DORCHESTER’S police chief says he is confident a solution will be found to retain the town’s CCTV.
Dorchester Town Council controversially agreed to withdraw its share of the funding for the surveillance system in the town centre.
West Dorset District Council has also confirmed it would not be making a contribution.
However, Inspector Steve Marsh, of Dorchester Police, said he was hopeful that the CCTV could be retained.
He said: “We are still hopeful we can find a solution so the CCTV doesn’t go in the town centre. We are still working with our partners to try and ensure that it continues.”
Insp Marsh said he understood local authorities had financial challenges and budget pressures and it was not for him to say where their funds should be allocated.
He said he was asked by the town council for his thoughts on the CCTV and said it was an ‘important tool in the prevention and detection of crime’.
The CCTV issue was brought into focus when, shortly after the decision from the town council, two town centre premises were targeted by criminals on the same night.
Taste restaurant in Trinity Street had its front window smashed and thousands of pounds worth of musical instruments were taken from Harmony Music.
Insp Marsh said he appreciated the incidents had been upsetting for the businesses involved and he was glad that a male had been arrested in connection with the Harmony Music incident and almost all of the stolen items had been returned.
He said that, while violent offences, theft and motor vehicle crime were all down, commercial burglaries was an area that police were very much targeting in the town and he hoped to see a reduction in incidents as a result.
Chairman of the Dorchester BID (Business Improvement District) John Fiori said his cafe the Horse with the Red Umbrella, had seen three windows smashed in the last few months so he knew how those recently targeted had felt.
Speaking on a personal level, rather than representing the BID, he said that it was important not only that the CCTV is retained but also to ensure it is an effective system.
He said: “If you are going to have it you must make sure it is effective.”
• For more on policing issues in the county town check out Inspector Marsh’s latest Crime Scene column on page 20.