Manned surveillance centres that monitor security situations in cities and towns around the clock may become the norm in the future in Denmark.
Aalborg has been running a surveillance centre for three years with great success and other Danish cities and towns look set to follow.
The manned monitoring centre in Aalborg was inspired by the way the security situation is monitored in London.
Currently, the centre retrieves images from 300 cameras placed at different locations, and the city is planning to add a further 200 cameras.
Zooming in on potential vandals
The monitoring centre proved useful when identifying potential arsonists, allowing the local police to take immediate action.
“A concrete example could be a situation when we followed a group of young people who looked like they wanted to set a fire to something. We kept our distance, knowing that cameras are there hanging just above their heads,” Preben Klitgård, a police inspector in Aalborg, told DR.
“Then we called the operator who zoomed in on the boys’ faces and clothes. At the centre, they could see who had a lighter, and we could arrest him immediately.”
According to the emergency services, the municipality saves 7 million kroner a year on insurance premiums because there is less vandalism in the city.
Is Copenhagen going to be next?
After the February terrorist attack in Copenhagen, the police said it was difficult to get hold of surveillance images quickly because it was the weekend.
The Social Democrats have asked the police to propose a smarter way to monitor the security situation in towns and cities.