CCTV costs NHDC £1.2m over four years
PUBLISHED: 15:46 22 February 2012 | UPDATED: 10:21 24 February 2012
MORE than £1.2m has been spent on a CCTV surveillance network by North Herts District Council in the past four years.
The 46 cameras across the district have cost taxpayers £1,205,096 through the combined expenditure of installation, operation and maintenance.
Royston is watched by seven street cameras and two mobile units.
A civil liberties group revealed the information and is concerned about the use of CCTV.
The Big Brother Watch report states: “In the current financial climate, sustaining the level of investment in CCTV is impossible to justify.
“The surveillance British citizens are now subjected to continues to increase, despite being at a level that makes many other democratic countries recoil in horror.
“CCTV does not have a significant deterrent effect on crime, and is not a substitute for police. Yet it continues to be claimed, without evidence, that more CCTV improves public safety.”
NHDC’s cameras are operated in partnership with other neighbouring authorities.
Cllr Tricia Cowley, NHDC’s portfolio holder for community engagement, said: “We work in partnership with Stevenage, East Herts and Hertsmere councils to provide 24-hour, manned CCTV monitoring of key locations, actively reducing the fear of crime for people who live and work in North Herts, and helping to tackle anti-social behaviour.
“This partnership approach helps us minimise the cost of providing 46 cameras in the district, all operated strictly in accordance with a detailed Code of Practice. If anyone wishes to find out more about the Hertfordshire CCTV Partnership, they can visit our website, www.north-herts.gov.uk, and search for CCTV.”
In contrast, South Cambs District Council has spent nothing on CCTV as the district is highly rural.
The report states Cambridgeshire County Council paid out £518,378 on 273 cameras in the same period, and Hertfordshire County Council ran up costs of £24,275 on 110 devices.
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