CCTV logs 961 crime incidents across Boston borough

A CCTV Camera
A CCTV Camera

Boston has been called a ‘hub of crime reduction’ after a decrease in crime in the town, with CCTV logging 961 incidents across the borough and more than 2,320 across four district authorities.

A report before the town council’s Environment and Performance Committee on Thursday, revealed to councillors that operators in the CCTV suite – which is now shared with East Lindsey, South Holland and North Kesteven District Councils – made 12,475 daily logs between January 1, 2015 and the same date in 2016.

The hub of CCTV has been invaluable. Without the team’s good work we would not have had the reduction we have had.

Boston Borough Council Environment and Performance vice-chairman Coun Nigel Welton

The number of daily logs is down from 13,417 in 2015, however, the number incidents recorded is up by 263.

In Boston, they include 196 incidents of public order, 136 incidents of theft (shoplifting/retail), 88 missing persons/concern for welfares and 78 incidents of littering/dog fouling.

According to the report, CCTV in the borough contributed to 365 arrests (533 in 2015) and 255 pieces of evidence for police and court use (306 in 2015).

Councillors praised the work of the CCTV suite, particularly following the latest moves to share facilities with other district councils.

Town centre portfolio holder Coun Paul Skinner said: “Lincolnshire is a low crime area. It has gone up two per cent whereas the rest of the country has risen by eight per cent. Boston however, has seen a decrease.”

Committee vice-chairman Coun Nigel Welton said the figures showed Boston was a ‘hub of crime reduction in Lincolnshire’.

He said: “Just because it’s a partnership doesn’t mean we can’t take any credit.

“I think the hub of CCTV has been invaluable. Without the team’s good work we would not have had the reduction we have had.”

The CCTV system was also praised for its role in the recent Storm Surge preparations, where images from the control room were used to help the response in Boston and along the coast.

Councillors raised concerns about the new sharing role of the borough and whether incidents could be missed, but were told that by taking on ELDC staff the suite was manned more than before.

They were also told that data collated about the town is being used to direct where CCTV operators focus their efforts.

Councillors were shown data recording that public order incidents were more common at the weekend, while shoplifting was more common at the start of the week.

There were also concerns about the finances of the CCTV suite. However, councillors were told that although the system was not meeting its initial aim of being cost-neutral, by working in partnership with other councils and charging for data to go to solicitors it was on its way to being so.

Councillors were told plans for 2017 would see the completion of all the major changes and the process become more stable and reliable.

FACTFILE: CCTV catches crime and more in town

The borough’s CCTV system picked up 961 incidents in Boston borough.

Broken down into order of most offences they included:

l Public Order 196

l Theft - Shoplifting/Retail 136

l Missing Person/Concern for Welfare 88

l Littering / Dog Fouling 78

l Suspicious Activity 55

l Anti-Social Behaviour 50

l Drink Offence - PSPO 40

l Drink Offence - Other 36

l Wanted Person 36

l Criminal Damage 31

l Drugs 26

l Traffic - Collision 24

l Traffic - Other 22

l Domestic Disturbance 18

l Misc 18

l Traffic - Drink Driving 14

l Weapons 13

l Alarm Activation 11

l Sexual offenc/assault 7

l Theft - other 7

l Traffic - SOCAP (No Insurance) 7

l Fire 5

l ASBO and Bail - Breach of Conditions 4

l Burglary 4

l Robbery 4

l Theft - of Cycle 4

l Theft - from motor vehicle 3

l Vehicles through the precinct 3

l Sudden Death 2

l Murder/Attempted Murder 1

l Theft - of Vehicle 1

The most incidents occured in front of cameras looking at the Market Place and the Ingram Memorial – 169 incidents each.