The Soho Society allow us to read at first hand the inscription on a plaque commemorating the contribution of Councillor Ian Wilder to the London CCTV Systems that we know today.
The residents and businesses of this neighbourhood, with the endorsement of Westminster City Council, have erected this plaque in memory of the work of the late Ian Wilder, Councillor for the West End Ward from 2002 to 2009. It was unveilled on May 18th 2010 by Duncan Sandys, Lord Mayor of the City of Westminster.
In recognition of his pioneering work in proposing Westminster’s Wi-Fi system, this site can be seen throughout the world 24/7.”
Opposite the plaque hangs a wireless-enabled camera which monitors the events unfolding around it.
The first 30 CCTV system monitoring cameras in the West End of London cost around £2 million but the new wireless sound monitoring equipment pioneered by Mr Wilder after a visit to see the success of a similar system in New York, required fewer staff to watch the footage and enabled round-the-clock monitoring at a fraction of the original costs.
By referring to the US examples, they designed their own wireless infrastructure to cover one street in Soho, which allowed them to deliver improved, evidential quality CCTV along with remote noise monitoring in the pilot area and keep an eye on some of the less reputable establishments in the area who were responsible for anti-social behaviour and noise pollution.
For six years prior to this, Councillor Wilder had gone out on foot to such offenders with his own recording device to obtain filmed evidence which could be used to persuade magistrates and judges to close down nuisance premises.
As Andrew Snellgrove, the Network Manager at the time explained: “Noise complaints were being made against bars or clubs that exceeded statutory noise limits, but by the time Environmental Officers arrived to take a measurement, the noise would have stopped”.
The new pilot wireless network, known as the Westminster 4G Project, was put into place in April 2004 and consisted of four wireless TV cameras which were portable enough to be moved to potential troublespots and slung from lamp-posts without attracting attention. They cost 20% less than the traditional fixed-line CCTV cameras and the rest, as they say, is history.
Whether you’re a business or resident of London, CCTV Sytems can help with a variety of the every day problems of living in a large city. They can provide evidence of vagrants or illegal street trading outside your premises or the anti-social behaviour of neighbouring residents.
CCTV cameras can help to provide a safer environment for all members of society who live in London as well as facilitating an active partnership between the police, the local councils and the residents to discourage crime.
But, whatever you need them for, it is important to remember five key factors in choosing your closed circuit surveillance system.
First, you need the correct hardware – a digital video recorder with too low a resolution means that the results of your system will be of little use in criminal prosecution and, without the correct lens, you also run the risk again of not being able to use your pictures in court.
Second, you need to make sure that your system is legal – it must comply with the Data Protection Act so there is no risk of a fine and a criminal record, or CCTV evidence that is challenged in court.
Third, get your property properly assessed as some less reputable installers will attempt to give you a quote over the phone. It takes an expert eye to plan camera and control box locations that can utilise the available power sources and protect your valuables, as well as taking account of the various extremes of temperature which might affect the functioning of the equipment.
Click CCTV Systems in London to see inside the control centre for Westminster’s CCTV.
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