Pickering Set to Lose CCTV Cameras
3:55pm 13th February 2013
There are fears of an increase in crime as a decision is taken to remove CCTV cameras in Pickering.
Martin Dales from Ryedale Cameras in Action is one of those concerned that crime may rise in the town if the cameras go.
It's after Pickering Town Council's decision to cut funding, which could mean the cameras are taken down if no other solution is found.
We spoke to William Oxley, the Mayor of Pickering who says the cameras are not needed.
Ryedale Cameras in Action (RCIA), the charity that has since its inception in 1997 managed the CCTV system covering Malton, Norton and Pickering, is under threat of losing a partner due to the decision of Pickering Town Council last November to discontinue funding.
The Council’s decision means that the cameras in Pickering will be switched off and taken down at the end of next month.
RCIA is disappointed at the Council’s decision, especially after some 16 years in partnership in the days before partnerships were fashionable. As a founder member of the scheme, I am personally saddened that the partnership will be broken.
Pickering Council’s contribution for 2012-13 is £1,800 which equates to 25 pence per head of their population per year: the actual cost is a modest £1.60 per head per year which I would suggest is excellent value for money for all of us in the three towns and helps us all feel safe as we go about our business.
The cost of BT line rental alone to RCIA is around £13,000 each year of which £6,000 is the cost of bringing the service from Malton Police Station to Pickering – repairs/renewals of cameras are at additional cost.
An additional factor is that the contract with BT is up for renewal at the end of March which means a decision about whether or not to retain the link to Pickering has to be made imminently.
This all comes at a time when RCIA is looking pro-actively to future-proof CCTV provision(as far as is possible) by looking at options for the future due to technological advance since the ‘Rolls-Royce’ scheme, as it then was, was installed with Home Office and local funding in 1997.
North Yorkshire Police have attended Pickering Town Council meetings to make clear their views on the effectiveness of CCTV whether in dealing with actual crime or, more importantly, acting as a major deterrent; flood monitoring; the safety of residents, shoppers and visitors; business and retail security; anti-social behaviour and more.
It is also their intention to increase the monitoring to 24/7 through the use of vetted volunteers and with an additional monitoring set-up hopefully somewhere in Ryedale House. RCIA has resolved to fund the £12,000 it is estimated this will cost.
RCIA is also actively investigating the possibility of extending the scheme to other towns, villages, industrial estates, private companies through new technologies on a similar sort of ‘subscription’ basis as currently exists between the various Councils.
Whilst I accept that all public bodies (including RCIA) are under financial pressure at this time, it seems to me unfortunate if Pickering were no longer to be a partner.
I wondered whether it would be conceivable that Pickering might be encouraged to have a change of heart, for the sake of the partnership, including our Police, and for the people of Pickering, and reconsider its decision at its meeting on Monday.
Otherwise the message to the criminal fraternity in April will be that Pickering is ‘open for business’ but not of the kind that any of us want.
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