ONLY two part-time volunteers are manning monitors at Spalding Police Station for South Holland’s CCTV cameras and police don’t know how many crimes the cameras have picked up.
Spalding Town Forum asked police to provide facts and figures about arrests and prosecutions as a result of CCTV footage, but neighbourhood police inspector Chris Davison says information cannot be supplied – because it “would not be a proportionate use of our resources” – and revealed how few volunteers there are.
Insp Davison was unable to attend Wednesday’s forum meeting, but emailed comments which were read out.
Councillors said the inspector’s statements raised more questions and they will again invite him to attend their meeting.
After Insp Davison’s email was read, Coun Roger Gambba-Jones said: “They have two volunteers – that’s it?”
And Coun Howard Johnson wanted to know why police didn’t have computer programmes in place to say whether CCTV had assisted in an arrest.
Forum chairman Coun George Aley said: “Without statistics to know whether it’s working or not, it makes you wonder what it’s worth.
Insp Davison said: “As our CCTV system is staffed entirely by volunteers on a part time basis, it is not possible to provide statistics in relation to the use of CCTV.
“Nationwide, it is CCTV systems that are professionally monitored that are able to provide that data.
“It is likewise impossible to tell you how many offences are prevented through the deterrent that CCTV can provide.
“Though I would like to provide you with the statistics relating to arrests and prosecutions, the only way to provide them would be to individually interrogate every crime report held on our crime systems.
“That would not be a proportionate use of our resources, and therefore I am unable to assist you in that regard any further.
“I can say that the two volunteers that we have provide a much appreciated service, which does help identify and prosecute offenders on a regular basis.
“My view is that the CCTV system would be better served by a fully and professionally staffed CCTV system that is held at a location away from the police station.”
l A new CCTV system is being talked about for South Holland.
But South Holland District Council deputy leader Coun Nick Worth says it’s unlikely to go ahead unless money can be provided, including a donation from Lincolnshire Police which is already struggling to save millions from its current budget.