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Live monitoring of CCTV images to stop in Allerdale

Police say they are reviewing the CCTV set-up in Allerdale following confirmation that live monitoring of the crime-busting cameras will stop this summer.

Talks to seek funding for the future of the service have failed and council staff will stop watching over the images as they happen in real time at the end of June.

The cameras will still record and police will have access to the footage for information or to investigate crime.

But senior officers had highlighted earlier this year the capacity the cameras provided for dealing with crime as it occurred.

A report in February to Allerdale council, which runs the service, said: “The police suggested that the presence of monitored CCTV meant that people felt safer.”

A statement issued by police today following confirmation of the end of live monitoring said: “We are in the process of reviewing CCTV within Allerdale.”

Allerdale council agreed in March to remove its £84,980 annual budget for the service amid Government funding cuts.

Councillors agreed to continue funding the 57 hours a week of monitoring until the end of May.

In the meantime, they said, the council would speak to police, businesses and other interested organisations to find a collective way to continue the monitoring.

But a solution has not been found and the service will cease at the end of the month.

Philip Tibble, executive council member with responsibility for community safety, said: “The council is facing severe financial challenges and is having to make some tough decisions.

“CCTV is not a service that the council has to legally provide and to stop monitoring the cameras has been a hard decision for us to make.

“We have had discussions with local businesses and the police but we have been unable to find a solution.

“Allerdale council has made significant investment in the system over many years and we are disappointed to have to make this decision but without contributions from other users we cannot afford to continue.”

Have your say

Jon, there are no traffic wardens in the entire of Cumbria. None, zero, zilch, zip, nada.

Posted by TB on 9 June 2012 at 10:32

Whoknows - no it wasn't a war zone before, but people could fight, shoplift or run from police officers, they could safely find little corners to sell drugs etc. without being seen in real time. Also Eagle eyes, seriously - I'd watch it for free too (except for the fact I do work during the day). I'd certainly happily give up spare hours and go on a rota but surely the people who currently operate the CCTV cameras should keep their jobs, protecting the public, helping the Police and providing vital evidence which is often used to support cases in Court - leading to convictions. There is no secret as to where the cameras are, and if you are a victim of crime in a covered area, the Police can often arrive before you have the chance to call 999 because it has been witenssed in live time, by the operators. This needs a very serious re-think. Cuts may have to be made, but please consider making them in other areas. Yes I would happily lose traffic wardens in favour of CCTV operators - no disrespect to traffic wardens, but we are talking about catching criminals here and protecting the public.

Posted by Jan on 6 June 2012 at 21:47

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