Council is seeking to end around the clock monitoring of CCTV cameras in North Devon, but will focus resources ‘where there is most need’

Proposals are being put forward to stop monitoring North Devon’s CCTV system around the clock.

North Devon Council is seeking to bring in changes to its 117 camera network, which is currently monitored 24 hours a day.

Instead the council said cameras would record all the time, but the CCTV control room would only be staffed during the most crucial hours.

These would be Monday to Thursday from 9am to midnight and Friday to Sunday from 9am to 5am.

The council’s overview and scrutiny committee heard a report on a public consultation and review of the service yesterday (Thursday) and it will now go to the executive committee for a final decision.

Following a review of the service, the council said due to the age of the equipment, the cost of the service is high and although there was an excellent relationship with the police, they do not make a financial contribution to the service.

The review has identified a number of options to reduce the cost of the service, while directing efforts and resources to the areas of most need.

Other recommended changes include cameras being positioned in locations where they are most needed.

CCTV staff will continue to operate the Barnstaple Against Retail Crime (BARC) and Barnstaple Against Night-time Disorder (BAND) schemes.

Council leader Des Brailey, said: “The CCTV service is highly valued and is an essential tool in the detection and prevention of crime. However, it is an expensive service and we need to make sure our resources are directed at the areas of most need.

“We have been in discussions with the Devon and Cornwall PCC and they have made it clear how important CCTV is to their service. Executive will consider the report in the New Year and, if approved, the changes will come into effect in April 2017.”