Cut-backs will hit Wrexham town’s CCTV coverage, MP fears

Reporter:

Phil Robinson

FEARS have been raised that Wrexham’s much-praised CCTV system could be cut back.

Last year the Leader revealed the town centre’s cameras had caught out 21,000 wrongdoers since its launch 13 years ago, making it the most successful in Wales.

Now the town’s MP is calling for clarity from the government over continued backing for the system amid fears it could cut down the number of cameras across the country.

Ian Lucas used a question to the Home Secretary to encourage the government to shed more light on its proposals.

He said: “Here in Wrexham our council – led by a coalition of Liberal Democrats and Conservatives – recognises the value of CCTV.

“Its website states that ‘surveys of public opinion show significant support for the use of CCTV within the town centre with a high percentage of people indicating they want CCTV within their community’.

“My own experience shows this too. I work alongside a number of residents’ groups and tenants’ associations, and if the subject of CCTV is raised it is by people calling for more cameras for their community, not for the number to be cut.”

In reply to Mr Lucas, James Brokenshire, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Home Office, told him: “In our coalition programme for government, as part of our work on safeguarding civil liberties we have stated that we will further regulate CCTV.

“We will introduce detailed proposals in due course.

“As the Prime Minister made clear in the House, we support CCTV cameras.

“When used properly they can be a significant asset in the prevention and detection of crime.”

But he added: “Any such use involves a need to ensure that civil liberties are properly protected.

“The use of CCTV has increased in the absence of a specific regulatory framework.
“For reasons of proportionality and retaining public confidence it is important that there is appropriate regulation and it is interesting to note that the previous administration recognised that when they appointed the interim CCTV regulator.”

See full story in the Leader

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