A gap in funding the CCTV service that helps keep Hereford and the county’s market towns safe has been plugged for now. But arguments continue over how this key part of security in the county should be paid for.

Hereford city council managed to hold down its local tax this year in part by cancelling the £62,500 share it pays into the service’s £211,000 yearly running costs.

Herefordshire Council, responsible for its day-to-day operation via specialist contractors, confirmed it has agreed to fund the shortfall for the year from April, “whilst discussions are ongoing with stakeholders and interested parties about a sustainable long-term solution”, a spokesperson said.


City council clerk Steve Kerry said the city had flagged up its plan to withdraw the funding well in advance but received no reply from county authorities.

Police withdrew funding

The West Mercia police and crime commissioner’s (PCC’s) office withdrew over £100,000 of funding for the service in March 2022, while “going ahead with more and more cameras using government grants”, he said.

PCC John Campion responded: “CCTV is not a statutory responsibility for the police, and it does not own or operate the systems in question. It’s for councillors to decide how council funds are spent, including on CCTV systems they own and operate.”


That funding cut had also been well flagged-up, and was in line with the police force’s policy across the three counties of only funding new camera systems, he added.

The apparent buck-passing on the issue has alarmed some of those who rely on it.

Solving and deterring

Mike Truelove who chairs the 500-strong Hereford Business Improvement District said that without it, “crimes of all nature will be harder to solve”, with an “unfathomable impact” on businesses.

CCTV also “deters shoplifting, anti-social behaviour, violence and assaults”, and “contributes significantly to criminals being identified”, he added.

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Less well-known is the support it gives to Hereford’s street pastor service, which looks out for those enjoying the city’s night-time economy.

“The work we do would be much harder without it,” according to Imogen Abbott of social charity Vennture which runs the service.

“Cameras are the nucleus of public safety in the city connecting all the elements,” she said.

And not only at night, she added. “Our annual survey shows there’s no time of day when it’s not needed.”