CCTV plan as Humberside Police cut officers

A Lincolnshire council facing budget cuts of £30m plans to invest £300,000 in CCTV in a bid to compensate for a "seriously impaired" police service.

North East Lincolnshire Council, which last month agreed to axe 200 jobs, is bucking the trend of local authorities cutting CCTV spend to save money.

The authority said 170 extra cameras were needed to help prevent crime due to cuts to Humberside Police budgets.

Critics said evidence showed cameras were "ineffective" in reducing crime.

The plan includes installing an extra 150 cameras, buying a further 20 mobile cameras and upgrading control room monitors.

Reduction in police

The council said it reviewed its CCTV service on the recommendation of the Home Office.

Its budget for CCTV is set to rise from £55,000 in 2010-11 to £300,000 in 2011-12.

A report states: "The system will improve detection and prosecution rates and be an asset to the crime and disorder partnership.

"The current budget cuts facing all public bodies including Humberside Police will see a likely reduction in the number of warranted officers over the next two years.

"Humberside Police's capacity to reduce crime by traditional investigatory methods is likely be seriously impaired.

"The improvement in the current CCTV system is an essential element to maximise the use of technology and meet targets around crime reduction."

The police force announced last month that it is to lose 139 officers in the next year as part of budget cuts.

Councillors say the cameras are used by police to gain prosecutions and help track missing people.

Lib Dem councillor Steve Beasant said: "Residents have been saying they want to see our local communities safer and that is one of our number one priorities of concern."

But Daniel Hamilton, of Big Brother Watch, said evidence shows that for every 1,000 cameras only one conviction is gained.

He added: "That money would be far better spent having more police on the street, rather than cameras, which are largely ineffective in doing their job."

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