Morecambe and Lancaster CCTV cameras could be axed over budget cutbacks

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CCTV CAMERAS across Morecambe and Lancaster face the scrapheap in a bid to save money.

The controversial proposal has already met with strong opposition.

Coupled with fewer police on the street it would be open field for crime to take place. They have to find the money for it. We would see the scrapping of CCTV as a massive step back.

Brendan Hughes, chairman of the Morecambe Business Improvement District

Lancaster City Council is considering getting rid of the system altogether as one of its options, as it struggles with Government funding cuts.

Another option would be to replace the ageing CCTV cameras which were installed in 1996, 1997 and 1998. They cost approximately £170k a year to maintain – but finding the cash to do this could prove difficult.

Brendan Hughes, chairman of the Morecambe Business Improvement District, said: “Coupled with fewer police on the street it would be open field for crime to take place. They have to find the money for it. We would see the scrapping of CCTV as a massive step back.”

The CCTV system consists of cameras in Morecambe and Lancaster connected to the control room at Lancaster police station. There are 21 cameras in Lancaster and 15 CCTV cameras which are still functional in Morecambe.

Lancaster BID manager Liz Hickingbotham said: “We are aware of budget constraints and we are monitoring the situation.”

Inspector Kirstie Banks-Lyon said: “All public funded organisations are having to review expenditure and look at new ways to keep the public safe and I am confident that together with our partners in Lancaster City Council and Morecambe Town Council we will continue to work together to tackle crime and anti-social behaviour.”

Clive Grunshaw, Police and Crime Commissioner, said: “Unfortunately one of the results of austerity is that councils are having to spread their ever decreasing budgets ever more thinly and it is for them to decide what their money funds in consultation with their residents and stakeholders.”

Options and costs for replacing both the cameras and the operating system are currently being investigated. Coun David Smith, cabinet member for community safety at Lancaster Council, said: “Government reductions in funding for local government mean that we will be forced to decide what the spending priorities are for the council and what we can no longer afford to deliver.”