Mobile CCTV camera bid out of the picture
Tory plan voted down by SNP/Labour administration
Attempts by Tories to get Stirling Council to buy more mobile CCTV cameras amid issues with moving the current ones, have failed.
At a full council meeting last Thursday Tory councillors Alastair Majury and Jeremy McDonald submitted a motion seeking that the local authority purchase more deployable HD CCTV cameras by releasing up to £75,000 from council reserves.
While they received support from their group colleagues, the motion was defeated by the SNP/Labour administration.
The Tories said it had emerged that the deployable cameras currently operated by the council are no longer capable of being moved due to problems with their connectivity and not being compatible with the new street lighting columns - so although six had been purchased none of them could be moved.
Councillor Majury said: “This year’s capital budget allocated £50,000 to purchase cameras but that will only purchase five or six cameras, therefore only replacing the six that are no longer moveable.
“There is an urgent need to increase capacity and the motion would have added another seven to 10 cameras. They could also have been of different specifications to ensure officers have more options to use them, even in remote areas.
“Deployable HD CCTV could and should be used far more widely by Stirling Council. These cameras are very affordable, have high quality imaging and can be located where there is no mains power or wifi as they have built in long-life battery power and recording capacity.
“Not only could they be used for areas where anti-social behaviour is reported but they could also cover blackspots for dog fouling and fly tipping for example.
“Our officers do the best they can but they need the right tools to help them. It is hugely worrying that the cameras we thought the council had for this purpose are not working.”
Councillor McDonald added: “Anti-social behaviour in all its forms is a growing problem and people are not seeing the response from the council they should expect.
“We need to be making the best use of technology to address these long standing issues not constantly putting off taking decisions.”
Environment and housing convener Councillor Jim Thomson, however, accused the Tories of being “opportunistic”.
He added: “I can assure the general public that public safety is high on the list of priorities of the SNP/Labour administration. In the past year we have undertaken a number of initiatives.
“Schools are currently having CCTV upgraded. This has been welcomed by parents and staff.
“A safety audit was recently carried out on a number of roundabouts in Stirling, alterations are underway to improve the effectiveness of the existing cameras. Costs for potential additional cameras are being sought.
“The council are working with partner organisations to share camera provision in sensitive areas, mainly where subject to vandalism. The recently signed sustainable growth agreement between SEPA and Stirling Council includes a commitment to further CCTV provision.”
Councillor Danny Gibson, Labour environment spokesperson and depute council leader, accused the Tories of “nonsense” - and suggested they get themselves “a free eye test”.
“The officer advice sat on every councillor’s desk prior to the meeting starting last week made crystal clear that there is already budget provision and that more cameras are currently in the process of being bought.
“Their motion was utterly pointless so no wonder we voted it down.”
Motion Tory councillors Alastair Majury (right) and Jeremy McDonald want the local authority purchase more deployable HD CCTV cameras