Effectiveness and impact of public space CCTV

The Council works closely with Police Scotland, to ensure CCTV is effective in keeping people safe.

Police Scotland Logo

Chief Inspector Gary I'Anson, Area Policing Commander for South Ayrshire;

'CCTV is a powerful criminal deterrent and a vital tool for detection for Police Scotland. In South Ayrshire, the use of CCTV in criminal investigations has led to convictions in a number of offences. This has ranged from vandalism, theft, robbery and drink driving. Recent examples include –

  • A young man was observed through CCTV staggering and lying down on the pavement before he got into a car and drove off. Officers attended and traced the car and the man, who was found to be drunk, and was duly arrested. This action potentially avoided a serious incident.
  • CCTV operators responded to the town centre radio and tracked a suspected shoplifter. The suspect was followed down Ayr High Street using the full range of cameras available, and was captured handing goods to an accomplice. Officers were easily able to trace and apprehend the suspects due to the description of clothing and constant communication from the CCTV operators.
  • A male was assaulted and kicked to the ground. The man was able to call the Police and gave a description of the two suspects. Using Council CCTV, the Police CCTV Liaison Officer was able to review images and captured an image of the suspects in another part of the town. These images were circulated to Officers whereupon the suspects were identified and subsequently traced and charged with the assault. Although the assault was not captured, cameras in nearby areas were invaluable in tracing the suspects several streets away which lead to a conviction.

In 2018 already we have received more than 200 requests for CCTV images, more than half of those requests have led to positive results in the outcome of the cases involved. CCTV not only aids in the fight against crime, it is also extremely successful in aiding to trace vulnerable missing people. In cases of missing high risk vulnerable people, tracing the person quickly can be vital in ensuring their safety.'

As shown in the table below, the Council’s Emergency Response Team are actively recording and monitoring significant incidents, and liaising daily with Police Scotland.

2011 -2016 Total number of Evidential Packages gathered by Police Scotland Total number of significant incidents recorded by CCTV Operators
Ayr Town Centre 4780 11566
Ayr Residential Areas 1038 1687
Girvan 331 274
Maybole 422 560
Troon 225 1008
Prestwick 332 1013
2017 Total number of Evidential Packages gathered by Police Scotland Total number of significant incidents recorded by CCTV Operators
Ayr Town Centre 465 2246
Ayr Residential Areas 81 364
Girvan 48 92
Maybole 64 129
Troon 23 148
Prestwick 29 193