CCTV cameras patrolling Knutsford’s streets will be left ‘unmonitored’ and ‘removed when they break’ after two ruling council’s decided they were not going to fund them.
Cheshire East Council announced in 2013 that it would be asking parish and town council’s to fund CCTV cameras in the towns in the borough as a method of saving money.
But Knutsford Town Council decided it would not bail the authority out, which will now mean the town’s streets will be left unmonitored and the cameras will not be replaced when they break or fail.
A spokesperson for Cheshire East Council told the Guardian it was not ‘undermining the value’ of CCTV in the borough.
“However, the right to follow people around by camera is something that needs to have local support, local commitment and also local funding,” he said.
“Cheshire East has asked town and parish councils for a financial contribution to the cost of monitoring and maintaining the CCTV cameras in their areas.
“It is understood that Knutsford Town Council has declined to make a contribution.
“This now means that, from April 1, the cameras in the area will be placed on a general 'tour' cycle and will not be actively monitored by our operators. The cameras will not be maintained and will probably be removed as and when they fail.”
However, Knutsford Town Council showed the Guardian a letter that it sent to the borough authority in November stating it believed Cheshire Police should pay for the cameras.
“The request from Cheshire East Council for a contribution of £12,950 from Knutsford Town Council towards the cost of seven CCTV cameras in Knutsford Town Centre was considered at the town council meeting on Monday, November 25,” it read.
“The town council resolved not to make a contribution towards the cost of CCTV.
“The town council does not believe that CCTV provision is the responsibility of the town council but should instead be met by the Police.”
Chief Inspector Pete Shaw said: “Cheshire Police is aware of the decision of Cheshire East Council regarding CCTV cameras in Knutsford.
“From a policing perspective CCTV is an effective tool in both deterring crime and supports policing in the town. It assists in the investigation of crime, helps to identify potential offenders and can provide valuable reassurance in the local community.”