"In April/May 2019, we completed a rationalisation of our CCTV network and it was widely debated and scrutinised. Since then, there has been no further reduction in camera numbers since that project was successfully completed. There has been no increase in reported crime related to the removal of CCTV, and we have an effective and efficient community safety programme.
To demonstrate the lack of correlation between CCTV and crime, in this instance, the camera covering the shoppers car park in Luton (which is adjacent to “Pig Alley”) was removed in April 2019 as it wasn’t functional and was not on the priority list for replacement as a result. In that car park between January and April 2019 there were 26 reported crimes and the following year, over the same period, after the removal of the camera, there were 18 reported crimes- a decrease, not an increase!
When it comes to investing in CCTV cameras for this area, a formal application may be submitted to the Community Safety Team and then it will be considered by the Community Safety Partnership should residents or Councillors deem it to be necessary. We wish to uphold residents privacy in their homes and so cameras are only installed in heavily residential areas as a last resort. This desire to do right by the local residents is why the permanent installation of cameras is agreed by the partnership as a whole, and never an individual. No such application has been brought to date, so we weren’t aware of the desire for a camera in this area. If a formal application had been submitted for consideration, the Community Safety Partnership would look into this specific issue much more thoroughly, as I do not have the ability to make this decision for the aforementioned reasons.
We have also invested in 2 Community Safety Officers to tackle anti-social behaviour in partnership with Kent Police, who work out of Medway Police Station. The Community Safety Partnership has also approved the request for consultation on the extension of PSPO’s. The Police have also made no comments about increasing the number of CCTV cameras in that area either.
We are committed to keeping Medway a safe place to live and the initiatives we are taking, especially in conjunction with our local police force, demonstrate that.”