Failing cameras spark safety concerns

FAILING CCTV cameras in one of Suffolk's busiest nightspots could be a major threat to public safety, it has been claimed.Forest Heath District Council, which controls CCTV in Newmarket, has revealed poor footage from its cameras is making prosecutions difficult.

FAILING CCTV cameras in one of Suffolk's busiest nightspots could be a major threat to public safety, it has been claimed.

Forest Heath District Council, which controls CCTV in Newmarket, has revealed poor footage from its cameras is making prosecutions difficult.

A council spokesman would not disclose which cameras were failing, but it is believed central Newmarket, home to one of the region's largest nightclubs, is one of the areas affected.

Newmarket mayor Warwick Hirst said the council's disclosure was “alarming and shocking” and urged council bosses to “come clean” about the situation.


You may also want to watch:


He told the EADT: “I was unaware of any issues about performance of these cameras.

“These cameras are one of the few remaining defences against a tide of bad behaviour, and if that gets into the public arena, people will think they can basically do what they like, this is a severe risk to public safety.”

Most Read

The state of the camera system came to light in a document due to go before the council's community services committee next Tuesday.

The document states: “The system is beginning to fail and the quality of the recordings are leading to difficulty in being used as evidence.”

It also warns that the current system, if retained, could fail at any time without warning.

A spokesman for the council said it was acting now to ensure public safety was not at risk and evidence was still being obtained from cameras, but in some cases it required more work to bring to an acceptable standard.

Mr Hirst added: “This is a very, very serious matter, I would urge Forest Heath to come clean and sort it out and tell the people of Newmarket how serious this problem is, it can't be ignored.”

A spokesman for the Crown Prosecution Service said prosecutions could be affected by the quality of CCTV footage, which varied widely, and each was judged on an individual basis.

However, he was unable to comment on the state of recent footage from the Forest Heath area.

A spokesman for Suffolk police said: “The CCTV system in Forest Heath is still a useful and welcome tool for police to use to ensure that Suffolk remains one of the safest counties in the country.

“However, we would obviously welcome any development or improvement to the system.”

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter