'We'll change the locks': Council lashes out at police in CCTV row

Updated: Mar 29, 2018

A council wants to ban police officers accessing its CCTV cameras - and may even change the locks on its CCTV room - after a row erupted over a £2 million funding scheme.


A council wants to ban police officers accessing its CCTV cameras - and may even change the locks on its CCTV room - after a row erupted over a £2 million funding scheme.

Welshpool Town Council has heavily invested in its CCTV system in recent years, which is housed in the town hall.


Dyfed-Powys Police commissioner Dafydd Llywelyn has announced a £2 million pot of funding to switch on disused CCTV cameras across Powys – but has told Welshpool it is bottom of the pile.


Now the council has hit back, and will discuss the possibility of changing the locks on its CCTV room, and even charging police a fee for looking and getting copies of tapes.

The town's mayor, Councillor Stephen Kaye says the plans have been proposed because the council is being punished for taking the effort to keep its own CCTV system up to scratch.


He said: "We met with the commissioner 18 months ago and he promised the world.

"We spent £17,000 in the last 10 years keeping our system up to date, and then we are left at the bottom of the pile under the new scheme.


Punished

"I've got nothing against other towns like Newtown, but we should be top. We've taken it upon ourselves to keep our system and we are being punished.

"I think it is disgraceful, so we are discussing this move, to change the locks and stop the police using our system."


Former commissioner Christopher Salmon held a review of CCTV in 2014 and found monitoring systems did not stop crime, and he pulled funding away for monitoring cameras.


However Welshpool invested in its systems, with the police free to use the footage whenever they want.

On Wednesday the council will discuss a proposal to write to the commissioner giving one month’s notice that police will no longer be able to use the CCTV system without paying for it.


The proposal is for police to be charged £25 to view footage, with a council staff member present, and £75 for a copy.


Under the plans, local officers will also have to return keys to the town hall.

Councillor Kaye added: "If you sit around and wait for something to be done, it won't get done, so we took the energy and effort to do something with the CCTV and now we are being punished."


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Read more at https://www.shropshirestar.com/news/crime/2018/03/24/well-change-the-locks-council-lashes-out-at-police-in-cctv-row/#SbP1L3Res2VJyL0E.99

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