THE newly reinstated CCTV system across the Dyfed-Powys area is clearly the envy of the policing world internationally – as Icelandic Police decided to travel to Dyfed-Powys as part of their project to adapt, renovate and modernise their own CCTV.
Police and Crime Commissioner Dafydd Llywelyn and Chief Constable Mark Collins were very proud to welcome the group and for the opportunity to talk them through the success of the new system. When Mr Llywelyn made his election pledge to reinstate CCTV in the force area he was determined to see it come to fruition, and to now be able to pass the learning and knowledge onto a police force from another country to emulate was very pleasing.
The group were given a tour around Police Headquarters, where they could see for themselves how 123 cameras are being proactively monitored from a centralised monitoring suite, and were also given presentations on the implementation of the system, how they’re making communities as safe and secure as possible, and the positive impact the infrastructure is having on policing throughout the force.
Police and Crime Commissioner Dafydd Llywelyn said: “It has been a real pleasure to welcome our colleagues from Icelandic Police, who were really keen to learn about the success of our new system, and the process to get to where we are now. The fact they were advised to visit us and our new system after making enquiries nationally makes me really proud, and is testament to its success. It was also interesting to discuss the challenges they face, but also the similarities in our countries. I look forward to hearing about their progress with the project once they return home, and to a continued friendship where we can continue to learn from each other.”
There were also presentations for the group on the Dyfed-Powys Police’s respected ANPR cameras system. The technology is used to help detect, deter and disrupt criminality at a local, force, regional and national level, including tackling travelling criminals, organised crime groups and terrorists. It provides lines of enquiry and evidence in the investigation of crime.
Chief Constable Mark Collins added: “It’s always a pleasure to extend a warm welcome to our colleagues from the policing family from overseas. There is so much we can learn from each other – and it’s very satisfying that it’s been recognised that our new CCTV infrastructure and our ANPR system is worth travelling over 1,000 miles to experience and learn from. The new infrastructure and the monitoring team are an invaluable tool that we are already making good use of within the force. We were able to show them that CCTV is having a significant impact on finding missing people, locating people who are threatening to harm themselves and bringing matters to a positive conclusion. It was a great opportunity to discuss how the project can assist with developments in other countries. We will watch with interest the developments in this world for Icelandic Police following their visit.”
Reflecting on their visit, Chief Superintendent Thorhallur Ólafsson, Icelandic Police said: “The reason for this visit is that we are adapting and renovating our camera systems in our capital and on the south coast of Iceland. We knew that the UK has come very far in its use of this technology. So we made contact with the British Embassy in Reykjavik to make enquiries and ask where best to learn about these systems, and we were pointed in the direction of Dyfed-Powys.
“We’ve had a lot of presentations whilst here, and they have provided us with their legal framework and they’ve been very generous – even just getting that was a success for us. We’ve seen a lot of new things, how you are using the new camera systems, and your future vision, and we are hoping this may be just the first step for us to become more knowledgeable on this.
“There’s a lot of similarities between Wales and Iceland. The conditions for a start – our Metropolitan police is located by the seaside and also South coast, so when choosing cameras, they must be able to withstand heavy, bad conditions. We have both rural areas and cities and towns, and Iceland is also a big agricultural and fishing nation but also tourism, so I think we have a lot of similarities. This time it is purely a business trip, but I think this is just the first trip.”