Shropshire Star

Council considering ending 24/7 monitoring of town CCTV

CCTV in Shrewsbury will no longer be monitored 24/7 under cost-saving proposals being considered by a council.

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Shropshire Council, which currently employs 11 staff to monitor Shrewsbury's CCTV, said the measure could save £330k a year.

It comes as the council faces a fight for survival over its desperate financial situation.

Councillor Robert Macey, the council's Conservative cabinet minister for 'Culture and Digital' said that the service was not statutory, and stressed that other towns, such as Telford, do not monitor CCTV 24/7.

He stressed that a move to stop live monitoring would not affect the primary purpose of CCTV as a preventative measure, and as one for use as evidence in prosecutions.

The council's plan is to move from 'gold standard' to 'reactive' and 'best endeavours' monitoring – meaning people would potentially watch the CCTV if alerted to significant incidents, and that the cameras would be monitored where time allows.

Shrewsbury's CCTV will no longer be monitored 24/7 under the plans.

Under the plans there would be 'live monitoring' for eight hours on the day of certain football matches in the town – which would include the games against Wrexham and Birmingham City in the coming season.

The proposals also outline how the council is to try and seek funding from 'partners' for maintenance costs on the system.

Setting out options for how the system will operate in the future, the council said monitoring could be extended if other people and organisations pay for it – or through use of volunteers, or for high-risk events.

The council stressed that the CCTV system does not affect Shrewsbury's Shop and Pub Watch scheme, which will continue.

It added that a six week public and business community consultation will take place after the cabinet takes a decision at its meeting on July 17.

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