Westminster Council to axe support for ageing CTTV network

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One of the most important local authorities in the UK has revealed plans to axe support for its ageing CCTV network, a recent news report has been able to suggest.

Westminster Council will end support for its CCTV network citing funding pressures and research showing it is ineffective in preventing crime. The surveillance network, consisting of 75 cameras across the central London borough, could cost an extra £1.7 million to renew and update, with an additional £1 million every year after factoring in running costs.

The decision has sparked fears of an increase in crime and the potential threat of terrorism, especially since the planned switch off will cover several of London’s busiest areas, including the West End. Some crime experts have noted the important role surveillance plays in supporting modern policing and the securing of prosecutions.

A spokesperson from Scotland Yard sought to dissuade fears, saying: “CCTV is one of the many important tools used to tackle crime” before adding “it is important to recognise that CCTV is just one of a range of measures to enhance safety.”

“Outside of the local authority CCTV network there is a vast and sophisticated private network that will still be accessible to the police,” the spokesman added, “we are confident these arrangements adequately provide tools to prevent and detect crime and we continue to work closely with partners on a range of initiatives to make London the safest global city.”

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