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Councillors slam police for not funding North Norfolk CCTV cameras

06:30 12 September 2013

Eric Seward.

Eric Seward.

Copyright Nicholas Manthorpe 2011

Angry councillors have slammed the police for failing to offer financial support to maintain CCTV cameras in north Norfolk under plans to shake up the network.

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Members said they were “aghast” that Norfolk’s Police Crime Commissioner Stephen Bett had refused to stump up towards the cost of the cameras, despite claiming the force was the main beneficiary of the network.

North Norfolk District Council is considering scrapping its 46 cameras, in Cromer, Fakenham, North Walsham, Sheringham and Wells, as part of a review in a bid to save up to £200,000. They are also considering out-sourcing the service to King’s Lynn and West Norfolk or continuing it but with fewer operator hours.

As part of their consultation members asked the police for financial support but were met with a firm no – an answer which dismayed councillors at yesterday’s overview and scrutiny committee.

Deputy leader Rhodri Oliver said he had discussed funding support with Mr Bett but been told the police “weren’t going to make any funding contribution whatsoever”.

Mr Oliver added: “My view is they should be contributing as they are the main beneficiary. I’m very disappointed they’re not.”

Eric Seward added: “It does seem to me if something on a camera speeds up identifying who a culprit is, and makes it more likely for them to plead guilty, that saves a lot of money. Given all those benefits I was a bit aghast that this new commissioner is so firm the police won’t make a contribution.”

In a letter to Sheila Oxtoby, the council’s chief executive, Mr Bett said because of the savings the force has to make in the coming years, he could not support the system – despite its benefits. He also said any contribution it made could set a precedent for other districts to make “equally justified bids”.

The CCTV review will now go before cabinet on October 7.

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5 comments

  • The real question is how many convictions using CCTV as evidence have there been in North Norfolk over say the last 5 years. Is the picture quality good enough to support a guilty charge, and how old are the cameras? Still black and white images?

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    bedoomed

    Thursday, September 12, 2013

  • Mr. Bett still has enough money to pursue cllr.s in the courts for something even the CPS does not want to pursue. So this triple hatter, Eric Seward Lib Dem, will have a hard time being heard by our minority PCC. If the crime figures and convictions are not justifying the costs of CCTV and young and old face cuts in services, then so be it. Maybe the rich residents of these towns would like to pay for their own CCTV.

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    ingo wagenknecht

    Thursday, September 12, 2013

  • I am surprised that any authority is considering doing away with this type of community safeguard. Yes money again rules the waves, but why don't the Council visit Ely and the joint CCTV project operated there for the past three years. Jointly funded by two councils and I believe the police. Housed in the police station at Ely, operated by some fifteen volunteers, yes volunteers, and one lady paid co-ordinator. They continue to recruit new volunteers who once selected have to wait many weeks for clearance by the police [ CRC ] checks. Works very well, covers Ely city in most areas and two villages nearby. Having seen the results I can assure you the resulting pictures are better or equal to yours and my TV picture. Bring it on, and it does deter and assist in prosecutions. Come on North Norfolk catch up with the times

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    guardsman

    Thursday, September 12, 2013

  • CCTV is the responsibility of the local councils; Bett is right not to fund it in North Norfolk. The should be looking for a sensible commercial partnership solution to defray costs - as should the PCC to defray crime costs.

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    Jack1956

    Thursday, September 12, 2013

  • Bett has tons of cash sloshing around - he wanted to be PCC despite his party dropping him as they thought he was toxic because he hadn't got a clue where county hall was when he was one of their councillors. He subsequently wanted to use the land he owned for a massive solar farm that is surrounded by - guess what - state of the art CCTV cameras. If he wanted to put his money where his mouth is then the first thing he'd give up is his massive salary because he doesn't actually need it. Ker-chingggg!

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    User Removed

    Friday, September 13, 2013

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