CCTV helping to 'make streets safer' in Welwyn Hatfield, as council spends £83k on cameras
PUBLISHED: 11:30 12 February 2019 | UPDATED: 11:30 12 February 2019
CCTV cameras are assisting with cases ranging from flytipping to serious assaults, Welwyn Hatfield Council says.
Government figures show the council spent £83,000 on CCTV cameras to watch over the borough in 2017-18 and its budget for the current financial year has been increased to £99,000.
The council owns a network of cameras at 30 sites in Welwyn Garden City and Hatfield that cover some streets, open spaces, car parks and housing.
This does not include traffic cameras or CCTV on private property.
A spokesperson said: “Locally, (CCTV) has helped in cases ranging from flytipping and missing persons to business licence reviews, antisocial behaviour and serious assaults.
“Last year, shop radios in both town centres were linked to the CCTV control room, making it quicker and easier for businesses to alert the police to crime and share information.”
Welwyn Hatfield Council spent £107,000 in each of the previous two financial years before 2017-18.
The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) figures show councils in England spent more than £78 million on CCTV cameras last year.
“CCTV plays a critical role in protecting the public and bringing the perpetrators of crime to justice,” the Welwyn Hatfield Council spokesperson said.
“CCTV can also deter criminal activity in the first place and reduce the fear of crime, helping to make our borough’s streets safer.”
Welwyn Hatfield’s CCTV expenditure is relatively modest, with 176 local authorities across England spending more in the last financial year - including six councils that poured more than £1 million into watching their residents.
CCTV, which stands for closed circuit television, is used by councils to watch roads and public spaces.
Hertsmere council spent £117,000 on CCTV last year and its current budget has been reduced to £104,000.
There are 23 cameras across Hertsmere borough that are monitored 24 hours a day.
The council’s CCTV expenditure totalled £129,000 in 2016-17 and £120,000 in 2015-16.