Marlborough town council’s decision to spend £25,000 on a six-camera CCTV system to monitor the High Street – a search for suitable sites is now taking place — has been criticised by one of its own councillors.
Councillor Nick Fogg wrote a 12,000-word report for the town council on CCTV, which drew on expert opinion on the use of cameras at locations across the country.
“Millions have been wasted on CCTV,” he told Marlborough News Online. “Many authorities are removing their systems on grounds of inefficacy and costs. This is not an argument against CCTV. It’s an argument in favour of getting it right.”
And he pointed out: “One conclusion was that well-lit and populated areas are those with the lowest crime rates. If there’s a case for putting all six cameras in the High Street, I haven’t seen it.
“How many crimes have been committed in front of the Town Hall in the last 100 years?
“The police have stated that number plate recognition is well-provided for throughout the county, so why does this system include it? This is public money we’re talking about, so we need some answers.”
Councillor Fogg also referred to the £5,000 grant given to Marlborough Chamber of Commerce by the Area Board as its major contribution to the cost of maintaining the CCTV system in the High Street.
“It seems to me absurd to consult the floor at Area Board meetings and then to ignore completely its views,” he declared. “At the very least, it should be regarded as an injunction to go away and think again.
“Of course, people are all in favour of things that they don’t have to pay for. The local community is forking out for a system intended to benefit I’m not sure who.
“Whoever it may be, they should be prepared to fork out. It’s only fair.”
See Letters: Misconceived High Street CCTV system.