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The city eye watches and assists

published: 2018-01-19 13:39, mlan
The city eye watches and assists fot. The city eye watches and assists

Video surveillance, alongside the Emergency Reporting Centre, the Crisis Management Office and the City Guard, forms an element of Warsaw’s security system.


Residents usually associate it with surveillance cameras watching the streets. In fact, it is an intricate system consisting of kilometres of optical fibre, servers, cameras, recorders, and most importantly – operators, all invisible to a regular passer-by.

The City Surveillance Management Company regulated by the Public Safety & Crisis Management Department - employs nearly 200 operators. Round-the-clock, in 8-hour shifts, 365 days a year, they watch the streets of Warsaw to guarantee our safety. The surveillance centres, where the operators perform their duties, are located at the police stations and headquarters within Warsaw, which makes the information flow between an operator who notices suspicious activity, and a duty officer, highly efficient.

Mr Grzegorz is one of these operators; this year, at the beginning of January, just after 1 a.m. he noticed an attempt to break and enter into an office of one of the Warsaw-based companies. The operator notified the duty officer following the applicable procedure, and the Police intervened. Following an arrest it was discovered that the would-be burglar also had some other offences under his belt.  

This is how the operators of the City’s video surveillance system work: they selectively observe the live feeds from nearly 400 cameras and, if need be, alert a Police or City Guard duty officer about any spotted infringement of the legal order in Warsaw. The cameras record all sorts of incidents, including such crimes as fights, batteries, robberies and thefts, and minor offences such as drinking in public or infringement of the traffic rules and regulations.

There are 13,922 cameras in the urban space (at the ground, underground and mobile levels). The number of incidents reported by the surveillance system operators in 2017 reached 9,189, including 4,484 reported to the Police and 4,465 to the City Guard.