Cheshire businesses may want to consider investing in the best CCTV installations Chester has to offer, given evidence that suggests that local councils across the UK are cutting back on their levels of coverage. This news was revealed by Tony Porter, the surveillance camera commissioner, who said he had found increasing numbers of councils reducing their surveillance services because of budgetary confinements. As it’s not a statutory requirement, many councils are looking at the money put into CCTV and scaling back wherever they can to save money.
However, Porter has his concerns over the way that CCTV is being handled by councils. Not only does he worry that police will not be being passed sufficient images to investigate crimes which affect local communities, but he fears that unskilled supervisors are being left behind the lens, or that CCTV is not being manned 24 hours a day at all, the Daily Mail reports.
Speaking to the CCTV User Group Conference this week, Porter said: “I’ve seen councils in large towns like Blackpool and Derby stop monitoring their systems 24/7. My understanding is that this is not as the result of a review or public consultation but simply to save money.”
A government spokesperson responded with an assertion that the majority of councils were balancing the books and maintaining key services, despite not namechecking CCTV in general, which leaves the public and business owners concerned that there isn’t enough transparency on the effectiveness of CCTV surveillance in their local area.
According to the British Security Industry Authority, there are an estimated six million CCTV cameras across the UK – but only one in 70 is publicly owned.