Calls for change to CCTV funding

CALLS have been made for funding toward CCTV in Clevedon to be redirected to pay for a police officer to patrol the town centre.

Clevedon taxpayers currently pay a contribution of �19,000 per year toward the operation and monitoring of the nine CCTV cameras in the town, which is carried out by North Somerset Council.

However, with crime and vandalism regularly occurring in the Queens Square and Triangle area, mainly on Friday and Saturday nights, town councillors and traders have been keen to tackle the problem.

At Clevedon Town Council’s latest meeting, Councillor Andrew Withers suggested the contribution from Clevedon taxpayers toward CCTV could be used to pay for a police officer to patrol the town centre during weekend evenings.

Cllr Withers said: “Clevedon is contributing to this system which is not catching anyone.

“We should withdraw our contribution to the funding and put that toward putting a policeman on the beat in the town over the weekend to make sure we are getting the coverage.

“Football clubs pay toward extra police officers on match days so I don’t see why the town council couldn’t do something similar.”

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The town centre in Clevedon is regularly plagued by vandals. One of the latest bouts of vandalism, saw Queens Square targeted overnight on October 15, when shop windows were smashed and floral displays trampled, some of which occurred directly under a CCTV camera.

This resulted in calls from community groups and traders for more to be done to tackle the problem.

At the Clevedon Town Council meeting on November 2, members resolved to discuss the issue of town centre vandalism with the police.

A meeting between town councillors, North Somerset Council representatives and police officers is due to be held before the end of the month.

In the meantime, the council has requested that trees in the town centre be cut back where they may be blocking the view of CCTV cameras.

Clevedon taxpayers pay a percentage of the overall running costs for CCTV in North Somerset, which relates to the number of cameras in the town.

It would be up to North Somerset Council to decide whether this funding could be directed elsewhere.