CCTV switch-off 'has no impact on safety'

Published: 5 Mar 2012 17:303 comments

THE switching off of Bracknell Forest Council-funded CCTV cameras has had no impact on community safety, a councillor has stressed.

The council's 15 cameras were switched-off in October 2011, but there are other cameras operated in the borough by other organisations including Thames Valley Police.

It comes as a report by privacy and civil liberties campaign group Big Brother Watch highlighted what local authorities had spent on CCTV in the past four years.

Cllr Iain McCracken, the council's executive member for culture, corporate services and public protection, added: "Bracknell Forest Council and the Bracknell Forest Community Safety Partnership take the safety of the community very seriously.

"There are a variety of cameras, both private and public, which help keep the community safe and we will continue to work in partnership with the operators of these systems.

"However, after a thorough review it was decided that Bracknell Forest's CCTV system with cameras in Bracknell town centre and in Sandhurst - which is monitored by arrangement with the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead - was not providing good value for money in the current financial climate."

Ian Boswell, community safety manager, said: "Currently, the council is investigating a more flexible CCTV arrangement, using up-to-date technology, so cameras can be moved around the borough to places where they will be most effective in the months ahead.

"During the transition period other operators - including Thames Valley Police and local businesses - are providing the CCTV service within Bracknell Forest."

A report by privacy and civil liberties campaign group Big Brother Watch highlighted that the council spent £448,517 on the maintenance of their cameras between 2007 and 2011, before they were switched off.

The report also said that Wokingham Borough Council spent £259,616 on 25 cameras.

Wokingham Borough Council confirmed that the Wokingham Community Safety Partnership had spent £194,728 between 2008 and 2011.

The data for the report was gathered through Freedom of Information requests, with 428 local authorities responding.

Big Brother Watch found that the councils who responded spent £515m on CCTV in four years.

l Is having fewer CCTV cameras a good move? Email letters@bracknellnews.co.uk or leave your comments below.

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  • honeybear
    288 posts
    Mar 6, 04:45
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    Brilliant the argued that they needed them to enable them to spend our hard earned money.........

    Now they just switch them off.....

    What a waste of our money.........

    Prehaps they should have done a bit more research before spending the money.

    So how are they going to monitor our streets - more police on the beat?

    No as they are reducing that too.......................

    Everybody said that cameras were in effective at stopping crime and now the police admit a lot of the time cameras are not good enough evidence to use in court.

    We should invest in more police on our streets and our roads as it a far better deterent than cameras which by thier nature are fixed and can be avoided........

    £515 million how many police officers would that have employed??????????

    Do we get a refunded.................................

    Recommend?   Yes 11     No 1

  • BruceDenney
    111 posts
    Mar 6, 08:36
    Report abuse

    I vote to change the council, but someone else seems to always vote to keep them.

    Recommend?   Yes 10     No 1

  • honeybear
    288 posts
    Mar 12, 08:00
    Report abuse

    If the cameras were still working they may have caught the idiots who lit the fire in the town centre.

    But as they have switched of the cameras and not putting police on the streets expect the crime figures to rise........................

    Bracknell Forest youn really do not have a clue.

    As For MP DR P Lee - please resign you are a laughing stock althiough every time you open your mouth you make me laugh with your outlandish comments and suggestions............ the sooner you go of and marry a Norwegian lady the better and please stay there...........................

    Recommend?   Yes 4     No 0