Councils spend millions of pounds on CCTV surveillance

The cost of CCTV across the area has been revealed
The cost of CCTV across the area has been revealed
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MORE than £3m has been spent on CCTV coverage in the past three years in The News area, it has been revealed.

A report released by civil liberties campaign group Big Brother Watch reveals local authorities are still spending large sums of money on CCTV surveillance.

But the local and national picture shows many councils are spending less than they once did on CCTV.

The report, called Are They Still Watching?, reveals Portsmouth City Council spent around £1.3m between 2012 and 2015 for the coverage of 147 cameras, which includes staff costs.

Havant spent £462,000 for 46 cameras in the same period, while Fareham spent about £474,000 on 42 cameras.

Gosport spent about £111,000 for 37 cameras, while Chichester spent about £815,000 on 63 cameras.

East Hampshire made the top 10 councils for decreasing CCTV expenditure after spending £20,000 between 2009 and 2011 and not spending a penny for the last three years.

Hampshire County Council made the top 10 list for CCTV expenditure rising after going from no cameras to 106 devices. The expenditure between 2012 and 2015 was about £411,000.

West Sussex County Council spent around £128,000 in the same period on 292 cameras.

Renate Samson, chief executive of Big Brother Watch, said: ‘While the findings of this report appear encouraging, the reduction in spending may be nothing more than a lull before the storm of more intrusive, biometric or 3D cameras appearing on our streets.

‘Should councils wish to invest in smart digital CCTV systems we urge them to do so by proper consultation with local residents.

‘A measured approach should be taken with any surveillance system.

‘Privacy should always be given as much weight as security.’