CCTV control to be moved from Fenland to Peterborough in cost-cutting merger
- Credit: Archant
CCTV control in Fenland will be moved to Peterborough in a bid to save more than £60,000 and reduce crime in both areas.
The cost-cutting merger would see a shared service with Peterborough City Council setup at the cost of £75,800.
Two operators would cover the service at peak times alongside a police employee, opposed to one person currently in Fenland.
It would cost £185,000 if Peterborough were to move their control room to Fenland District Council.
It comes as almost 2,000 incidents were detected from CCTV cameras across Fenland in 2017/18 with action taken by police on 907.
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This included 272 arrests and fines, 250 incidents of intelligence taken by police, 29 times where an ambulance was called and nine people taken to hospital.
In the comprehensive spending review report on the CCTV shared service proposal, it states: “The service would be resilient to unforeseen circumstances, the community would see no change and a 24/7/365 is delivered with an operator presence.
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“It would be a 50/50 partnership with equal decision making
“It will increase CCTV income with the biggest cost for CCTV being staffing/ technology infrastructure and maintenance.
“Although the proposed model ensures there is no change in the way the service can support police, ongoing dialogue will take place to ensure the police can continue to oversee it in the best possible way.
“Full year savings of around £65,000 per annum from 2020/21 are projected.”
Recording equipment and front end operating systems have also been upgraded in Peterborough – with a portion of £110,000 budgeted for system upgrades in Fenland now proposed to go towards the cost of the relocation instead.
The move has also been backed by Cambridgeshire Police, the Horsefair Shopping Centre and Doddingtion Hospital.
A Fenland police inspector said in the report: “These proposals could bring some benefits via better use of technology and also having access to a dedicated police resource within the control room.”
However, concerns were raised by Wisbech Town Council at a consultation meeting held at Fenland Hall last month.
Councillor Steve Tierney said that he was worried as to the “loss of local knowledge” if Fenland CCTV cameras were monitored by current PCC staff instead.
The report will be discussed in full at a cabinet meeting at Fenland District Council on January 17.
Fenland currently has 75 CCTV cameras. They cover town centres and public spaces in Chatteris, March, Whittlesey and Wisbech.