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Calls for £10,000 injection into Worcester CCTV
CALLS are being made to beef up funding for CCTV in Worcester - by using £10,000 of taxpayers money to improve monitoring.
Councillor Joy Squires, Labour’s Worcester parliamentary candidate, says she wants to see the service improved in 2013.
The Worcester Arena, a £15 million 2,000-seater sports area in Hylton Road, is due to open in a matter of weeks, attracting more people into the city.
Coun Squires said that venture, as well as the late opening hours of The Hive and the city’s nightlife meant it was vital to ensure CCTV is fit-for-purpose.
Cameras in Worcester are looked at 24 hours a day by dedicated staff at Pershore’s civic centre after workers were relocated there from the police’s Castle Street base in 2011.
At the time the move, major concerns were raised that it would lead to a worsening service, but in recent months council chiefs have made visits to the site and backed it.
Coun Squires, speaking during a meeting of the performance management and budget scrutiny committee (PMBS), said: “I think it’s fair to acknowledge the CCTV service we’ve got now is better than it was two years ago, but that’s because we barely had one at all then.
“But I do think there needs to be an enhancement of CCTV, we’ve got things happening all the time in the city which is attracting more people in, like the future opening of the Worcester Arena, and I wonder if we can give it a boost.
“We should create a fund of £10,000 to be drawn upon for extra planned events in the city, so when we need more resources we can use it.
“That will ensure we have the capacity for extra events during the year.”
Around six staff look at 100 cameras at the civic centre which cover Worcester, Droitwich, Evesham and Pershore.
Following the move the city council slashed funding from £150,000 a year to £40,000.
Councillor Stephen Hodgson, PMBS chairman, said: “I’m suggesting we send this on to the cabinet, and if the cabinet thinks it is a good idea, they can look at ways of funding it.”
The Conservative cabinet will consider it this month as part of the 2013-14 budget, which starts in April.