Watch out – fewer CCTV cameras about

Budget cuts mean some local councils have had to dispense with much of their CCTV cover... and that's just fine with some people

One in five councils has cut the number of CCTV cameras on the streets since the last election, prompting fears over safety and crime, new figures revealed last night. And in one area all public CCTV cameras have been removed as town halls implement cuts.

The figures were obtained in Freedom of Information requests by the Labour MP Gloria de Piero, who last night warned that this, together with a reduction in street lighting by some councils, would undermine public safety.

Some 209 out of a total 326 local authorities in England responded to the request. Of these, 46 councils have reported a reduction since 2010 or have no CCTV cameras at all. The figures relate to "public-facing" CCTV cameras, not those inside private properties such as banks, shops and pubs.

According to the figures, Tory-run Craven District Council in North Yorkshire has cut all of its CCTV cameras since 2010, from seven cameras to zero. In Trafford (also Tory-run) there was a 53 per cent cut, from 245 cameras in 2010 to 115 in 2013. The third-highest cut was 47.7 per cent in Labour-run Blackpool, from 151 cameras to 79. In Labour-run Bolsover, cameras were reduced from 91 to 51, a 44 per cent reduction and Havant (run by the Conservatives) saw a 34.7 per cent cut from 72 to 47.

Ms de Piero, the shadow Home Affairs minister, said: "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. 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. Worryingly this also comes at a time when there are 15,000 fewer police officers and when many local authorities across the country have started to turn off street lighting just to save money."

Victim Support, the national charity for victims of crime in the UK, said the loss of CCTV was "worrying". Javed Khan, the chief executive, said: "We know that CCTV helps to improve security in the local community, both by deterring criminals in the first place and by providing evidence that can bring offenders to justice. In this respect CCTV can be a particularly useful tool for dealing with serious crimes such as rape, assault and street robbery. Significant cuts to CCTV, particularly in high crime areas, is therefore worrying. Public safety must remain our top priority to ensure that the number of victims is minimised, regardless of budget constraints."

But the reduction in CCTV coverage was welcomed by civil liberties campaigners. Nick Pickles, director of Big Brother Watch, said: "We welcome the reduction in cameras. The most important thing for us is that crime is falling and the number of CCTV cameras is falling. Yet again the evidence demonstrates there's – at best – a tenuous link and in reality no link between the number of CCTV cameras and crime levels.

"The most important thing is that councils and the police use the most effective methods of keeping the public safe. Countless academic studies – and indeed the Home Office's own research – show little link between public surveillance and crime. I hope these figures will highlight the need to reassess the disproportionately high levels of CCTV use in Britain."

News
Jacqueline Bisset has claimed that young women today are obsessed with being 'hot', rather than 'charming', 'romantic' or 'beautiful'
people
Arts and Entertainment
Ben Affleck stars as prime suspect Nick Dunne in the film adaptation of Gone Girl
filmBen Affleck and Rosamund Pike excel in David Fincher's film, says Geoffrey Macnab
Arts and Entertainment
Lena Dunham
booksLena Dunham's memoirs - written at the age of 28 - are honest to the point of making you squirm
Arts and Entertainment
A bit rich: Maggie Smith in Downton Abbey
tvDownton Abbey review: It's six months since we last caught up with the Crawley clan
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Sport
Frank Lampard and his non-celebration
premier leagueManchester City vs Chelsea match report from the Etihad Stadium
News
people
News
i100
Life and Style
A new app has been launched that enables people to have a cuddle from a stranger
techNew app offers 'PG alternative' to dating services like Tinder
Sport
Greg Dyke insists he will not resign as Football Association chairman after receiving a watch worth more than £16,000 but has called for an end to the culture of gifts being given to football officials
football
Arts and Entertainment
Jake Quickenden sings his heart out in his second audition
tvX Factor: How did the Jakes - and Charlie Martinez - fare?
Sport
premier league
Arts and Entertainment
Rachel, Chandler and Ross try to get Ross's sofa up the stairs in the famous 'Pivot!' scene
tv
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvOnly remaining original cast-member to leave crime series
Sport
Mario Balotelli celebrates his first Liverpool goal
premier leagueLiverpool striker expressed his opinion about the 5-3 thriller with Leicester - then this happened
Arts and Entertainment
Female fans want more explicit male sex in Game of Thrones, George R R Martin says
tvSpoiler warning: Star of George RR Martin's hit series says viewers have 'not seen the last' of him/her
News
i100
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Senior Infrastructure Analyst

£45000 - £50000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Senior Infrastructure Ana...

Teacher of Learners with Special Needs - Nottingham

£130 - £161 per day: Randstad Education Nottingham: Teacher required to work w...

Science Teacher

£110 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Reading: Science Teachers needed for s...

Maths Teacher

£110 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Reading: QTS Maths Teachers needed for...

Day In a Page

A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments