Safety concerns over CCTV cash cut plans

NEW funding may be needed to keep CCTV in the town centre following a proposal to cancel the current contract.

At present Daventry District Council (DDC) pays for all cameras in the town at a cost of £100,00 per year. But at a strategy group meeting last week councillors recommended that notice be given on that contract, which would leave the authority with just 12 months to find alternative funding.

DDC said organisations such as the Daventry Business Partnership (DBP), Northamptonshire Police and Daventry Town Council could be approached as possible backers. But if no-one comes forward the cameras may have to be switched off.

At present 10 cameras are situated in the town centre, and Sergeant Matt Manifold, from Daventry town police, said: “If we didn’t have CCTV it would make a big difference.

“We quite often spot incidents of disorder and it would put people in a more vulnerable position if it wasn’t there.

“Also, if we have a vehicle linked to a crime we can circulate the registration and track the vehicle, through CCTV, so the cameras do get a lot of use in Daventry.”

DDC councillors Colin Poole and Chris Millar said that the authority shouldn’t have to completely fund town centre CCTV because other parts of the district pay for it through parish councils and other means.

But town centre businesses have voiced concerns about the possibility of the contract being cancelled.

Peter Harper, who owns three shops in Sheaf Street, said: “CCTV serves as a great benefit to the business community and the public as a whole; I wouldn’t like to see a deterioration in the service.”

Sally Halson, manager of DBP, added: “Businesses view CCTV as an essential service, however, to date, the DBP do not have any information on the proposals regarding CCTV and will need to discuss with DDC before commenting.”

DDC will decide at a meeting next Wednesday whether to cancel the contract.

Daventry Town Council clerk Deborah Jewell, said: “Funding CCTV is something we would definitely look at, but we would have to research it to find out all the costs and have a look at the benefits it brings to the town.”