Town centre CCTV criticised by police

PUBLISHED: 14:00 03 November 2013

Rethink over new CCTV system in Nailsea.

Rethink over new CCTV system in Nailsea.

Archant

COUNCILLORS in Nailsea have been warned the CCTV system in the town centre is ‘useless’.

PCSO Justin Robbie attended the town council’s finance and general purposes committee to appeal for funding for a shop and pubwatch scheme to tackle antisocial behaviour.

Avon and Somerset police are keen to set up a radio link between shops and pubs to enable staff to contact the CCTV control room and other stores to warn them about shoplifters or trouble makers.

The current system does not produce good enough pictures for police to secure a conviction unless the control room is recording the footage.

Police believe the radio system will help venues to communicate quicker and enable the control room to record offenders in action.

Speaking at the meeting, Mr Robbie said: “There has been a rise in incidents of theft and antisocial behaviour in the past weeks, particularly with shop windows being smashed in the evenings and graffiti.

“The big issue is that shops currently have to ring each other, which leads to delays and people getting away.

“We are proposing to set up a mast on Waitrose roof to link up with the control room in Weston.

“That will allow real time radio communication between shops and pubs and the police.

“If there is shoplifting or antisocial behaviour going on we can instantly communicate.

“The equipment you have isn’t being utilised at the moment. You’d be getting much better value for money.”

The town council has digital cameras and equipment, but the BT connection between Nailsea and Weston’s control centre is analogue.

Town council clerk Ian Morrell said: “Due to the analogue line the images are not clear enough unless the control room is recording the footage.

“During routine monitoring the images are recording on an analogue basis, so when police go back to look at the recording it pixilates.

“I personally wouldn’t say the system is useless. The cameras are certainly a deterrent, but we don’t get as much out of them as we could.”

PCSO Robbie asked the town council for £3,000 to put towards the cost of the project.

Waitrose has already donated £2,000 and GE Oil and Gas is considering match funding the amount raised locally.

The committee agreed to ask the town council to consider the proposal at its next meeting on November 6.


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