CCTV in Worcester is delivering a good service, say police

Malvern Gazette: CCTV in south Worcestershire CCTV in south Worcestershire

POLICE chiefs insist they are satisfied with the CCTV provision in Worcester - despite major cuts to the service in recent years.

Mark Travis, superintendent for south Worcestershire, said it was "impossible" to put a value on what the network does for tackling crime in the city.

The CCTV network has come under fire in recent years, including from leading magistrate and Councillor Paul Denham, since it moved to Pershore.

In 2011 the city council slashed £110,000 off the budget for it and moved the cameras from the police's Castle Street base to the civic centre in Pershore.

There are 100 screens at the base monitored by around six people 24 hours a day, covering Worcester, Droitwich, Pershore and Evesham.

Before the change the same number of staff would monitor 68 cameras just for Worcester alone.

Mr Travis took part in a Q&A at Worcester City Council and was asked what he thought of the current service.

"Can I actually out a value on what this CCTV delivers? No, it's impossible," he said.

"It provides fantastic evidence and the way the city council is managing it at the moment causes us no concerns or a lack of service.

"We did have some quality issues recently which Duncan (Sharkey, city council managing director) did sort out.

"I certainly don't think we are losing anything where the service is placed at the moment."

It followed a question from Coun Denham, who said he was concerned about reducing spending on the cameras.

"CCTV is a big preventative tool when it comes to crime," he said.

"Over the years the amount which has been spent on CCTV has reduced and it's moved to Pershore so I wonder if you'd like to comment on whether it was a sensible move or not."

The council says the cameras tend to capture around 300 incidents a month on average, which has stayed broadly the same for several years.

In 2012 Coun Denham said less and less court cases at Worcester Magistrates Court are being decided upon with the help of CCTV evidence.

The relocation was part of a deal with Wychavon District Council to save costs.

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