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"This area is protected by CCTV - leave this area or the Police may be called"

Can this machine tell us
we shouldn't walk our Public Footpath

Our problem is that when not being worked the machinery is parked next to the Happisburgh Road and a Public Footpath - walkers are greeted with this Black Diamond Security loud voice announcement

"This area is protected by CCTV - leave this area or the Police may be called"

This is right next to one of our local footpaths beloved by dog walkers, ramblers and our many visitors.

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  1. To be fair to Vattenfall they have sent me the following email which I reproduce in full below – it does explain their reaction to this problem and updates residents.

    Update on temporary security systems associated with archaeological works near Witton, Ridlington and Happisburgh (Happisburgh Road, Ridlington NR28 9GA).

    It has come to our attention that there are complaints about the CCTV audio messages that are automatically triggered when people are walking close to fenced compounds protecting equipment and heavy machinery when not in use. The machinery subcontracted by our archaeological contractors, are required in the set piece archaeological excavation works which will continue for a few more weeks this year, and resume again next year, in the Spring.

    We would like to express our regret that anyone quite correctly and innocently walking along the footpath [GR 35344 31268] could have been rudely interrupted by the messages triggered by security sensors.

    Below we try to answer some questions you or others may have about what happened and why, and describe how we will ensure that similar disturbances are avoided in the future.

    What is the purpose of the sensors and recorded message they trigger?

    The purpose of the sensors and the recorded message they trigger is both for the safety of the public and the security of equipment. When a person approaches the works or equipment requiring security, sensors detect their presence and the audio recording is broadcast, warning people that CCTV recording is commencing and that they should step away. The intent is of course the deterrence of any incident involving damage to person or property, and it is a frequently used tool by owners of heavy plant, indeed the insurers of such plant insist upon it.

    Why in this instance why were sensors triggered by walkers on a right of way?

    The machinery security compounds have to be close to the access point for the site where they are required. The team conducting the set-piece archaeological excavations follow landowner specifications about their placement. Unfortunately, in this instance, these two factors meant that the compound surrounding the equipment was very close to a footpath.

    How have we responded to the situation?

    The sensors have been adjusted slightly, so that walkers sticking to the path should no longer trigger warnings to move away from the machinery.
    In the future, compounds storing the kit will be set away from footpaths and rights of way so that passing walkers are not disturbed by audio messages nor filmed by CCTV.

    What are our future plans and timings?

    Stripping proposed to be completed on Tuesday 24th August. Although this will depend on rainfall and how wet the land is
    Hand excavation – Proposed from Tuesday 31st August to Friday 17th September.
    Backfilling – We expect this to be during these next two weeks
    NB – a note about rainfall. Stripping and backfilling operations will be suspended if the rain gauge exceeds 12mm in 24 hours or 20mm in 96 hours.

    Again, on behalf of the team, we are sorry that there has been an issue, this was only brought to our attention last week. I hope the above goes some way to address local concerns on this topic, and provides assurances of our willingness to work with the community to find practical solutions and explore opportunities to improve our ways of working.

    We hope this has been helpful, please feel free to update your websites with the information provided.

    If the Parish Council or local residents have any other questions or feedback, please do let us know by contacting info@norfolkVanguard.co.uk

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