Fewer than 100 crimes picked up by CCTV in Fenland resulted in police enforcement last year.

While cameras recorded 1,157 incidents between January and December 2022, just 98 resulted in warnings, fines or arrests – or eight per cent. 

The majority of the incidents were in Wisbech (896), as were the majority of CCTV-led fines and arrests (63). 

The market town is also the location of more than half of Fenland’s CCTV cameras – 43, or 52%. 

March had the second highest number of incidents (185) and enforcements (24), although it has one camera fewer than Chatteris where there were just 36 incidents resulting in six enforcement actions. 

In Whittlesey, meanwhile, there were 40 incidents resulting in 12 enforcement actions last year. 

Incidents captured on CCTV have included violent crime, criminal damage, possession of weapons, drug use and theft, an FDC report says. 

The 98 incidents that resulted in enforcement action “highlights the work CCTV services do to support the council and partners in responding to crime and disorder and helping to make our communities safer,” the report says. 

But councillors questioned whether the effect CCTV is having in Fenland represents good value for money at a meeting in which the latest figures were discussed.

Council executive Dan Horn responded that the technology “acts as a deterrent” and that, during a period in which it became temporarily unavailable in March, incidents “went through the roof”. 

Councillors also questioned whether speed checks are as effective as when people are warned that police are carrying them out. 

Residents have been known to post the location of speed cameras and police on social media to alert other drivers, they said. 

Cambridgeshire Police inspector Andy Marsh, who also attended the meeting, said that currently little can be done about this. 

Flashing another driver to warn them to slow down ahead of a speed check is a criminal offence, he said, but this doesn’t extend to social media. 

The meeting – and accompanying report – came as FDC councillors asked questions about the council’s own work over the last year at a gathering of the overview and scrutiny committee.