Councillor defends town CCTV plans

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DOUGLAS councillor David Ashford has defended the council’s plan to increase the provision of CCTV cameras.

It comes after ratepayer Alan Croll criticised the plans – saying they were no substitute for bobbies on the beat and that they do little, if anything, to reduce crime.

Costs of expanding the system, which was recently extended to cover the North Quay area, are currently being assessed by the council.

Mr Ashford, chairman of the public works committee, said the aim was not to help police in controlling public order, but primarily to protect council assets from vandalism and anti-social behaviour.

‘It may not prevent the vandalism but may at least allow us to recoup the repair costs on behalf of the ratepayer which unless there were witnesses at the time of the incident, which there rarely is, would have to be met by the ratepayers,’ he said.

Mr Ashford denied the plans had been made without consultation with ratepayers, saying the project had been under development for 18 months and had been widely debated and publicised in the press.

It was not proposed that ratepayers foot the bill for any extensive CCTV network. The council is looking for some of the funding to come from the police – either from the seized assets fund or another source. The cost of CCTV has halved in the last five years.

He said there were many benefits of CCTV. Through live monitoring, police had been sent to several incidents before they developed. They can also be used to show someone’s innocence.

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