More money allocated for CCTV in Burnley

Burnley Borough Council will boost spending on CCTV cameras by thousands of pounds this year, figures reveal.

Monday, 15th July 2019, 12:50 pm

The Local Government Association says surveillance cameras play a vital role in keeping communities safe, both on the streets and in the courtroom.

Burnley Council has allocated £9,303 to CCTV in this year's capital budget.

A council spokesman said: "We continue to invest in the borough's CCTV system as part of wider work to tackle crime and anti-social behaviour."

Local authorities can make money from CCTV by charging other organisations, such as hospitals or private companies, to use the existing network of cameras and operation rooms.

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, chairman 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.

"CCTV protects the public by dissuading crime and anti-social behaviour, assisting police officers on the ground and supporting prosecutions."

Surveillance Camera Commissioner Tony Porter, who works with the Home Office to regulate the use of CCTV cameras, said that there is not much to suggest that CCTV is an effective deterrent for criminals.

He said: "However, the evidence that it supports investigations is overwhelming. It is used by police in 99% of homicide investigations and all counter-terrorism operations.

The societal value of CCTV cameras is difficult to measure, said Mr Porter, but they are most useful in the courtroom, where an early resolution to a major crime could save the taxpayer millions.

He added: "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 £54.3m. has been allocated to CCTV systems by local authorities for the 2019-20 financial year, up 5% on 2017-18.

That year, councils reported a total income of more than £26m. from surveillance cameras.