COSTS for a CCTV system promised more than a year ago are on the rise – before the system is even switched on.

The security cameras - which remain out of use along a Weymouth trail - are costing more than a government grant awarded for the system due to delays getting them up and running.

Around a year and-a-half ago, Dorset Council successfully bid for almost £250,000 of government funding for initiatives to make women and girls feel safer.

The funding was spent on various projects including additional CCTV cameras, some of which were set to go along the Rodwell Trail which, which although popular with the public as a cycling and walking trail, has been plagued by crime and anti-social behaviour. 

Works finally started to connect the system in the new year after problems with the power supply, but the system has yet to go live.

The council has agreed to cover the extra expense. 

A spokesperson for Dorset Council said: “There were some extra expenses but we don’t have final costings yet - but it will be picked up by the council outside of the original grant agreement.

“We are hopeful that the works will be completed shortly. The cameras are currently being added to our CCTV system and our subcontractors are working on the power supplies.”

The Rodwell Trail cameras, once operational, will be monitored frequently, ‘in line with the existing cameras.’

Dorset Echo:

Tracey West, patron of Women’s Action Network Dorset (WAND), said: “Thankfully, and at long last, there has been movement to fit the electricity supply, but it's no good if the cameras haven't actually been attached to the other ends of the electric string.

“I must say, it was good to hear the council have agreed to pick up the additional costs outside of the original grant agreement. At the end of the day, they must surely want to facilitate safer spaces in their community. Here's hoping it won't take much longer to sign off this crucial project, making the trail safer for all users.”

There have been a few recent incidents along the trail recently which have shaken the local community.

Dorset councillor Clare Sutton, who represents the Wyke and Rodwell ward, said: “After the extremely distressing incident which took place on the trail near Parr Way just last month, it is particularly disappointing that the CCTV is still not operational. This really does need to be remedied as soon as possible.

“The Rodwell Trail is a wonderful local asset, and it is vital that its many users feel safe. I use it several times a week and feel confident doing so, but I’m sure the recent incident has given many people pause for thought, for example, if their children use it as a route to and from school.

“We really do need to restore confidence and getting the CCTV up and running will very much be a step in the right direction.”

Weymouth mayor and councillor for the Wyke and Rodwell Ward, Kate Wheller, said: “It’s a great shame. I don’t know the cause of the delays, but each time we delay, costs go up, we know that happens, and I hope that the council will be able to get them installed as soon as possible.”