CCTV in Blackpool town centre is operated by a combination of Blackpool Council and Blackpool BID Wardens, supported by local volunteers.
The service fell victim to Council budget cuts back in 2013, meaning that while cameras were still operating, round-the-clock monitoring no longer took place.
A fresh commitment to restart those services was made by Blackpool Council, Blackpool BID, and the Lancashire Police and Crime Commissioner. Now, Blackpool Police help to recruit volunteers to staff the CCTV control room.
L-R: Cllr Christine Wright, Blackpool Council; Clive Grunshaw, Lancashire’s Police and Crime Commissioner; Eileen Ormand, former Blackpool Town Centre BID Manager; Superintendent Nikki Evans, Lancashire Police.
Blackpool Council’s Night Time Economy Working Group, which includes businesses, public services and other organisations and meets regularly to focus on the future of the town centre, has also shown major support for the reintroduction.
The cost of staff time, training and equipment is being shared between Blackpool BID, Blackpool Council and Blackpool Police. An additional one-off grant funding of £52k came from the office of the Police and Crime Commissioner.
CCTV in Blackpool Town Centre
The team of volunteers are fully trained up on running the CCTV control room. That includes using the CCTV equipment and what to look out for on the cameras. Plus how to report any crimes or anti-social behaviour caught on camera.
Cllr Gillian Campbell, Deputy Leader of Blackpool Council, said: “Ending the CCTV monitoring service was never something that we were keen to do. We know it is a service that helps people to feel safe.
“However, the financial reality was that we had very little choice. It was expensive to run in its previous form and we were, and still are, facing some of the most severe cuts in the country.
“We have always, however, recognised the value the service provided. The Night Time Economy Working Group share that view so we’ve been looking at ways of monitoring the cameras at peak times.
“We’ve worked with Blackpool BID to devise a new volunteer-based scheme which is supported by professional officers. It comes at a vastly reduced cost.
“That’s a good solution and I’m delighted we’ve now made it happen and got the service back up and running.”
CCTV in Blackpool Town Centre, supported by Blackpool BID
Monitored CCTV is a priority and fulfils a promise made in the BID’s business proposal.
In addition to council officers and volunteers, having Blackpool BID Town Centre Wardens in the CCTV control room is a useful addition. Their knowledge of town centre activity helps with the safety and security of Blackpool.
Lancashire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Clive Grunshaw said “It’s clear that the people of Blackpool value their CCTV. That’s why I’m pleased to be able to announce this one-off grant to help improve the system and encourage the Constabulary through its Citizens in Policing programme to help train volunteers to monitor the systems.
“Our volunteers are really amazing people who give up their time freely to help the police make Lancashire safe.”
CCTV is an invaluable tool in monitoring town centre activity, in particular any incidents of a criminal nature. Efficient use of CCTV is in the public interest and is a key weapon in evidence which can be used to apprehend offenders, reduce crime, protect the public and obtain justice for victims.
CCTV is and remains a significant part of protecting the communities of Blackpool in a proportionate and measured way.
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