The go-ahead is expected to be given tomorrow for South Holland’s new £100,000-plus CCTV system with cameras monitored by professionals in Boston.
South Holland District Council is being asked to earmark £31,000 towards capital costs while the bulk of the cash will be found from second home council tax income collected by Lincolnshire County Council and the county Police and Crime Commissioner’s Office.
The district’s 28 cameras are currently monitored part-time by volunteers at Spalding Police Station, but under the new system parish and town councils can opt to have them monitored 24/7 or 18 hours a day if they pay the bills.
The yearly cost of monitoring Spalding’s cameras, if it sticks to the 17 it currently has, will be £19,300 for 24/7 monitoring – dipping to £14,500 for 18/7.
Most parishes have two cameras, which means they will pick up a £2,300 tab for round the clock monitoring or £1,703 for 18 hours.
South Holland’s Cabinet heard on Tuesday that Boston’s cameras led to 455 arrests in the town over the last year, 70 restorative justice disposals and preparation of 206 “evidence packages”.
One of the criticisms levelled at the current system in South Holland is that facts and figures on arrests have not been compiled – leaving some parish councils, like Sutton Bridge, questioning how effective they are as a crime deterrent.
Sutton Bridge has asked for six months free use of the new system before deciding whether to opt in.
But council deputy leader, Nick Worth, told Cabinet colleagues that’s not going to happen.
He says the new cameras are better than the existing ones and – because they can zoom over a greater distance – it’s possible fewer will be needed.
South Holland community policing inspector Jim Tyner told the meeting he’s wholly in favour of CCTV, but nationally there was “a rush to CCTV” without really looking at its effectiveness and where it should be placed.
He said: “It has been very effective in reducing car crime, not so effective in reducing violent crime but very good in detecting violent crime.”
The Cabinet asked for monitoring figures to be supplied so the council can review the effectiveness of the new system.