A decision to scrap CCTV cameras across north Norfolk could be taken on Monday.

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Axing the cameras would save cash-strapped North Norfolk District Council (NNDC) about £200,000 per year.

But a report, which has just been made public, shows that the cameras – in North Walsham, Cromer, Sheringham, Fakenham and Wells – have helped in incidents including:

Two murders in Fakenham, in 2008 and 2009;

Tracking a registered sex offender who periodically enters areas in Cromer where children are present;

Keeping order at Cromer Carnival. Last year police were able to deal with three drunken incidents before the situation developed into a large-scale fight;

Identifying two offenders who were later cautioned after an assault in North Walsham Market Place;

Ruling out a suspect, following a theft in Park Court, North Walsham, who would have otherwise been wrongly arrested.

Last year’s 204 logged incidents also included a sexual assault, an arson, six missing adults and a missing child.

The close-down option is among three facing Monday’s NNDC cabinet, whose members know the council needs to cut its costs by £1.6m over the next three years.

But town councillors in communities served by the cameras want to see them saved.

“It’s essential to Cromer. It saves police time,” said Cromer mayor David Pritchard.

Investing £260,000 in wi-fi and cutting daily manning hours from 16 to 13, saving about £62,000pa, is another of the options cabinet members will consider.

Dave Robertson, who represented North Walsham Town Council at a workshop on the cameras’ future, said the town council favoured that alternative but also wanted more pressure put on the police to contribute to costs, and talks with the police to see whether savings could be made by “mothballing” less useful cameras.

The third option facing cabinet members would see all four Fakenham-based staff losing their jobs with a “24-hour reactive” service controlled instead by King’s Lynn and West Norfolk Borough Council.

Town councils in Wells and Fakenham have registered their opposition to the shutdown.

At an extraordinary meeting of Fakenham Town Council on Tuesday night, retired police officer Tony Grover said: “When the cameras came to Fakenham, in the mid 1990s, crime dropped overnight. Crime will rocket if the cameras are removed and a reactive-only system will not be effective.”

CCTV cameras have helped in a string of incidents. Picture: EDP Library

10 comments

  • Eco, you don't honestly think that every camera is monitored every minute of the day, do you? Some are monitored from time to time, some are monitored all the time(as in shopping areas) but ALL record ALL the time and are used for reference if there is an incident. And who mentioned placing cameras in houses?

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    backwoodsman

    Thursday, October 3, 2013

  • How can North Norfolk District Council justify spending £200,000 on a new reception at the Council Offices but can't find the money for CCTV?

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    WHSSEWWL

    Friday, October 4, 2013

  • I have previously commented on this item. Why don't the authorities contact East Cambs and see how that works, with very willing volunteers, cost involved, one paid part time co-ordinator.

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    guardsman

    Thursday, October 3, 2013

  • Why tell us? And more importantly, why tell the yobbos and miscreants? Just leave them up and pretend they still work.

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    backwoodsman

    Thursday, October 3, 2013

  • A good decision. So these camera's helped to convict two murders? is that what this article is saying, two prosecutions in Fakenham? over a span of two years? the justification of such a system surely should include the conviction rate as an essential part. Thanks to ECO for the figures.

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    ingo wagenknecht

    Friday, October 4, 2013

  • One small step to stop the ever growing infringement on our privacy

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    weaversway

    Friday, October 4, 2013

  • @Eco: nice idea but it's simply not going to happen. And 5 police officers (or indeed civilians), even working continuously for 24 hours a day could not do the work of 20-30 cameras! CCTV evidence plays a huge part in offences committed in the streets. Without it police would have to rely on bystanders, and not everyone wants to "get involved" when something happens.

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    tmresident

    Thursday, October 3, 2013

  • Two years ago there was 1 CCTV camera for every 32 people. Now there is 1 camera for every 11 people. Major overkill. Yes they have helped police in certain cases, but before CCTV, we had more police who were a visible deterrent on the streets, and greater manpower to handle cases. Replacing people with machines. About time this was reversed. I am not a yobbo or miscreant, and I never did hold with that 'if you're doing nothing wrong, you've nothing to fear' argument,' (would YOU be happy to let them put CCTV in your house? Why not, if you're doing nothing wrong?) but I do object to the massive intrusion of being constantly watched when I'm going about my day. It is virtually impossible to cross Norwich without someone watching you on a screen. Get rid of them.

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    Eco

    Thursday, October 3, 2013

  • How can North Norfolk District Council justify spending £200,000 on a new reception at the Council Offices but can't find the money for CCTV?

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    WHSSEWWL

    Saturday, October 5, 2013

  • I say, what does PCC Betts think? Crime will be unleashed in his backyard. what what. Maybe he'll fall in with the Tory plan to amalgamate Police and Fire services, and then outsource 999 provision to the private sector. The 'savings' can fund CCTV. What's that - there aren't any savings when public sector services go private, gulp. And remember to have your debit card handy when you dial 999 or you will be declined service, etc etc.

    Report this comment

    Mr Cameron Isaliar

    Thursday, October 3, 2013

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