Parish puts CCTV on hold until it checks system

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News from the Lincs Free Press and Spalding Guardian,, @LincsFreePress on Twitter
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A parish council is checking out a new generation CCTV system before it hands over cash to pay for cameras to be monitored.

Sutton Bridge Parish Council signed up to the former South Holland system and discovered one of its two cameras wasn’t working – and couldn’t get any statistics on numbers of arrests made as a result of having cameras.

Cameras were monitored only part of the time by volunteers, but mostly they were left on record with police left to trawl through footage to pick up specific incidents.

New generation cameras are being rolled out across South Holland and parishes have options to pay for round-the-clock monitoring by professional staff based at Boston – or 18 hours a day at a reduced cost.

Sutton Bridge parish councillors are to visit the monitoring station at Boston before deciding whether to opt in.

Capital costs of the new system are being met by council tax income on second homes, with some district councillors contributing from their community budgets.

South Holland District Council’s portfolio holder for community safety, Nick Worth, told Sutton Bridge councillors: “To be fair, I don’t think anybody was particularly happy with the provision they had where it wasn’t monitored on a regular basis.”

Councillors heard 24/7 monitoring will cost a little over £1,135 per camera – reducing to £851 for 18 hours.

Coun Chris Brewis said Sutton Bridge could opt for three cameras at very little extra cost to two and cover a wider area, but no decision was made on numbers of cameras.

Parish council vice-chairman Michael Booth told Coun Worth: “Your biggest job is to try to sell us a system when we have had such a – dare I say it – crap system.”

The council will make its decision later this month.