THE police were accused of dodging their responsibility in the latest round of talks on the future of CCTV in Huntingdonshire.

THE police were accused of dodging their responsibility in the latest round of talks on the future of CCTV in Huntingdonshire.

Huntingdon Town Council called for more detailed plans to be drawn up at a meeting last week after receiving a request to help fund the town's 37-camera network, which was earmarked to be mothballed in April next year to save Huntingdonshire District Council £300,000.

Town and district Councillor Colin Hyams attacked Cambridgeshire police's refusal to contribute towards the cost of the scheme, in spite of free access, free copies of footage and almost exclusive use of four automatic number-plate recognition cameras.

Cllr Hyams said: "The police are looking for an opt-out of this and dodging their responsibility. Over the last 11 years, they have used the CCTV 9,000 times in Huntingdon."

In a letter, Eric Kendall, head of operations at HDC, appealed to the town council to help fund the cost of the system.

He wrote: "If I can demonstrate revenue support from partners to the running of CCTV, that will evidence the community support for CCTV and the benefits it provides."

But finance committee chairman Andrew Bish said Mr Kendall's letter 'grossly over-simplified' the situation, and was "woefully inadequate."

"Dividing up the number of cameras and demanding money is a joke," he said.

HDC has approached other councils with funding requests. Last month, St Ives Town Council agreed in principle to contribute towards the £85,000 costs of the 17-camera system in the town, but was not prepared to pay the full amount.