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Anger at failure to share cost of CCTV
4:00pm Thursday 20th September 2012 in News
Councillors have criticised police in Chippenham for failing to share the costs of the town’s CCTV cameras.
The cameras are often used by officers to provide the evidence needed to secure prosecutions.
Life in Chippenham is recorded 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and the screens are monitored by trained operatives for 24 hours a week, with the manned hours coinciding with peak evening events in the town on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.
But the system, which is contracted out to a security company, costs the town council £1,248 a month.
Adrian Jones, head of service delivery at the council, said other options had been explored but added it was still the cheapest and most effective way to monitor crime and anti-social behaviour.
Chippenham Town Council leader Andrew Noblet said at last week’s strategy and resources committee meeting: “It is expensive, but we have an oblig- ation to look after our citizens to a certain extent, so we cannot do without it.”
He said that the police had previously refused to make a contribution to the running of the service.
“In the past, the police have said it’s nothing to do with them,” he said.
“However, they use it often, and I think they should be helping out with the costs.”
Mayor Andy Phillips said: “How can they [the police] say that they are not involved with CCTV when it helps them and affects their work as much as it does?”
Coun Nina Phillips said she would like to ask for funding from the town’s area board.
Coun Noblet said: “We pay our rates to the police, and we deserve to have some help funding this service.”
Coun Bill Douglas said: “I hope that we can reassure the public that, no matter what happens, including the police refusing to contribute, we will continue to fund this essential service.”
Despite repeated requests by the Gazett, Wiltshire Police failed to respond with a comment on the issue before we went to press.