City's CCTV cameras set for renewal
AROUND £400,000 could be invested in renewing Gloucester's CCTV camera system.
The issue is being discussed at Gloucester City Council's overview and scrutiny committee meeting on Monday.
It is proposed all of the older cameras are replaced with a new modern wireless system within two years, to the tune of £382,000, plus a potential £25,000 a year thereafter.
Ed Pomfret, health and safety service manager at the council, said: "The CCTV system was invaluable both during and after the disorder of August 2011.
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"Every camera is important to ensure there is good coverage of the city centre and all have been used in the resolution of crime.
"If the CCTV system was removed, there would be a consequential risk of increased crime and a high cost to reconnect if it was decided to reinstate at a later date."
On average, it is thought the city's CCTV system helps with 600 to 750 incidents a month.
The CCTV system was originally purchased by the city council through the Home Office crime reduction programme in the 1990s.
There are currently 58 cameras in the city which are linked to the control room operated from Gloucester police station. They vary in age with the original install happening in 1993.
Meanwhile, Mr Pomfret also believes the introduction of new cameras could help boost the city's economy.
"As the city is striving to improve the night time economy and encouraging business growth, CCTV is invaluable as a reassurance to new businesses and visitors to the city centre.," he added.
"Many of the cameras are located in conservation areas and/or on listed buildings and can detract from the street scene.
"While the importance of CCTV cameras is paramount, an upgrade programme may also be an opportunity to improve the
appearance of an area. Modern cameras are smaller than the existing platform cameras and are, therefore, more discreet so will go a long way to improve the visual impact."
Barry Leach, chairman of Gloucester City Centre Community Partnership, said: "If this is going to cover the entire city centre it will be a great step forward.
"At the moment it is a hotch potch of different systems, some work, some of them are old, some of them break down a lot. Having a single system would be of great benefit to the city."