Fears as Dorchester CCTV funding pulled

Dorset Echo: Fears as Dorchester CCTV funding pulled Fears as Dorchester CCTV funding pulled

CRIME fears have been voiced after councillors took the ‘difficult decision’ to withdraw funding for CCTV in Dorchester.

The town council has been paying around £18,000 a year as part of the Western Dorset CCTV Scheme.

But it has decided to cease funding, despite fears that this will lead to blame when crimes happen.

Councillors had the option to discuss reducing funding to £12,000 but voted by majority to cut it all together.

Cllr Richard Biggs abstained from voting, warning councillors that ‘every time there’s a crime people will be saying ‘thanks to the town council.’ He added: “We have got this offer of looking at it again and I think it would be foolish to go all out.

“Don’t just shut the door and be blamed forever more every time there’s a crime.”

The CCTV scheme in Dorchester is a partnership between Dorchester Town Council, Dorset County Council, Dorset Police, West Dorset District Council and Weymouth and Portland Borough Council and was launched in 2006.

The cameras are monitored by a control room in Weymouth which has a direct link to the police control room. Cllr Molly Rennie put forward a counter-motion to the recommendation and asked to set up a meeting to discuss a lower payment- but this was vetoed by a majority.

They were told by inspector Steve Marsh that although rate of conviction using CCTV as a primary form of evidence is low, CCTV used as a secondary form is higher.

For example, the supposed offender’s movements can be traced after the crime.

Cllr Trevor Jones said the police described CCTV as a ‘useful tool’ but ‘had no money to buy the useful tool and so the council was persuaded.’ He said it was a difficult decision but added: “There is no real evidence that we are getting value for money.

“We’re not skint but we have got to save some expenditure.”

Cllr Tim Harries added that if ‘irrefutable evidence’ could be delivered to show CCTV was worth the town council’s contribution, the money would be taken from reserves.

But, he added: “There is no discernible evidence that CCTV has actually brought crime down in this town at all.”

Comments (6)

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12:42pm Thu 30 Jan 14

dontbuyit says...

Typical of our councillors to cut cctv but spend a fortune installing useless electronic signs showing how many spaces are vacant in the car parks which are rarely accurate. The Durngate one often says the car park is full but one can see there are a dozen empty spaces. So no money for cctv but plenty for some councillors pet project. In other words, no money for security and crime prevention but plenty for the cash cow car parks.
Typical of our councillors to cut cctv but spend a fortune installing useless electronic signs showing how many spaces are vacant in the car parks which are rarely accurate. The Durngate one often says the car park is full but one can see there are a dozen empty spaces. So no money for cctv but plenty for some councillors pet project. In other words, no money for security and crime prevention but plenty for the cash cow car parks. dontbuyit

2:45pm Thu 30 Jan 14

February1948 says...

Was it a wise move of the Council to let the criminal fraternity know that the CCTV cameras will be removed?
Was it a wise move of the Council to let the criminal fraternity know that the CCTV cameras will be removed? February1948

2:46pm Thu 30 Jan 14

smilealoft44 says...

dontbuyit wrote:
Typical of our councillors to cut cctv but spend a fortune installing useless electronic signs showing how many spaces are vacant in the car parks which are rarely accurate. The Durngate one often says the car park is full but one can see there are a dozen empty spaces. So no money for cctv but plenty for some councillors pet project. In other words, no money for security and crime prevention but plenty for the cash cow car parks.
Dont forget the £2000000 for the pet project of the shops. Someones dream..
[quote][p][bold]dontbuyit[/bold] wrote: Typical of our councillors to cut cctv but spend a fortune installing useless electronic signs showing how many spaces are vacant in the car parks which are rarely accurate. The Durngate one often says the car park is full but one can see there are a dozen empty spaces. So no money for cctv but plenty for some councillors pet project. In other words, no money for security and crime prevention but plenty for the cash cow car parks.[/p][/quote]Dont forget the £2000000 for the pet project of the shops. Someones dream.. smilealoft44

5:48pm Thu 30 Jan 14

Tinker2 says...

February1948 wrote:
Was it a wise move of the Council to let the criminal fraternity know that the CCTV cameras will be removed?
Beggars belief - what idiots allowed the release of this information? Surely you would just keep the cameras up as a deterent and mums the word. Simples?
Also as the equipment is up (capital costs spent), £18,000 a year sounds a lot of money as a 'shared partnership' run service. I wonder what the total cost must be to pay for a person to sit and monitor the CCTV?
[quote][p][bold]February1948[/bold] wrote: Was it a wise move of the Council to let the criminal fraternity know that the CCTV cameras will be removed?[/p][/quote]Beggars belief - what idiots allowed the release of this information? Surely you would just keep the cameras up as a deterent and mums the word. Simples? Also as the equipment is up (capital costs spent), £18,000 a year sounds a lot of money as a 'shared partnership' run service. I wonder what the total cost must be to pay for a person to sit and monitor the CCTV? Tinker2

8:25pm Thu 30 Jan 14

Mango man says...

About as short sighted a view as I've ever seen from a council. In this day and age CCTV is the bare minimum a town needs to deter and detect crime. These councillors seem to think that Dorchester is stuck in the 1800's where theft of an apple from a market stall is the only crime that occurs. Wouldn't blame the police if they took the view that if the people in charge of the town don't care, why should we!
About as short sighted a view as I've ever seen from a council. In this day and age CCTV is the bare minimum a town needs to deter and detect crime. These councillors seem to think that Dorchester is stuck in the 1800's where theft of an apple from a market stall is the only crime that occurs. Wouldn't blame the police if they took the view that if the people in charge of the town don't care, why should we! Mango man

11:37pm Thu 30 Jan 14

GuyFawkes.. says...

Being an X-Shoplifter i'd just like to say as soon as word gets around in these circles that Dorchester has no CCTV you'll have every shoplifter in a 25-30 radius visiting at least once or twice a year at best!!,and at worst everday or every other day!?..
You've put all the hardwork into getting them there plus god knows how much money to only shut them down for the sake of 18 thousand pounds!?.
I'm sure most if not all shop owners will not be happy about this as well as a lot of local residents as you also cover them from car crime in car parks as well as accidents etc,etc..
It makes no odds to me but it "BEGGARS BELIEF"..
Being an X-Shoplifter i'd just like to say as soon as word gets around in these circles that Dorchester has no CCTV you'll have every shoplifter in a 25-30 radius visiting at least once or twice a year at best!!,and at worst everday or every other day!?.. You've put all the hardwork into getting them there plus god knows how much money to only shut them down for the sake of 18 thousand pounds!?. I'm sure most if not all shop owners will not be happy about this as well as a lot of local residents as you also cover them from car crime in car parks as well as accidents etc,etc.. It makes no odds to me but it "BEGGARS BELIEF".. GuyFawkes..

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