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Fury over plan to move Wrexham CCTV service

Published date: 21 May 2012 |
Published by: Garth ApThomas
Read more articles by Garth ApThomas


 

PROPOSALS that could see control of Wrexham’s CCTV system move to Colwyn Bay have been branded a disaster.

Wrexham Council, which is responsible for the CCTV system, has confirmed a regional review of North Wales’ operations is taking place.

Slamming the move, the town’s crime link co-ordinator Gerry Roberts says it is vital camera operators are people who know the area in detail. Mr Roberts, a former police officer with more than 25 years’ experience, has stressed control must stay local.

He said: “One of the proposals being considered is to centralise operations in Colwyn Bay. That would be an absolute disaster for Wrexham in terms of crime prevention and public safety.

“I think it would certainly lead to a rise in the amount of criminal activity on the streets. If you look at Wrexham, the retail area has grown so much in the last 10 years or so and the police are already under pressure.

“It is vital the people who operate the CCTV cameras understand the geography of the area they are monitoring and have local knowledge. These are key ingredients to success.”

Mr Roberts said CCTV had a vital role to play in the fight against crime.

“It is used in so many areas such as monitoring activities and recording evidence. Even for issues such as children going missing from their parents while the family is out shopping, the camera operators are invaluable.”

Mr Roberts stressed the current team involved in Wrexham’s camera system are all highly experienced people who know the area well.

“CCTV came on to Wrexham’s streets in the late 1990s and ever since has made a strong contribution to fighting crime.

“I am afraid a lot of that good work could be lost if Wrexham loses control of its own operations system.”

Cliff Ottley-Thistlethwaite, proprietor of InkXperts office supplies in Yorke Street, said:

“It would be terrible if the control of the CCTV went to Colwyn Bay, you would lose the local knowledge and contact.”

Alex Jones, who runs The Bank wine bar in Wrexham’s High Street, said: “The effects could be devastating for the town. It all boils down to knowing the area, that is a major reason for the success of the current system.”

Stephen Wickwar, managing director of Cynergy Security Ltd, said: “We have about 50 door

staff working in Wrexham. It would be a disgrace if Wrexham lost control of its CCTV. The current system is quick and efficient.”

Kevin Critchley, centre manager for Eagles Meadow, said: “There is concern businesses in Wrexham have not had an opportunity to provide input into review discussions.”

A spokesman for Wrexham Council said: “A comprehensive review for North Wales is currently ongoing but no decisions have yet been made.”

Michael McGivern of North Wales Police said: “Police are in discussions with the six local authorities in North Wales, but no decisions have been reached.”

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  1. Posted by: a cahill at 13:24 on 21 May 2012 Report

    A vital role to play in the fight against crime....tell that to the victims of criminal offences committed in Wrexham ...sometimes right under the eye of the camera...if they get lucky the offender won't have taken precautions to hide their identity...if not you only get recorded evidence of a crime taking place...a bit of a con job really

  2. Posted by: red baron at 17:07 on 21 May 2012 Report

    Wrexham cctv is the best thing that as happened to this town.The staff are the best in North wales with over 25,000 arrests down to them.What are wrexham council playing at moving jobs out of the town yet again

  3. Posted by: Dr Henry MacLachlan at 19:59 on 21 May 2012 Report

    Never has such imbecility seen the light of day. How Wrexham County Borough Council can acquiesce to North Wales Police's unreasonable demands to move the CCTV Control Room to Conway is beyond logical comprehension.

  4. Posted by: Dr Henry MacLachlan at 20:00 on 21 May 2012 Report

    Never has such imbecility seen the light of day. How Wrexham County Borough Council can acquiesce to North Wales Police's unreasonable demands to move the CCTV Control Room to Conway is beyond logical comprehension.

  5. Posted by: Dr Henry MacLachlan at 20:03 on 21 May 2012 Report

    Wrexham CCTV operators know Wrexham, because they're from Wrexham. They know that when a shoplifting or assault suspect is fleeing down Regents Street, if he goes through the Argyle St. Archway, he's going to come out by Queens Square ( or he's hiding by the bins behind Iceland ). They instinctively know how to guide the police onto the suspect through generations of acquired local knowledge. You don't get that in Conway!

  6. Posted by: Dr Henry MacLachlan at 20:04 on 21 May 2012 Report

    Unless a generous fuel allowance is granted, (unlikely as CCTV operators are normal, working class men & women not amoral fat cats) this vital experience will be lost & not only will members of the publics safety be put in jeopardy, but less thieves & thugs will be convicted, too.

  7. Posted by: liberty1 at 20:32 on 21 May 2012 Report

    No doubt Mr Roberts has Wxms best interests at heart , aside from his well paid job and police pension, remember this is a "proposal" so the more people complain the better, the Tory party used to be known as the party that fought crime, under Ken Clarke (SSJ), they are the crims friend.

  8. Posted by: Concerned Voter at 23:39 on 21 May 2012 Report

    If the decision is made to move the CCTV monitoring to Colwyn Bay I hope that none of the decision makers have any toddlers or elderly relatives suffering from dementia who could wander off while they're in town. I am sure that the well intentioned operator, employed by the cheapest security company the combined councils can find will do their best. Let's hope that a happy outcome will be as likely as it is now when people that know the area and the people are looking for your loved ones.

  9. Posted by: Roland Cleth at 08:54 on 22 May 2012 Report

    If it is centralised in Colwyn, it doesn't mean the original operators won't be travelling there to continue their jobs; and, even if the new operators are local to Colwyn, Wrexham isn't a big city. A few days getting the lay of the land, studying maps, photos etc. will be sufficient to familiarise themselves with the areas covered. None of which means it should be centralised of course, just that it's not the scare story it's being made out to be by Gerry Roberts who could be redundant.

  10. Posted by: alminera at 09:13 on 23 May 2012 Report

    As a Police Officer I work very closely on a daily basis with the operators. Each one of them is a true professional, who is eager to protect our area. They literally know every square inch of the town and villages and try their utmost very enthusiastically to keep these areas as crime free as possible. The amount of arrests they have assisted with over the years is testament to them all. Will the level of service will be as good based in Conwy with non-local operators ? Of course not !

  11. Posted by: alminera at 09:13 on 23 May 2012 Report

    As a Police Officer I work very closely on a daily basis with the operators. Each one of them is a true professional, who is eager to protect our area. They literally know every square inch of the town and villages and try their utmost very enthusiastically to keep these areas as crime free as possible. The amount of arrests they have assisted with over the years is testament to them all. Will the level of service will be as good based in Conwy with non-local operators ? Of course not !

 

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