Town council backs proposal to upgrade CCTV
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Councillors in Weston have agreed to support plans to upgrade CCTV systems to aid with prosecutions and crime prevention.
The analogue system is in desperate need of replacing as a number of cameras no longer work and the equipment is out of date so cannot be repaired.
The cameras are monitored 24 hours a day and help to deter crime and antisocial behaviour, and enable criminal activity to be dealt with more effectively.
North Somerset Council wants to upgrade the system, but it cannot go ahead without funding from other town councils.
Town clerk Malcolm Nicholson said: "The current analogue system is out of date and can no longer be economically maintained and therefore needs to be replaced.
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"North Somerset Council is requesting the town council to commit in principle to continued revenue support for the operation of the CCTV system and also to a similar share of the capital costs of the upgrade."
The CCTV system covers Weston, Clevedon, Portishead and Nailsea and costs £310,000 a year to run. Weston Town Council contributes £80,844 towards the total, while the others pay £10,000 each.
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The cost of an upgrade is estimated at £350,000 - with Weston Town Council's share likely to be around £100,000 on top of the £80,000 a year revenue cost.
Councils are being asked to consider whether to decommission the cameras or commit to funding CCTV provision for the next five years.
Modern digital cameras would increase functionality with automated recognition capabilities and significantly clearer images to help with prosecutions.
Equipment would also be much easier and less expensive to replace or move.
Cllr Tim Taylor said: "Safety should be at the forefront of our agenda, but if we are going to be able to commit in principle we need to know the performance of the cameras and whether they are in the right place."
Councillors backed the proposal in principle as long as the town council is fully involved in the tender process for the system and if the final cost is acceptable.
The authority also wants statistics from each camera to ensure the equipment is needed and in the correct location.