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CCTV monitoring hours to be slashed by almost half
CRIME-fighting CCTV in the county is under threat as cuts of £50,000 in the next year will see a reduction in live monitoring.
Leominster town councillors were told at a council meeting last week that the monitoring hours for CCTV across the county are to be slashed down to almost half.
According to Councillor Peter Ellis – who has been liaising with Herefordshire Council about the future provision of CCTV in the county – the current monitoring hours will be cut from 127 hours a week to 69.
This means that although the cameras will continue to roll consistently, there will not always be someone watching – sparking fears that some crimes could go undetected.
Funding from Herefordshire Council is to be reduced by £50,000 in 2013/2014 and then a further £32,000 in 2014/2015.
Debbie Stringer, commissioning officer for CCTV, said the reduction for this year will be covered through funding reserves.
“Whereas the system will continue to record 24 hours, seven days a week, there is a risk that the level of real-time footage monitoring could be affected,” she said.
But additional funding has come from an “old friend”. West Mercia’s Police and Crime Commissioner Bill Longmore has applied to put an additional £50,000 towards the cost of running CCTV in the county.
And Herefordshire councillor Peter McCall said that despite the cuts, CCTV – which costs Leominster Town Council £10,000 a year – is “still good value for money”, adding that the time it saves is “phenomenal”.
He added that the footage can still be replayed to help find an offender.
Proposals will be implemented from April, subject to negotiations with town councils.
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