William Eichler 01 June 2016

Westminster authority to abandon CCTV because of budgetary pressures

Westminster authority to abandon CCTV because of budgetary pressures image

A London council is considering scrapping its CCTV network due to Government cuts.

Tory-controlled Westminster Council is thinking about getting rid of its 75 cameras after 1 September, 2016, because, it says, they cost millions to run.

A council spokesperson said: ‘Our current view is that we do not feel we are able to continue to subsidise this non statutory service which will cost us £1m per year to run, when there are many other pressures on our budgets.’

Westminster claims the main beneficiaries of the CCTV cameras are the Metropolitan Police and not the local authority itself.

This means, they argue, it is increasingly difficult to justify investment in the service at a time of financial restraint. However, the council ephasises they would be happy to see another party take over the network as well as explore other solutions.

The spokesperson said: ‘It is with regret that we are considering taking this action; however we continue to encourage our partners to keep working with us to try to find the right, sustainable and affordable solution.

‘For example, if any partner wished to take over the day to day running of the system from the council, we would do all we can to support making that happen. We would also welcome looking at a pan-London solution with our partners, as this is an issue that affects many of the London boroughs.’

CCTV in the council’s housing estates will be unaffected by the decision.

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