CCTV provision is to come under the microscope in Chorley.
Chorley Council’s overview and scrutiny task group, chaired by councillor Robert Finnamore, says the aim is to provide suitable options for future systems, taking into account the impact of surveillance for the council, the police, its partners and residents, balanced alongside budget implications for the council.
Coun Kim Snape, vice-chairman of the group, said: “We consulted with the police, registered social landlords, parish councils, Peter Verhaege from Pubwatch, Malcolm Allen from the Traders’ Alliance, and we spoke with people on the markets and economic team at the council.
“We also spoke with people from West Lancs Council to compare what they have done, how they came to the decision to take 24/7 CCTV footage, and what processes they have taken to improve it. We had a meeting and looked for answers, to see what value they place on CCTV and the impact it has.
“Those answers will then form the recommendations that we will then present to the cabinet.”
Malcolm Allen, chairman of Chorley Traders’ Alliance, said: “Since there’s been a rise in shoplifting in the town centre during the recession, CCTV is a handy tool to have because they can follow them, and the success rate by the PCSOs and town centre beat bobby is very good, and that’s down to CCTV.
“Prior to CCTV, we introduced the town centre radio system.
“We used to give a description of people over the air, and when we got CCTV it all linked together.
“It’s a useful thing to have.
“It’s also useful in summertime because we have children who wander off from their parents, and normally we have parents and child reunited in under five minutes.”
He added without CCTV, some crime figures would go up.
Police Supt Eddie Newton said: “CCTV makes a significant contribution to reducing crime, making people feel safer, and helping to bring offenders to justice.
“It is also a vital element in any investigative process.
“The Chorley CCTV system is essential to the Community Safety Partnership within the borough and we hope to benefit from it for many years to come.”