SPY cameras around the district are recording three times as many anti-social incidents now compared to two years ago, but the number of arrests arising from them has hardly changed. Despite these statistics, the Closed Circuit Television Steering Group r
SPY cameras around the district are recording three times as many anti-social incidents now compared to two years ago, but the number of arrests arising from them has hardly changed.
Despite these statistics, the Closed Circuit Television Steering Group reports it has been satisfied with the performance of each camera in 2006/7.
The group, comprising members of East Cambs District Council, Ely City Council and Soham Town Council, will today (Thursday) report to the community services committee of the district council that the system remains a "valuable tool in creating safer communities".
The same report continued: "However, it remains difficult to assess the direct link between CCTV and a reduction in crime."
This is particularly relevant in Ely, where total anti-social behaviour incidents recorded in April, 2005 numbered 40, compared to more than 140 in March, 2007. The number of incidents in Soham has remained around 20 per month.
As for arrests as a result of using CCTV, these have been at an average of nine per month for the past two years, the highest monthly figure being February, 2006 with 16 Ely-area arrests and one in Soham. These figures are for arrests seen by CCTV control room operators and do not include arrests made later as a result of CCTV or police arrest figures.
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The group reports there is increasing pressure to re-site cameras to high crime or regular anti-social behaviour areas, as there is no money available for new ones. For instance, the camera on the bend of Cresswells Lane Car Park, Ely, has only recorded six incidents since November 22.
In contrast, there have been 89 crimes in four years at the Station Road/Back Hill area in Ely and 32 incidents of anti-social behaviour in the past two-and-a-half years.
There are 40 CCTV cameras in East Cambs, including five at Soham Village College.
The CCTV control room staff refer an average of 16 Ely incidents and five Soham incidents per month directly to the police and they ask to look at CCTV coverage of, on average, 26 Ely incidents and six Soham incidents per month.