Plans to upgrade CCTV to help tackle crime and anti social behaviour have stalled.
And the police, fire and crime commissioner has warned that better CCTV is needed to keep people across North Yorkshire safe – as well as providing good quality evidence for the criminal justice system.
Speaking at a meeting, City of York Council leader Keith Aspden asked if there was anything the police could do to help deter anti social behaviour on evenings in the city centre.
Julia Mulligan, North Yorkshire police, fire and crime commissioner, said there is a “major issue” with CCTV in the county and added:
For anti social behaviour, CCTV is critical. And it’s essential in the criminal justice process.
I and North Yorkshire Police have been working for a considerable period of time on a CCTV proposal. For a range of reasons it has stalled.
There’s a great deal of frustration that the project has stalled.
I would really ask the panel how we can get this CCTV programme moving again.
She added that funding for CCTV services has also been thrown into doubt and this poses a threat to the quality of the service.
She said: “The public expect a good quality, efficient and effective CCTV network which keeps them safe and delivers justice and we owe it to them to work together to deliver that,” adding:
There are also huge opportunities with new technology, which I would urge everyone to embrace.
Over the past 18 months, we have been working together on a plan for a modern, affordable and efficient CCTV system for our county and city.
This is challenging as it means bringing together multiple different systems, sharing funding and reaching consensus on how any new service is managed.
We are also in a situation where funding for CCTV is now less secure than it has ever been and the quality of service to the public is fragmenting.
Set in this context, it is unfortunate that this process has stalled. To help, I have offered to pay for the development of a full business case.
I hope that all parties will re-engage in the process so that we can fully understand local concerns and finances.
Much of the CCTV used by police is provided by councils.
And the York monitoring hub currently has about 240 cameras covering the city centre, the Park & Ride sites, and a number of schools, with two CCTV operators monitoring the hub 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
The manager of the hub said earlier this year said police generally make between 40 and 80 requests for footage each month.
A council report says recent crime figures show a small increase in anti social behaviour in the city centre.