Could Suffolk get a countywide CCTV network?

Suffolk Police and Crime Commissioner Tim Passmore. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Suffolk Police and Crime Commissioner Tim Passmore. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Suffolk could get a countywide CCTV network as part of measures to tackle increasing demand on police, Police and Crime Commissioner Tim Passmore has said.

Talk of the scheme emerged during Friday’s Police and Crime Panel held in Bury St Edmunds, where councillors on the panel were given updates and able to scrutinise the work of the PCC.

During a discussion of measures which could help with police visibility and cracking down on crime, Mr Passmore said a countywide CCTV network would help identify those behind crimes and reduce offences.

Addressing the panel, Mr Passmore said: “Why don’t we look carefully at a countywide network of CCTV?

“It does reduce crime, catch offenders and you can bet your bottom dollar I am absolutely behind that.

“If we are going to have this system, let’s have it supported properly for the next 10 years.”

While the plan is currently only an idea being tabled, the panel heard there could be some funding available from the Suffolk Public Sector Leaders (SPSL).

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The SPSL comprises leaders and chief executives of every council in Suffolk alongside Mr Passmore and Suffolk Chief Constable Gareth Wilson, and takes a portion of pooled business rates to allocate to schemes which benefit the entire county.

Figures for the next financial year are not yet clear, but early estimates suggest there could be as much as £10million the scheme could bid for a share of.

Mr Passmore said that a full business case would need to be constructed to apply for funding and campaigning for central government cash was also possible. He added: “We can all help by lobbying MPs and that will all help us deal collectively with that.”

A report by Danny Steel from Lowestoft Vision said that its funded PCSO coupled with radio connection between more than 50 shops and a CCTV network across the town integrated as a town security system had worked well.

Figures prepared in a report for the meeting said that since the network had been in place shoplifting had reduced by 23.8% in the two years to April last year.

Anti-social behaviour for the same period was down 34.5%.

It is understood that leaders will begin to build a case, although it is not clear when such a scheme could be rolled out.