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Dudley's CCTV could be reviewed due to funding cuts
4:10pm Friday 18th January 2013 in Local
AN audit of more than 1,000 CCTV cameras at 130 locations across the Dudley borough suggests that funding shortages may lead the council to consider outsourcing the system.
In the first major review of cameras, it was found the approximately 60 per cent - close to 700 of the 1,120 cameras - monitor internal areas of buildings, with the remainder focusing outside.
The figures include 32 school sites, which are monitored independently, and 187 cameras monitored by the Sedgley control centre by licensed qualified staff supplied under contract by the OCS Group.
The audit states the current CCTV arrangements work reasonably well, the service is much appreciated by partners such as the police, but there is scope for efficiency improvements to be made.
It is likely that the control centre will have to be moved following the downgrading of Sedgley Police Station from a significant operational police base to home a neighbourhood police team.
Government funding for CCTV has been cut from £314,000 in 2010/11 to £153,000 this year.
From April, Home Office funding will be received by the new Police and Crime Commissioner and, as such, Dudley allocation for 2013/14 is not yet known.
The report from the council’s head of audit services Les Bradshaw states: “With few external funding opportunities, the costs associated with maintaining and modernising our CCTV infrastructure, including the repair and replacement of camera parts and control room equipment, presents a challenge at this time of capital funding shortages.”
Mr Bradshaw believes there is scope for a more effective, efficient and economic set up for CCTV in the borough and for it to at least break even. However, he warns that to do this would cost money and suggests “it may be worth outsourcing CCTV.”