How much will North Herts District Council invest in CCTV this year?
PUBLISHED: 07:02 10 July 2019
North Herts District Council will invest more than £150,000 in CCTV cameras this year, figures reveal.
The Local Government Association says surveillance cameras play "a vital role" in keeping communities safe, both on the streets and in the courtroom.
In the 2019-20 financial year, NHDC will invest £179,000 in CCTV, according to latest data from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government.
This is a net figure, meaning the actual spend could be more, as local authorities can make money by charging other organisations, such as hospitals or private companies, to use the existing network of cameras and operation rooms.
NHDC's executive member for community engagement Judi Billing said: "NHDC has invested £179,000 in CCTV for the 2019/2020 financial year.
"It is a vital tool to help everyone tackle anti-social behaviour, crime and disorder.
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"Not only does it provide evidence that can lead to criminals being prosecuted, but it can also help to reduce the fear of crime and deter would-be criminals from participating in criminal activity, helping to keep North Herts a safer place to live, work and visit."
The LGA said councils prioritise investment in CCTV where possible, and argued that a good network of cameras can have wide-reaching benefits.
Simon Blackburn, chair of the LGA's safer and stronger communities board, said: "Public surveillance cameras have helped bring criminals to justice, increased conviction rates after crimes are detected, and are an important tool in tracking terrorist suspects."
Surveillance camera commissioner Tony Porter said: "The societal value of CCTV cameras is difficult to measure but they are most useful in the courtroom, where an early resolution to a major crime could save the taxpayer millions.
"In 2014, local authorities were questioning the use and value of analogue CCTV. Now, with improved technology and connectivity, they have a much more enhanced capability."
Across England, a net £54.3 million has been allocated to CCTV systems by local authorities for the 2019-20 financial year, up 5 per cent on 2017-18.
That year, councils reported a total income of more than £26 million from surveillance cameras.