CCTV could be monitored 24/7

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SOUTH Holland’s CCTV cameras could be monitored round the clock, seven days a week, from August.

A report will go to the district council in June and it’s likely councillors will be asked to sanction a £90,000 spend to cover the cost of some “more flexible cameras that can see bigger distances” as well as 24/7 monitoring via neighbouring Boston or Thetford in Norfolk.

Council deputy leader Nick Worth says annual running costs will remain around the same as now – £21,000 – but the more sophisticated system and 24 monitoring represent a huge step forward.

The existing cameras are monitored by volunteers based at Spalding Police Station but there aren’t enough volunteers to give round-the-clock cover.

Coun Worth said: “Obviously volunteers are not keen to work through the night and at weekends when a lot of the incidents occur. If we had more volunteers we would be in a better position, but the ones that do volunteer do a cracking job and we should thank them.”

It’s likely that the CCTV system base station will move from the police station to either the South Holland Centre or the district council offices – and picture signals will then be relayed to Boston or Thetford.

Coun Worth said signals that go to Thetford are monitored by a firm in Derbyshire – but they could be monitored from anywhere in the country.

It is likely some of the current cameras will remain.

But the council will be asked to put in some that are more flexible, can see bigger distances and have a powerful zoom capable of “reading” a newspaper.

The cameras will also link with other security systems like Shop Watch.

Coun Worth said: “As soon as someone activates the alarm, a camera will automatically point to the front of the shop in half a second.”