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Last Updated: Wednesday, 19 November, 2003, 11:09 GMT
'Spy camera' plan for schools
CCTV cameras
Surveillance cameras catch vandals and monitor pupils' activities
Closed circuit television cameras are to be used to monitor pupils, visitors and out-of-hours intruders at several schools.

Medway Council plans to introduce the CCTV cameras to Chapter School in Strood, Thomas Aveling School in Rochester and four primary schools in the area.

It follows a trial period at a shared site used by The Howard School and Rainham School for Girls.

Seven cameras around the premises have helped tackle problems with vandalism and people entering the grounds without permission during and after the school day.

'Blissfully unaware'

School staff monitor the images on computers during the day but out-of-hours, the system uses broadband technology to hook up to a monitoring station run by the Local Education Authority.

Andy Worcester, deputy head teacher at Rainham School for Girls, said most pupils were "blissfully unaware" they were being watched on camera.

He said: "We were really targeting the out-of-hours activities we didn't really want but we've had the benefit of being able to see others going on during the school day as well."

We've got facial recognition at 90 metres, so it will stand up in court
Clive Mailing, of Medway Council
He said the scheme was welcome in helping protect the security of the school community.

Clive Mailing, of Medway Council, said the system used a new range of high resolution cameras.

"We've got facial recognition at 90 metres, so it will stand up in court, basically, if we capture an image," he said.

"We wanted to target those schools that from our statistics showed they were having heavy incidents of either vandalism or unauthorised people coming on the site."

Mr Mailing said the schools' capacity to monitor pupils' activities had been an unexpected benefit.

He said no prosecutions had yet resulted but the information captured had been used by the schools to take measures against pupils or passed on to police.




SEE ALSO:
School CCTV to combat bullying
11 Nov 03  |  North East Wales
Spy cameras target school vandals
05 Jun 02  |  Science/Nature


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