no other installation can be used, such as, Bushfire detection and to assist in rural crime investigations.

Trailer Mounted CCTV Capability

Completed

The ACT Government trialled a trailer mounted CCTV capability at the Enlighten Festival in 2021. This capability, provided by ACT Policing, provided a reliable, convenient, and effective means of establishing a mobile CCTV monitoring capability at specific locations.

Outlook for 2021-22

  • Progressing the implementation of initiatives associated with the CCTV Policy, cost benefit analysis of CCTV and the review of CCTV monitoring hours.
  • Continuing to use the CCTV Network to support major public events following the easing of public health restrictions.
  • Progressing findings from the 2020-21 Annual Review of the CCTV Network.
  • Development of a CCTV Network Hardware and Software Upgrade Plan to support the preparation of budget proposals.