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Could CCTV be switched off in Scarborough?

CCTV
CCTV

Scarborough's CCTV cameras could go dark following North Yorkshire County Council's decision to cut funding to the service.

The slashing of the funding could leave Scarborough Council with little option but to switch off the cameras, which are routinely used to fight crime, tackle delays on roads and monitor the tide on the seafront.

In a report to go before the borough's Overview and Scrutiny committee tomorrow the council's head of legal services, Lisa Dixon wrote: "The CCTV centre has for a number of years worked with NYCC through its CCTV centre with regard to Traffic Management.

"NYCC pay the Council £76,000 per annum.

"NYCC has recently advised the council that they have identified an alternative method of delivery for this service which results in an annual reduction in costs to them to £22,000 per annum.

"This comprises a traffic management system only.

"As a result, they have informed the council that they will be reducing the existing payment to this amount as they are of the opinion that they should not be financing a system which goes beyond this model.

"This would result in a reduction of £54,000 in the Council’s budget for the provision of CCTV services.

"NYCC have indicated that they are prepared to defer the reduction until 2019/20 and will commit to the payment of £76,000 for 2018/19 (due to implementation timescales for the new system) but only if the council is in agreement with the reduction going forward."

Scarborough Council took over the monitoring of the CCTV system in Scarborough, Whitby and Filey in 2003.

The service had, since 1995, been monitored by North Yorkshire Police.

The council operates 91 cameras 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, which are used to monitor Scarborough, Whitby and Filey and also cover many of the council’s pay and display car parks, both the county council's Park and Ride car parks in Scarborough and most of the main roads in and around the towns.

It also works with North Yorkshire Police to provide CCTV images following crimes in the towns.

Ms Dixon's report states that the centre runs at the "minimum" staff level required and a reduction in headcount is not viable.

She concludes that the council is faced with three options: close the service; run it only on a weekend and some nights or take money from another service to cover the loss of funding.

The Scrutiny board will make its recommendation tomorrow.