Data obtained by Labour MP Gloria de Piero under a Freedom of Information request, of which 209 of a total 326 local authorities in England responded, showed the falling numbers of public space CCTV cameras across England since the last General Election.
Of the respondents, 46 councils reported a reduction in CCTV cameras since the last election or had no cameras in place at all. The cameras the report investigated are those that are ‘public-facing’ CCTV cameras and not those inside private properties.
The figures showed that Craven District Council topped the cuts table and now has zero CCTV cameras under its jurisdiction, dropping from seven in 2010.
Trafford Council has seen a 53 per cent drop in cameras with 130 being lost from its network since 2010, while Blackpool Council was shown to lose almost half its ‘public-facing’ CCTV network – reducing from 151 to 79 cameras. Bolsover District Council and Havant Borough Council filled out the top five camera cuts, dropping from 91 to 51 and 72 to 47 respectively.
Ms de Piero, the shadow Home Affairs minister, told The Independent that “worryingly” the cuts in council CCTV numbers follow slashes in the number of police officers and comes at a time when local authorities have to make big cuts to save money.
“Cuts which have gone too far and too fast have led to a situation where one in five local authorities has reduced the number of public CCTV cameras they operate since the last general election,” said the MP.
“CCTV is a vital tool in the fight against crime and the Government is making it harder for communities and authorities to use and place CCTV. “