Safety fears raised over CCTV ‘merger’

News.
News.

Police have raised fears for the fight against crime if a proposal to merge the CCTV control room in Skegness with the one in Boston gets the go-ahead.

Plans to transfer the surveillance to Boston are due to be considered by East Lindsey District Council’s executive board in March.

However, doubts have been raised about whether incidents may be missed by people having too many cameras to look at.

Speaking at last month’s full meeting of Skegness Town Council, Insp Andy Morrice said: “It is only possible to see a limited number of screens at once. CCTV images are important – we can share information on known offenders. It often dictates how many officers we send out.”

Coun Mark Smith added: “If the centre moves to Boston they will have twice as many cameras to look at and so will not be monitored in a very active way.”

Coun Phil Kemp said: “I cannot agree to anything that puts community safety at risk. If the signal is lost there would be no system. This is more about saving money than the benefits to the community.”

Currently, CCTV images from across East Lindsey are monitored from a control room at Skegness Police Station. CCTV staff employed at Skegness would transfer to Boston and be part of a merged team.

Portfolio holder for communities at ELDC, Coun Sandra Harrison, said in a statement: “Both councils already work very closely together on issues around community safety and from a policing perspective both districts are already covered by the same operational police commander.”

She added: “As well as making the CCTV service more resilient, and improving the quality of the CCTV system that services the residents of East Lindsey, this could enable the council to make considerable savings on annual running costs.”

Boston Borough Council did not wish to comment on the story.

Boston councillor Paul Kenny said he has ‘great concerns’ about the impact on Boston of taking on extra CCTV. He added: “We urgently need clarification that the services in Boston are not going to be affected.”

Coun Kenny feared the plan could be a ‘big mess’ and is worried about diverting resources from tackling Boston’s new street drink rules.