CCTV captures 1,700 crimes

MORE than 1,700 incidents were captured on the town’s CCTV in a year.

But, there is disagreement over whether this shows the cameras help catch criminals, or if they are failing to prevent crime.

Figures released by Daventry District Council show in the 12 months from April 2010, the town’s 35 cameras dealt with 1,713 incidents, which led to 190 arrests.

The district council has said it will stop funding the town’s CCTV from April next year and has asked for other bodies to come forward to help with the costs.

Cllr Chris Over, whose ward covers the town centre, said: “The CCTV does good things in terms of public safety and business confidence.

“It gives people coming into the town centre during the day and at night confidence, and the business community knows there’s silent witness there if anything happens.

“I will be challenging the district council, the town council and Daventry Business Partnership to put their hands in their pockets to try and get this to continue in town for the foreseeable future.”

The district council says the cameras, monitored from a control room in Northampton, are costing £100,00 per year to run.

However, Cllr Colin Poole, who has always questioned the need to continue funding the cameras, said: “If these figures are correct, then I stand by my original statement that prevention is better than cure.

“No matter what the fine or jail term, if someone’s been assaulted or a place broken into, it does not make it all better.

“It is far better to prevent them happening.

“I would also question if all these cameras are being actively monitered all the time, and if some aren’t just recording onto a loop of tape.

“We should have more police on the streets.

“And if we think that a fluorescent yellow jacket walking down the street counts as the only type of high-visibility policing we’re wrong.

“We all know that a look out can spot police coming a mile off. We need to have some officers who can approach offenders and catch them in the act.”