A total of £135,000 is to be invested in South Worcestershire’s CCTV network as part of a deal to ensure the service continues to be monitored around the clock.
West Mercia Police and Crime Commissioner John Campion has agreed a three year deal with Wychavon to fund 24 hour CCTV monitoring up until 2020.
As part of the agreement Wychavon will receive £65,000 a year to continue to run the service from its Pershore offices on behalf of itself and Worcester City Councils. Of that some £45,000 a year will be invested in upgrading dated and obsolete cameras to the latest technology, with those overlooking known crime hotspots being prioritised.
Wychavon has been responsible for the service for the last 18 years and more than 700 requests were made for footage of incidents in 2017 alone. However, with the previous funding deal coming to an end a special panel of councillors was asked to review the service to consider its impact and future need.
More than 800 residents were asked for their opinion on CCTV in last year’s Worcestershire Viewpoint Survey. A total of 70 per cent of them agreed the system made them feel safer, 77 per cent agreed it helped to reduce crime and just 10 per cent stated they believed public CCTV was an invasion of privacy.
A dedicated workshop event was also held where partners and interested groups were invited to submit their views, while the issue was also debated by Full Council. On both occasions significant support was declared for maintaining and enhancing the CCTV service.
As well as recommending Wychavon accepts the funding offer from the Police and Crime Commissioner, the review panel has also put forward a proposal that could allow town and parish councils to suggest sites for new CCTV cameras, if they agree to fund them.
They have also suggested the situation should be reviewed by March 2020 when the current funding deal comes to an end.
The recommendations will now go to a future meeting of the Executive Board for formal approval.
Cllr Tony Miller, Chairman of the CCTV Review Panel, said: “It was clear during the review there is significant support from the public for CCTV and the police who value it as a crime fighting tool. We’re delighted an agreement has been reached to not only allow 24 hour CCTV monitoring to continue but to invest in upgrading the network as well, which will provide further reassurance and protection to the public.”
Residents can have their say on a range of Wychavon and other public sector services by joining the Worcestershire Viewpoint panel online at www.worcestershire.gov.uk/viewpoint
. To keep up to date on all Wychavon’s consultations sign up for our email alerts service at www.wychavon.gov.uk/email-sign-up
and choose the consultations topic.