Pickering’s CCTV off due to funding row

Gazette & Herald: . .

CCTV cameras are to be switched off in a North Yorkshire town because of funding issues.

Last year members of Pickering Town Council voted against making an annual £1,800 contribution to the cameras, which are managed by Ryedale Cameras in Action.

The charity was set up 16 years ago to manage the CCTV cameras in Malton, Norton and Pickering, with a partnership of the three town councils and Ryedale District Council providing financial contributions.

Martin Dales, chairman of Ryedale Cameras in Action, said that because no money had been forthcoming from Pickering the trustees reluctantly decided the cameras would be switched off and hooded. He said: “We hope this is purely a temporary measure, but the service needs funding, particularly because the costs of line rental to get the CCTV pictures to and from Pickering take up half the charity’s costs each year.

“We do wonder whether the people of Pickering really want to see CCTV coverage disappear from their town at this time, especially as Ryedale Cameras in Action is looking to expand its operations to one of 24/7 coverage every day of the year, along with possible extensions to the other Ryedale market towns and other commercial premises.

“It is also clear that the other councils around us in York, Scarborough and Hambleton have all recently made significant investments in their CCTV systems, which in turn helps to keep everybody feeling safe and secure,” said Mr Dales.

Inspector Andy Everitt, of Ryedale Police, said CCTV in Ryedale was an excellent facility paid for by the community.

He said police responded to most incidents caught on CCTV, but the system also had a wider role, including monitoring flooding, congestion and helping to find missing people or children truanting from school.

He said: “If we are serious about attracting new businesses and new customers into our towns then we need to make the most efficient and joined up use of existing community assets that will have a positive effect on those who live, work and visit our towns in Ryedale.”

A spokesman for Pickering Town Council said it was not convinced the local cameras were necessary and there was scepticism about the system’s deterrent role.

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