By Thomas Hoffman
Damage to street furniture, burglaries, crowds or even attacks. In front of the everyday crime, they are a major asset for law enforcement. “The verification of CCTV images is systematic today. It is a tool which is very useful to us and which we could no longer do without, ”confides a police officer.
In recent years, large cities have massively equipped themselves with video surveillance cameras attached to Urban supervision centers (Csu). “Being alerted in real time of an offense committed allows us to carry out more and more flagrante delicto”, continues the official. But this device has a cost that the most modest municipalities cannot afford when they are just as affected by security problems.
“The departments have a role to play in the deployment of video protection”
A year ago, Prime Minister John Castex asked to set up departmental image supervision centers. “The departments have a role to play in the deployment of video protection”, he underlined before the Aassembly of the departments of France. A message well received in Val-d’Oise.
At the end of November, the elected representatives of the Departmental Council voted to launch a departmental supervision center. His goal : ensure the connection and viewing in a centralized manner in the same secure place of all the cameras of the Department, but also of those of the municipalities and intermunicipalities which wish to be associated with the process.
Security would benefit from being shared more to increase efficiency. The project of this Departmental Supervision Center (Csu), encouraged by the State, will allow our rural towns and villages to have access to an efficient, responsive video protection system, while strengthening territorial continuity. This project will make it possible to pool the costs and optimize the effectiveness of the video protection devices deployed in the department.
The project management having been entrusted to the mixed union Val-d’Oise Digitalwhich had been responsible for the deployment of fiber throughout the territory, the Department will invest 4 million euros in the device. Seven agents, working closely with the police, will take it in turns to view the images captured by the cameras, seven days a week and 24 hours a day. Devices that will be equipped with an artificial intelligence system “which will allow the detection of abnormal behavior and problems”indicates Pierre-Edouard Éon, vice-president (Lr) delegated to the digital transformation of the territory and president of Val-d’Oise Numérique.
Initially, the Department will deploy 100 devices on around fifty departmental sites (colleges, social services, museums, administrative sites, etc.) for commissioning scheduled for the 1st July 2023.
500 cameras installed on 200 sites
Thereafter, “nearly 500 cameras will be installed on 200 sites by 2025. Eventually, the Supervision Center will be able to accommodate a network of a thousand cameras from departmental sites, not counting those of municipalities and intermunicipalities which will be connected”, specifies Isabelle Rusin (Se), vice-president of the departmental council in charge of security. Thirty-eight sites have already been identified as “priority”, adds Pierre-Edouard Éon without revealing the list.
While twenty rural and peri-urban communities have already indicated that they want to join the system, a stage update was carried out on Wednesday 14 December with the digital Val-d’Oise union.
This project is dedicated to all those municipalities which have cameras with a passive recording system, but which do not have the means to set up an active system with live viewing.
This is particularly the case of Meriel which has already deployed twelve cameras on its territory and intends to further develop video protection. “The images recorded by our devices notably enabled the gendarmes to arrest in less than two days the author of an ultra-violent car-jacking and an attempted kidnapping of a 69-year-old woman”, congratulate the mayor Jerome Francois.
However, the latter does not hide the limits of its current system. “Without Csu, we cannot carry out flagrante delicto, unfortunately we do not have the means to create one…” The elected official thus says he is “ultra-favorable” to integrating the departmental supervision center, however advancing a few reservations.
The only problem I see is that, according to the law, this system makes it possible to alert the gendarmes or the national police (depending on the jurisdiction of the police in the sector, editor’s note), but not the municipal police . Flagrancy can only be achieved if the police arrive quickly on the scene, and the most prompt to intervene in our municipalities are the municipal police.
According to Jérôme François, “many mayors share [s]has thought”. The latter also expects “a return on investment” by adhering to this system.
It’s not a gift from the Department. Installing cameras and benefiting from the work of the agents of the supervision center has a cost. This must therefore allow us to intervene immediately in the event of an attack or burglary, whether the perpetrators are caught red-handed. And that requires coordinated action between the agents of the centre, the gendarmerie and the municipal police.
The latter did not fail to recall it during the progress points with the Department, the Val-d’Oise digital union and the police on Wednesday, December 14. “We are even ready to adapt by buying the necessary equipment to be in direct contact,” concludes the elected official.
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Val d’Oise. The Department offers video surveillance for everyone with its supervision center
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