Ten new cameras on the north forecourt of the Béthune railway station
The new video protection cameras have been installed on the north forecourt of the Béthune train station and are in addition to a “fleet” of 120 cameras already operational elsewhere in the city, deployed since 2014.
The lighting masts in the north forecourt of the city’s railway station have recently been welcoming new residents: ten new video protection cameras distributed by SIPPRO and installed by the teams of SNEF DUNKERQUE in strategic places.
The Béthune station welcomed 1,744,515 passengers in 2018 (nearly 2.2 million people including non-travellers) according to the SNCF. Eventually, says Pierre-Emmanuel Gibson, first deputy mayor of Béthune, the walking routes between the future Olympie 2 centre at Mont-Liébaut and the Grand-Place, via the new footbridge, will be video-protected. Today, the city’s entire camera park contains 120 units.
The north forecourt is being equipped with 10 new cameras and others will be installed to film the surroundings of the music school, and then the path leading to rue Langevin in the near future. Finally, in this sector, a mast will overhang the footbridge, which will be commissioned in early March. That’s about ten other cameras to come.
Two automatic license plate readers
On the north forecourt, two of the cameras will automatically record the license plates of all vehicles passing avenue de Lens, avenue du Maréchal-Juin and boulevard Poincaré.
In the future, the system will be further expanded, since in 2020, new cameras will be directed towards the northern multimodal exchange hub (the bus station, which sees 1,300 users pass by every day), and others on the TER car park that will be developed by the city on Avenue Juin.
No one behind the cameras
In Béthune, this is “passive” video protection: if the sites in question are filmed continuously, the sequences are recorded and stored in a server. They are retrieved and transmitted to investigators only on requisition. In other words, there is no one behind the cameras to control them or analyze the live images, as in an urban supervision centre (CSU). Could Bethune be equipped with a CSU? The operating costs would no longer be the same, with the installation of dedicated premises and the employment of authorized personnel 24 hours a day.
This intermunicipal dimension is already present in Arras, the result of a partnership between the city of Arras and its urban community. Images from around 200 cameras from Arras and surrounding towns are scanned in a CSU installed in Arras.
Videoprotection has become a “reflex.”
One hundred and twenty cameras already in service in Béthune, ten more to come on the north side of the station, ten more in 2020 on the south side… Against zero in 2014. “The surroundings of the fourteen schools are filmed, the town hall, the Victor Hugo administrative centre, the parks including Catorive… It has become a natural reflex, we equip”, sums up Pierre-Emmanuel Gibson, for whom “cameras are not a panacea. But they are a tool in the wider system of tranquillity. We also went from nine to 22 municipal police officers, from two to four patrol vehicles, two dogs. »
In any case, the strategy of the Béthunois executive is in any case posed: “As soon as there is new public equipment, we video-protect. It’s a reflex for us. Today, it is inconceivable to create a space without video protection. It’s not Big Brother, it’s a tool for tranquillity. And sometimes we are asked for it. We have to make public spaces that are very busy safe where there is a lot of traffic,” explains Pierre-Emmanuel Gibson.
50,000 euros, the cost of deploying ten cameras on the north forecourt of the Béthune station. The project is subsidised by the State and the Hauts de France Region. The remainder to be paid by Béthune amounts to less than half the cost of the project, according to Pierre-Emmanuel Gibson.