The last full meeting of the present town council (April 18) noted without opposition the adoption the CCTV Code of Practice which will allow Wiltshire Police to have remote and secure access to the CCTV cameras that cover the town’s High Street area.
Marlborough’s system has been in operation for around eighteen months and has helped towards improving security and as a deterrent to crime. As a result of the recorded images, there have been arrests and prosecutions and local police regard it as one of the best systems in the county.
Until now police had to come to the Town Council’s offices when they needed access to recordings. This wasted the time of both police officers and town council staff.
It had been agreed at the planning stage of the CCTV project that the police would eventually be able to have remote access at police headquarters in Devizes to the High Street cameras. Before this could happen Wiltshire Police’s legal advisers had to approve the town council’s CCTV Code of Practice – which itself sticks to the regulator’s guiding principles.
The installation of an extra broadband line will allow images to be seen at Devizes police headquarters when they need to be.
The delay in installing the system’s final two cameras has been down to restrictions on the use of listed buildings and to difficulties in getting landowner and tenant permissions. These issues will soon be resolved.
During the town councillors’ discussion of the CCTV-police access, Councillor Alexander Kirk Wilson said he had changed his mind and was now supporting these moves: “I was out of step on this one, now I wholly endorse it.”
The discussion was held before the arrival at the meeting of Councillor Nick Fogg who had opposed the town’s CCTV from the outset.
The Town Clark suggested that the new town council might consider extending the CCTV system to include coverage of the area of the George Lane toilets and the Hillers Yard car park and also at the Youth Centre.
She also noted that more signage was needed to let people know about the CCTV cameras.