Council asks crime tsar to look into CCTV use in Crowle

Matthew Grove, the police and crime commissioner for Humberside
Matthew Grove, the police and crime commissioner for Humberside

Crowle and Ealand Town Council have asked the new Police Crime Comissioner to investigate the effectiveness of CCTV in the village.

Councillors are writing to Matthew Grove to settle a debate on whether he CCTV cameras in Crowle Market Place and on the High Street are effective in reducing crime.

Some members claim the cameras have been invaluable in reducing anti-social behaviour, while others say it is a waste of money, soaking up funds which could be better spent elsewhere.

Coun Ron Stewart said: “At the last council meeting we decided to write to the comissioner. It is all about the effectiveness of the monitoring of the cameras we already have in Crowle. We need to know what value we are getting from the CCTV we already have.

“We have had to learn as we go along. People think the camera sees everything all the time but if the camera is scanning you can only be looking in one direction at a time. We have made a couple of adjustments for fixed viewing at certain locations. There is a general feel that the monitoring has not done us any great favours, but we tested them on the market place 18 months ago. There was trouble on the Potts Lane car park and that has been eradicated thanks to the cameras.

“I personally believe they have been very effective, but because certain incidents were not caught on camera, other councillors have been less satisfied.”

Councillors have tried for months to find out how many times the cameras are used to catch criminals.

The council pays £12,000 each year for the running of the devices and is looking to see if the cameras are value for money.

But members of Crowle Town Council appear split over the issue of whether to continue paying for the system.

Coun Stewart ignited the debate about the future of the cameras at the previous town council meeting.

He requested that the council put £2,750 into next year’s budget.

“It’s a contingency fund to cover the cost of the Potts Lane CCTV camera, if we find we have to fund it in the future,” he said.

But Coun John Ramsden said to spend any more on CCTV cameras than the council was already spending was stupid.

“We have spent £8,000 on CCTV cameras that we could use elsewhere,” he said.

And Deputy Mayor Coun Paul McCartan said lots of people complained the cameras were useless.

Police have revealed officers received just one call about problems in the Market Place and Potts Lane area.