Future of district’s CCTV to be reviewed

06/3/12- CCTV cameras in Hastings town centre
06/3/12- CCTV cameras in Hastings town centre

The long-term future of a network of 24 CCTV cameras will be reviewed by East Northamptonshire Council next week.

The council is being asked to consider whether it wants to continue funding the district’s network of cameras, which was launched seven years ago and costs the authority more than £47,000 a year.

During 2011-12 the district council also paid an additional £2,040 on ad-hoc repairs and the authority is concerned this amount could rise because of the age of the cameras.

In his report for the council’s policy and resources committee, the authority’s community partnerships manager Mike Greenaway said: “The town councils overwhelmingly 
value CCTV but the overarching concern is whether local people believe it is value for money.

“The CCTV control room can provide statistics on where CCTV has been used to support police activity.

“Figures are also provided for where actual incidents 
being monitored by CCTV have involved an arrest. However, information is not available about whether the use of CCTV in any incident secures a conviction.”

He added the police said they believed the cameras made a significant contribution to the district’s low crime figures.

Rushden Chamber of Trade chairman Adrian House said: “I’ve not heard of that many cases where CCTV footage was good enough to help make a conviction but I think if the cameras weren’t there we would have more people causing trouble – they are a deterrent.”

The network consists of four cameras in Higham Ferrers, three in Irthlingborough, four in Oundle, four in Raunds, six in Rushden and three in Thrapston.

All the images captured by cameras are recorded and monitored by staff at a CCTV control room in Kettering who can manually change the views from each camera.

Two-thirds of the costs of each camera is met by each area’s town council and the remaining third is met by East Northamptonshire Council.

The committee will be asked to consider whether the cameras were still needed in the areas they were placed in, whether to continue paying for a new system or whether to invest in a new system.

District councillors will discuss the issue at a meeting on Monday, July 2.