CCTV extended along River Foyle

The cameras now cover the riverfront.
The cameras now cover the riverfront.

CCTV coverage has been extended to encompass part of the River Foyle as a tool to help emergency services and other partner agencies.

The move is part of a wider upgrade of CCTV in the city, which has also seen an upgrade of equipment and coverage and monitoring of the city centre cameras from 18 hours per day to full 24 hour coverage.

CCTV cameras.

CCTV cameras.

Jim Roddy from City Centre Initiative, which manages the CCTV systems, said the upgrade was welcome news for the city and would actually cost less to operate.

Previously, there had been two CCTV systems operating in Derry, Mr Roddy said.

One of these covered Ebrington Square and the Peace Bridge and ran 24 hours a day.

The second covered the city centre, but only ran for 18 hours per day.

Together the two systems cost in the region of £160,000 per year to run, monitor and for maintenance.

After funding was recently secured from the former Department for Social Development and Public Health Agency, the two systems have been amalgamated into one system, which has also now been extended down along the River as far as the Foyle Bridge, and the entire system upgraded to 24/7 coverage.

The £150,000 upgrade included the replacement of those close circuit cameras which were more than five years old, and overall costs up to 2021 for the upgrading, operating, monitoring and maintenance of the cameras will be amount to around £900,000.

“The cameras are used for a multitude of things, anything that would happen in around the city centre and along the riverfront,” Mr Roddy said. “It actually means a saving to the public purse and the cameras are used every day for a range of issues such as missing people, locating homeless people, river rescues, anti-social behaviour, burglaries, criminality.
“For partner agencies this is another set of eyes that gives early protection if anything goes wrong, and the upgrade means we have coverage from Craigavon Bridge to the Foyle Bridge.

“For these external agencies it enables them to do their work to the best of their ability.”

Among the range of partner organisations which make use of the footage are Foyle Search and Rescue, Community Safety Wardens, PSNI, the Fire & Rescue Service, and First Housing, which runs a service whereby staff check for anyone who is homeless at night in the city centre.