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LGA responds to CCTV spending report

Cllr Simon Blackburn, Chair of the Local Government Association's Safer and Stronger Communities Board responds to a report by Big Brother Watch on councils reducing spending on CCTV systems over the past three years.

"As the Surveillance Camera Commissioner acknowledges, councils are under increasing budgetary pressures and are having to prioritise the services that are important to local people.

"Councils recognise the assurance that CCTV provides and where it is cost effective and has an impact, councils continue to invest in and review their public space CCTV operations.

"However, councils have to pay heed to the Surveillance Camera Code of Practice and are aware that there is a balance to be struck between safeguarding the public and respecting their privacy.

"Although councils usually pay for and operate CCTV services, the main users of the footage are the police and Crown Prosecution Service during criminal investigations.

"This is a perfect example of why more powers should be devolved to communities so that effective and appropriate public services can be designed at the same local level they are delivered."   

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