We are pleased to announce that after a six-month funding campaign, we have finally raised enough money to install four CCTV cameras in Ellington Park, as asked for by regular users of the Park and Ramsgateonians.
We’ve put together some frequently asked questions which we hope gives a comprehensive explanation of the new camera system.
1. How many cameras will there be in Ellington Park and where will they be located?
There will be four cameras initially – but with capacity for more to be added if and when required. The first four cameras will look over: the Play Area; the Bandstand; the Ellington Road-Grange Road entrance; and the Pond.
2. Who will monitor the cameras?
No-one. The cameras will be recording on a 30-day loop. The footage will only be examined if there is an incident during that period; so if, as hoped, nothing untoward happens, the content will never be seen.
3. Who has access to the footage?
Under the Data Protection Act 1998, the footage being recorded must be kept secure. The data will therefore be password-protected. Mr Alan Linfoot – of the Friends of Ellington Park – will be the designated Data Controller. He will ensure that only Kent Police, Kent Fire & Rescue Service and Thanet District Council (the latter as landowner) are able to access the footage in the event of an incident taking place. Victims of crime may also request the footage. They will have to pay an administration fee of £10 and the data will be provided within 40 days, in accordance with the 1998 Act.
4. I’m worried my privacy will be invaded when I visit the Park. What safeguards are in place to make sure my privacy is not breached?
As mentioned above (#3), in the absence of any incidents in the Park, nobody will be looking at the data. Access to the footage will be password-protected, and in accordance with accepted best practice and human rights law, the footage will be destroyed after 30 days, never to be seen again.
5. Will there be signs telling visitors about the CCTV?
Yes. By law, we must have signage informing visitors to the Park that there are CCTV cameras in there. The contact phone number of the Data Controller will also be provided for further information.
6. Can you have “dummy” cameras to add further deterrence?
Not without expressly saying they are dummies. We could be liable if somebody is the victim of an offence and sought to rely on camera footage which turned out to be non-existent! So we’ve avoided this by not having any dummy cameras.
7. What if I witness a crime taking place in Ellington Park?
You should call the Police: 999 if a crime is actually in progress; 101 if it is not urgent. The cameras are not a substitute for the law enforcement authorities and are not monitored by the Police unless someone reports a crime.
8. Who will be installing the cameras? Will you need to dig the Park up to put cables in?
We’re very pleased to confirm that a local man, Paul Smith, of PTS CCTV, will be responsible for installing the cameras. He will be using a WIFI-based system so no digging will be required. In order to ensure the cameras get a good view of the area they are intended to be protecting, a few tree branches may need removing, but this will barely be noticeable, if at all, and the trees will not suffer any long-term damage.
9. How has the “Smile – You’re on Camera!” Project been funded?
We have received funding from a variety of sources and our very grateful thanks go to: the Kent Police and Crime Commissioner; Thanet District Council; and Ramsgate Town Council for their generosity in helping us make the project feasible through their grants. We would also like to thank Ms Tegwen Barsley, who managed to raise £500 – a significant proportion of the money – from her forecourt sales outside her house, all in the space of a few months! A special “well done!” to her and to those who donated books, bric-a-brac and other items for us to sell!