High quality CCTV system in Chichester ‘absolutely vital’

CCTV camera in Chichester
CCTV camera in Chichester

Part of Chichester’s ageing CCTV system is in line for a much-needed upgrade thanks to £165,000 from the district council’s reserves.

Eleven of the city’s 63 cameras will be replaced, while the two removed from the Avenue De Chartres in 2012 will be reinstalled because of an increase in anti-social behaviour in the area.

A report to the cabinet said that work was expected to start in June and that to do nothing would render the cameras ‘obsolete and unusable’.

The cameras due to be upgraded are: two each in North Street, West Street and South Street, along with others in Little London, Market Avenue South, Market Road, Baffins Lane and Westgate Roundabout.

The report said there would be some disruption to the service while the work was carried out.

CCTV was introduced to Chichester in 1996 and some of the original cameras are still being used.

The cabinet unanimously approved the proposals on Tuesday, though the final decision will be made by the full council in March.

Susan Taylor (Con, East Wittering) said: “I know in the past, over the years, some people have queried about CCTV from a privacy aspect, but there’s no doubt it does increase safety and give a sense of security to visitors.”

Roger Barrow (Con, Selsey South) added: “For the safety of our residents, shoppers and visitors in this day and age, a high quality CCTV system is absolutely vital.”

Questioning where CCTV footage fell when it came to data protection laws, Mr Barrow was told recordings were kept for up to 30 days and could be downloaded on to DVD if needed as evidence by the police or insurance companies.

Council leader Tony Dignum (Con, Chichester North) said: “These cameras have a useful role in fighting crime and they do enhance people’s sense of security, whether they are visitors, employees or residents.

“It’s right we keep them up to date and it’s particularly right that we enhance the presence in the Avenue De Chartres where we have had a number of problems.”