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Improved security at Caithness rail stations

By David G Scott

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RAILWAY stations in Caithness are now benefitting from an upgrade to their CCTV monitoring that will help combat crime and anti-social behaviour.

It was announced this week that over 280 stations and depots across Scotland’s rail network have recently had high definition CCTV equipment installed. In a move to further improve the safety and security of its customers and employees, ScotRail upgraded its analogue CCTV camera system to a new digital hybrid system.

CCTV camera in Wick railway station.
CCTV camera in Wick railway station.

ScotRail sustainability and safety assurance director David Lister said: “Train travel is safe but that doesn’t mean we take our customers’ safety for granted. This new system is designed to provide even more security and reassurance to our customers and our people."

The new system has seen ScotRail move from 220 scrolling CCTV monitors to a 24-screen intelligent video wall, which can analyse movements of customers on the platform to determine if members of the public are in unsafe situations, allowing ScotRail’s CCTV monitoring team to alert station staff if necessary.

The stations in Caithness are monitored from a CCTV centre based in Dunfermline and everything from monitoring passenger numbers and behavioural analytics to car park management can be controlled via the new camera units.

It’s hoped that the new equipment will help ScotRail identify vulnerable people and reduce fatalities on the railway, as well as crime.

The delivery of the project coincides with Rail Safety Week 2019, which began on Monday (June 24) and runs to Sunday (June 30).

ScotRail has one of the largest CCTV networks in the UK, with over six thousand camera monitoring over 350 stations, which the train operator remotely monitors from their two customer service centres in Paisley and Dunfermline, where they also answer calls from the station Help Points.

The £2 million project is part of ongoing investment to improve Scotland’s Railway, and was funded through Network Rail’s Control Period 5 Scottish Network Improvement Fund.

Mr Lister said: “CCTV and station help points are hugely important in combating crime and anti-social behaviour. And with passenger numbers continuing to grow and crime remaining low on Scotland’s railway, we think CCTV has played a part in this.

“We believe the improvements we’ve made will give our customers added confidence as to the safety of travel by rail.”

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