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News - 7 March 2009
Council withdraws funding for town's CCTV cameras which 'no longer have a deterrent value'
Skipton’s security cameras are set to be scrapped following a withdrawal of funding. Craven District Council needs to save money so it has voted to end its annual £51,500 monitoring contract with Harrogate Borough Council.
County councillor Shelagh Marshall, chairman of the Safer Craven Community Partnership, said the group was astonished by the withdrawal of funding. “I don’t believe that the councillors are fully aware of the benefits which the CCTV cameras have brought to Skipton,” she said.
Coun Marshall said the police were also unhappy with the decision and that, once removed, the cost of replacing the cameras would be prohibitive. “If safety is reduced in the town centre, the partnership believes there will be a reduction in the number of visitors and this in turn could affect the economical viability of Skipton’s businesses, particularly retail.”
Skipton’s CCTV system was launched in November 2000, paid for out of a £128,000 bid tendered by the then Craven Community Partnership. But a council report in February 2007 concluded that the CCTV cameras were not effective. The report said the police believed the cameras no longer had any deterrent value as much of the town’s crime was carried out by people under the influence of alcohol.
Read the full story from The Craven Herald here
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