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Cumbria's crime commissioner offers councils £100,000 to tackle anti-social behaviour

Cumbria's crime commissioner has pledged to hand out £600,000 that could go towards CCTV funding as part of overall measures to tackle anti social behaviour.

Richard Rhodes photo
Richard Rhodes

Richard Rhodes says he will give £100,000 to each of the county’s six district councils, if they match this funding themselves.

But Mr Rhodes says the councils do not have to spend the money on CCTV if they have alternative suggestions as to how to tackle anti social behaviour.

His move comes after the News & Star revealed that all but 15 of the current 63 cameras in Carlisle are set to be switched off when the city council’s contract with BT comes to an end as surveillance screens are mothballed to save money.

The cuts are poised to leave only six cameras in the city centre plus nine in council car parks.

Eden council stopped maintaining its cameras in Penrith, Appleby and Kirkby Stephen in 2011. They have since been switched off permanently.

Copeland has 20 cameras in Whitehaven, Egremont, Cleator Moor, Frizington and Millom. It stopped live surveillance in 2011-12 and plans to turn them off this year.

Allerdale has CCTV in Workington, Maryport, Aspatria and Wigton. It persuaded the Workington town centre developer Riddells and the new drug-and-alcohol treatment service Unity to part-fund cameras until this April but it is uncertain what will happen after that.

Mr Rhodes is also proposing to provide enough funding to the Community Safety Partnerships for the next 12 months.

He said: “Anti-social behaviour makes people’s lives a misery.

“I have asked the leaders of the district councils to consider their CCTV provision alongside other tools to tackle anti-social behaviour.

“There is already lots of good work going on to tackle anti-social behaviour and I hope that this one-off funding will reduce the impact of anti-social behaviour.”

Elsie Martlew, the city councillor responsible for CCTV, said: “I am really encouraged to hear that Mr Rhodes is willing to give us £100,000 but the problem we have is match funding.

“We will look at this very positively and do everything we can to try and match fund it.

“We need to find £180,000 in the next 12 months to fund CCTV and we are hoping to attract partners to help us to do that and to cover the deficit.”

The district councils need to submit a business case outlining how the money could be used to benefit the local communities by Monday, March 11.

Have your say

Is the money coming from reduced police salaries/resources.Are the car parks not self sufficient they cost enough to park in them.

Posted by anoony on 21 January 2013 at 11:01

Carlisle Renaissance? Probably about £250,000 to £500,000 in total.

Posted by Bob on 19 January 2013 at 14:06

View all 11 comments on this article

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