Tees

CCTV removal 'likely to result in increased crime'

Darlington Council has proposed to reduce the number of CCTV cameras in the town.

The budget saving proposals document on the council website says that is likely to result in an increase in crime.

The council wants to save 15% on surveillance bills by removing some cameras and switching off others.

Labour Leader of the Council Bill Dixon said it "will start to be more intelligence led" when it comes to monitoring the cameras.

The council has suggested to "only monitor CCTV cameras within the town centre and car parks, and switch off cameras in outlying areas".

'Crime high spots'

The council currently monitors 112 cameras within Darlington, 46 of which would fall into the "outlying areas" proposed for removal, including parks.

The council document highlighted that removal of the CCTV is "likely" to lead to an increase in anti social behaviour and crime and disorder in areas where cameras are being turned off.

Labour Leader of the Council Bill Dixon said: "We will start to be more intelligence led, we will look at where there are high spots of crime and anti social behaviour and those cameras will continue to be manned.

"Those areas that are quiet and we know when they're quiet and there's no history of them needing to be monitored, will not be monitored."

The council said there is potential to save approximately £1,000 per camera, but this will not happen until after October 2012 when the maintenance contract is retendered.

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