Spotlight on CCTV: making Mitcham safer

It has been almost 30 years since Merton first invested in its CCTV network, and over that period it has grown from just four cameras across the borough with one operator.

We now have a system of 212 public space cameras monitored by seven full-time staff, and there continue to be requests from across Merton for installation of CCTV systems.

Last year’s award of a contract for a £1.2m CCTV upgrade will see a significant upgrade to the existing network, providing additional functionality.

This investment will increase levels of public protection, helping to keep our streets safe for drivers and pedestrians across hundreds of public spaces, and secure evidence of anti-social behaviour and environmental crime.

In just under five months from April to August 2021, almost 2,000 incidents across the borough were captured by the current system.

The CCTV network is also helping our enforcement team to crack down on the small minority of selfish people who dump rubbish in our borough, and you can see the results of their use of the cameras on our at the Wall of Shame on our YouTube channel.

During last year’s consultation as part of Merton 2030, East Merton and Mitcham residents told us that anti-social behaviour and safety were high up on their list of concerns around public space, sometimes citing alcohol related anti-social behaviour around the town centre as an issue.

Mitcham town centre is one of our priority sites for CCTV camera coverage and there are now 13 cameras directly overseeing the town centre in Mitcham, with additional cameras in surrounding areas.

The Safer Merton CCTV team is working closely with partners such as the police to ensure that the evidence is shared and can assist in solving cases and keeping Mitcham Town centre a safe place to visit.

Cllr Agatha Akyigyina, Cabinet Member for Partnerships, Public Safety and Tackling Crime, said: “We’re proud of our investment in the borough’s CCTV network, because it helps to keep residents safe and provides a general feeling of security across all of Merton.”