Labour-run Westminster City Council is restoring public CCTV to our city to help tackle anti-social behaviour and crime in our local communities.
The new network of 100 high-tech digital cameras will be placed in priority areas for Westminster residents with the job of helping the police crackdown on anti-social behaviour and capturing evidence needed for prosecution in court.
Westminster is the only Council in London not to operate public realm CCTV cameras to help tackle crime and anti-social behaviour because former Conservative Cllr Nickie Aiken (now MP for Cities of London and Westminster) took the decision under the previous Conservative Administration to scrap the Council’s CCTV system in 2016, citing the impact of her own Government’s austerity.
While police-run cameras will continue to monitor pan-London visitor hot-spot areas, the new council system will concentrate on addressing problems that most affect local people. Unlike the old fixed camera system that the Tories had allowed to decline ahead of their decision to scrap them, the new digital cameras can be moved to different locations to tackle different issues ranging from anti-social behaviour to fly tipping. Evidence gained by the new cameras will help the police and will be used to inform how the council works to tackle anti-social behaviour and to design out crime.
The Labour led Council is investing £500,000 in purchasing the new cameras and will invest around £600,000 a year to run the new network and provide additional capacity and expertise that will also help improve the performance of CCTV on the council’s housing estates.
Councillor Adam Hug, Leader of Westminster City Council Leader, said:
“Since the Conservative’s decision to scrap public CCTV in Westminster our Council has not had this important tool that other boroughs use to tackle the anti-social behaviour and crime. These are problems that blight our local communities and we as a Labour Council want to do what we can to help tackle it.
This investment in a new local CCTV camera network will focus on ASB and crime hotspots at the heart of our local communities around Westminster, helping the police, providing reassurance and evidence for further action. The safety of our residents is of utmost importance, and we want to play our part in helping keep our streets safer and to ensure that residents feel more secure in their own homes.”
Cllr Aicha Less, deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Communities and Public Protection said:
“This new network is about helping our residents feel and become safer. The fact the new cameras can be deployed around the City gives us more flexibility than ever in the fight against anti-social behaviour.”