DYFED-POWYS POLICE and Crime Commissioner Christopher Salmon is to review CCTV services originally installed to cut crime. He believes that provision across Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion, Pembrokeshire and Powys varies in effectiveness.
Budget pressures on local authorities mean that some CCTV services are being scrutinised by county halls. Mr Salmon said: “The police have never funded CCTV in Dyfed-Powys and any decision to cut funding is the responsibility of the local council.
“Nevertheless, I’m determined to ensure that our communities are kept safe. I’ve offered to contribute to CCTV provision with local authorities.
“I wish to simplify CCTV’s use, ensure it’s beneficial to communities and offer the public a clear understanding of its effectiveness.
“First, however, we must make sure we’re spending money wisely, so I’ve proposed a review, which my office will lead, to assess the appropriate future provision that balances safety, privacy and cost.”
Mr Salmon’s action, supported by Chief Constable Simon Prince, is to work with Dyfed-Powys’s four county councils to review CCTV provision. He will look at existing evidence of its effectiveness, the potential for improved or different technology to reduce crime, opportunities for more flexible monitoring and short-term options for greater consistency and flexibility.
Mr Salmon said: “Why this review? Down the years public bodies – although not obliged to do so – have installed a variety of CCTV systems with a range of technology, monitoring regimes and evaluation processes.
“The police have supported systems in a number of ways but I feel that, in the current financial climate, we need a more coordinated approach – one that is effective and efficient at a cost agreeable to all.
“Although the police do not fund CCTV right now, I am committed to providing a solution.”
In mid-March, following discussions with all four county council leaders, the Commissioner wrote to them outlining his proposed way forward.
He said: “Some town and community councils, businesses and others also have a stake in CCTV so we’ll ensure their needs are considered in the future work.”