Ceredigion CCTV crime tackling service in the balance

CCTV camera Lampeter councillors will decide on the town's CCTV coverage on Thursday

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The future of CCTV provision to tackle crime in Ceredigion is in the balance after Aberystwyth town councillors decided to reject a plan to take over the service in the town.

Lampeter councillors will decide if they are willing to provide CCTV crime coverage in that town later this week.

Cardigan, Aberaeron and New Quay councils have already decided not to pay for CCTV coverage from April.

Ceredigion council decided to stop funding the system to save £150,000.

It was part of its aim to plug a budget deficit of £9.6m during the next financial year.

The local authority then asked the five community councils if they were willing foot the bill from 1 April.

'Discussions'

Following the decision on Monday night, Aberystwyth town and Ceredigion county councillor, Ceredig Davies, said: "It was completely unfair of the county council to expect Aberystwyth town council to pay for CCTV coverage in the town.

"We decided not to pay for the service because we felt that this was a matter for the local authority and the police to pay for the eight cameras in Aberystwyth."

Lampeter town councillors will discuss future provision of the town's six cameras on Thursday.

The Mayor, Dorothy Williams, said the council was prepared to pay up to £15,400 for a 12-month contract to continue CCTV coverage in the town.

It has contributed £7,500 towards the town's CCTV system during the last financial year.

She added: "We have started discussions with Trinity St David's University in Lampeter regarding setting up a monitoring system there."

CCTV cameras in Ceredigion

Aberystwyth: 8

Lampeter: 6

Cardigan: 4

Aberaeron: 3

New Quay: 2

Source: Dyfed-Powys Police

Review

One supervisor and two operators based at Aberystwyth have monitored the 23 town centre surveillance cameras in the county but that will cease on 1 April.

"We have been told that we would have to pay almost £22,000 if we are on our own so we will have to wait and see what happens at Thursday night's meeting," said Mrs Williams.

Last week Ceredigion, Carmarthenshire and Pembrokeshire councils were asked to help fund a review of CCTV services to tackle crime in the Dyfed-Powys area.

The force's Police and Crime Commissioner Christopher Salmon said the police and the local authorities would benefit from a "more consistent" provision of CCTV to tackle crime.

He added that the cost of the review would be split between the councils and the force.

Officers made 414 arrests with the help of evidence from CCTV footage in Carmarthenshire between April and December 2013 - a 61% increase for the same period the previous year.

A Ceredigion council spokesman said that council leader, Ellen ap Gwynn, was in communication with Mr Salmon following earlier discussions on the future delivery of CCTV throughout the region.

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