Two Croydon Council CCTV operators have been recognised in this year’s Metropolitan Police Local Authority CCTV Awards.
London’s surveillance camera commissioner, Tony Porter, presented awards to Carrie Russell and Colin Skilton at New Scotland Yard on Friday 3 June.
Carrie was carrying out a routine camera patrol in the town centre when she noticed a youth carrying what appeared to be a knife. Carrie radioed the information to the police and switched the camera feed to the Met’s communication centre at Lambeth, enabling the police control operator to see the suspect.
A police car was alerted but the suspects moved off before it arrived; Carrie, however, followed them on camera, directing the unit to intercept.
The police arrested a youth for possession of an offensive weapon after he was spotted showing off his knife while in the group.
Carrie said: “I’m very happy and excited to receive this award. It is the second year I have been nominated and I feel a great pride in doing a good job. It’s also good that the CCTV team is getting noticed for its crime prevention work – the ceremony was a good opportunity to toast this.”
CCTV manager, David Eastoe nominated Carrie for her observational skills as this type of crime is difficult to spot in a town-centre setting.
He nominated Colin for his skill in getting information from a new user of the Safer Croydon Radio system, and using his quick thinking and local knowledge to help arrest five suspects for affray.
Colin took a call from the system newcomer who said that an affray was taking place at West Croydon bus station. The user didn’t know Croydon town centre well and initially gave wrong location details. Colin’s local knowledge helped identify the suspect’s location.
Colin then used the radio to directed police officers to where the suspects were located. When the suspects saw the police they fled into an alley, and Colin used cameras to direct the officers directly to their location.
Colin said: “I have been doing this line of work for the last 23 years, and feel honoured to be nominated. It’s good for the CCTV team to be recognised for its efforts in protecting the borough.
The ceremony was also a good opportunity to meet others CCTV operators from different boroughs.”
Councillor Hamida Ali, cabinet member for communities, safety and justice
“These awards are a great recognition of the role our CCTV team plays in keeping our streets safe.
“Carrie’s work got a dangerous weapon taken off the street and Colin’s work helped to stop a gang-related fight where two of those arrested were high-level gang members.”
Colin and Carrie were chosen by a panel comprising Tony Porter and DCI Mick Neville, head of the Metropolitan Police central forensic image team.