CCTV costs NHDC �1.2m over four years
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.
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“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.”
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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.