Limerick City and County Council is to install 44 high specification closed circuit television cameras in 14 County Limerick towns as part of a €350,000 expansion of the CCTV network.
The towns and villages will see the installation of the latest generation of Smart CCTV systems, in local CCTV Hubs. This includes the installation of local NVR (video recording servers) with smart analytics capabilities, networking, communications and power management.
Contracts have been signed between the council and Roadbridge to install the 44 high spec/ high quality cameras in 24 new locations in Abbeyfeale, Adare, Askeaton, Caherconlish, Castleconnell, Cappamore, Croom, Foynes, Kilmallock, Murroe, Newcastle West, Pallasgreen, Patrickswell and Rathkeale.
One of these new high-spec 360⁰ panoramic PTZ cameras replaces at least 2-3 traditional bullet/dome CCTV cameras, resulting in a wider coverage at each location.
But these new cameras can do much more. They have Smart features for pattern/ footfall recognition and have automatic number plate recognition functionality.
The system allows for remote access of the CCTV feed on smartphones enabling authorised users access to live footage.
A number of ‘tourism’ cameras are also being installed to allow for live online streaming.
The footage from these cameras will be monitored on a 24 hour basis seven days a week at Moyross Community Enterprise Centre. The centre in Moyross is being upgraded to accommodate the expansion of the scheme which will facilitate the recording of up to 500 CCTV cameras.
In addition the expansion is creating additional opportunities for local a people to be avail of employment and training opportunities in Moyross.
Council chief executive Conn Murray said the Smart CCTV project is part of the broader digital strategy for Limerick and the mid west region.
“It enables us to work with the Gardaí and illustrates the positive impact our work is having in various communities.”
Council Head of Digital Strategy Dr Mihai Bilauca said the project was setting up a framework for the platform upon which multiple cameras can be added in the future.
“We are putting in the systems and infrastructure which will enable the projects to scale up when additional funding becomes available. These cameras will not just record traditional footage, they come with smart features such as the ability to conduct footfall counting, pattern detection and number plate recognition.”
“The introduction of the cameras is the first phase of the setting up of smarter communities at local level because we bring that infrastructure upon which we can build additional sensors, etc. It’s one step forward towards smarter communities.”
The pilot scheme links in with the one of the core objectives of the Joint Policing Committee Strategic Plan, which aims to review coverage, monitoring and maintenance of CCTV for its effectiveness and efficiency; extend and develop CCTV schemes outside of the city as well as combining CCTV with other aspects of surveillance.
Garda Chief Superintendent David Sheahan said: “We have seen over the past number of years the benefit of having CCTV around the city. It has been very beneficial to us in crime investigation and detection and from that point of view this project is going to transform crime investigation and detection in the county.”
“These cameras are very high resolution, very high quality are going to transform the way we police these areas in the first instance and secondly to investigate and detect crime thereafter.”
“This is for the community, it’s not for the Garda Síochána, and how to make communities a safe places to live, and that is our core objective, our core strategy for the last number of years; working with the local authority and the CCTV project is bringing another piece of work to fruition.”
The project means that additional opportunities are being provided in Moyross Community Enterprise Centre for local people to be trained and certified as CCTV security operators.
Local company Roadbridge won the competitive tender for the works which are estimated to cost in the region of €350,000.