Anglesey CCTV switch-off to go ahead despite strong opposition

Published date: 29 May 2014 |
Published by: Geraint Jones 
Read more articles by Geraint Jones  Email reporter


 

CCTV cameras in five Anglesey towns are set to be turned off, despite strong opposition.

Anglesey Council plans to switch off 49 cameras in Amlwch, Beaumaris, Holyhead, Llangefni and Menai Bridge tomorrow (Friday, May 31) in a bid to save £177,000 per year.

Winston Roddick, North Wales Police and Crime Commissioner, supported calls from Beaumaris town cllr Jason Zalot for a two month “stay of execution” to find alternative ways of providing CCTV.

Other island councils have also called for more time to find a way to keep the cameras.

Anglesey AM Rhun ap Iorwerth raised island residents’ fears over the CCTV switch off with Lesley Griffiths AM, Welsh Government Local Government Minister.

He added: “I think the police could contribute more towards the cost, but I also want to make sure time is taken to look at all options before the cameras disappear.”

Winston Roddick supported Beaumaris Town cllr Jason Zalot’s suggestion for a two month “stay of execution” to allow more talks, with Anglesey due to turn off cameras tomorrow (Friday, May 31).

Mr Roddick urged Anglesey Council to look again at “work in partnership so that CCTV coverage was fit for purpose and could be provided for the island. #

He added: "A sustainable solution to provide CCTV through a regional partnership has been identified but has not unfortunately been taken up.

"CCTV also provides reassurance to the public and I am concerned that switching off the cameras will have a detrimental effect on crime detection and prevention, as well as increasing the fear of crime."

Cllr Zalot said councillors were concerned that Anglesey Council publicising the switch-off could encourage criminals.

He added town councillors were disappointed Anglesey Council had not discussed alternative ways of running CCTV coverage with them.

Cliff Everett, Holyhead town clerk, said Anglesey Council had not yet responded to the town council’s request to discuss taking over the Holyhead’s CCTV cameras.

Llangefni Town Council wrote to Anglesey Council earlier this month to express their concerns and urge them not to take down the cameras.

An Anglesey Council spokeswoman said the authority faced “unprecedented financial challenges”, and added CCTV was not a statutory service and a “considerable additional financial investment” was needed for new cameras.

She added: “The service will come to an end on Friday, however the cameras and any associated equipment will remain in place until discussions with local town councils who have expressed an interest in taking them over have been considered.

The spokeswoman said councillors decided to end the service in February and that no objections were received from town councils during consultation.

She added: “The council was required to be transparent in informing the public of its intentions to discontinue the service, as failing to warn them of this decision would have been illegal.”

 

For more news from across the region visit newsnorthwales.co.uk

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