COUNCILLORS have called on Rochford Council to install CCTV across the district, saying it is lagging behind neighbouring areas at a time of rising crime and insufficient police resources.
Green councillors Michael and Diane Hoy and independent Mike Wilkinson have tabled a motion, to be discussed at full council next week, asking colleagues to back a ‘feasibility study’ into the proposal.
They claim Rochford has ‘a distinct lack of CCTV infrastructure’.
Their motion states: “The main market town of Rayleigh, which has over 35,000 inhabitants, does not have a single working, council-owned CCTV camera.
“What systems that do exist across the various parishes in the district are not linked and are all ‘stand alone’ systems.
“Neighbouring towns such as Wickford, Basildon, Southend and Chelmsford; these all have fully functioning CCTV systems, owned and run by the local district council and supported by and used regularly by the local police.
“As we all know, crime is on the increase, particularly violent crime and anti-social behaviour. This is at a time that, whilst police numbers are increasing marginally, the net gain to us as a district is minimal due to the extra policing commitments and the new style of policing which exists today.”
Between 2010 and 2017, Essex lost roughly 800 police officers. In 2018, 150 were replaced. Tory police commissioner Roger Hirst claimed earlier this year that a Council Tax hike this spring would enable the hiring of another 215 – bringing the net reduction since 2010 down to 450.
The trio’s motion continues: “It is highly unlikely we will ever go back to the days of a policeman on the beat, so we need to look to other options to protect the public.”
Citing documents authored by the National College for Policing, the three councillors claim CCTV is one of the key resources to quickly solving crimes and apprehending offenders.
The council will debate and vote on the motion at the council officers, in Hockley Road, Rayleigh, at 7.30pm next Tuesday, October 22.