CCTV provision is looked at by councillors

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CCTV coverage throughout Chorley is to come under the microscope.

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.

Councillor Kim Snape, vice-chair 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 with what they have done and how they came to decisions to take 24/7 CCTV and what processes they have taken to improve it.

“We had a meeting and we looked to get answers and seek 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 during the recession in the town centre, it’s 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 just a useful thing to have.”

He added; “It’s also useful in summer time because we have children who wander off from their parents and normally we have parents and child reunited in under five minutes. If we take away with it, some crime figures woild go up.”