Call made for review into Huntingdonshire CCTV network


CCTV - Credit: Archant

CCTV cameras could be further rolled out into rural areas to help deter crime and catch offenders, according to a district council report.

Huntingdonshire District Council has published a report which sets out the future of its CCTV operations and the benefit of it to not only the police but to businesses and residents.

In the report, members of the council’s CCTV task group outlined what they see as the problem areas for the camera operation and how they could be tackled in the district’s villages.

The report noted: “Members were informed the current network is reliant on the BT fibre network and cost of installation, operation and maintenance is high.

“However, the group recognised that through the commercialisation programme the council will investigate the use of wireless technology therefore removing the reliance of the network on BT fibre network.”

The report also identified that an increase in CCTV coverage could include moving to a wire-less network and using more mobile CCTV cameras in rural areas.

This was backed by representatives of Cambridgeshire police, who met with the panel to discuss how the force uses CCTV, though they noted it was harder to deter-mine how well CCTV worked in rural areas.

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The report said: “The group were informed that in terms of rural crime, the benefit was harder to quantify, however, in some cases without CCTV footage, the police wouldn’t be able to identify the culprits.

“Members were informed that CCTV in the right locations would bring a benefit and provide lines of enquiry which otherwise wouldn’t be available.”

The report highlighted a random sample across the county of 100 incidents of crime, of which 80 involved the consideration or use of CCTV evidence. An upward trend of CCTV use within Huntingdonshire was also recognised.

The panel also highlighted the value of CCTV to businesses following a meeting with Huntingdonshire Business Against Crime.

The working group has called for a review of the district’s CCTV network.

The working group’s recommendations will be put before the district council’s cabinet later this month, where a decision whether or not to carry out a review will be made.