Two leading councillors are calling for Longridge’s closed circuit television system to be linked up with the central control room at Clitheroe.
This would mean the town’s CCTV system being monitored throughout the day and night, seven days a week.
Both the Clitheroe and Whalley systems are monitored by Ribble Valley Council 24-7 from a central control room on Clitheroe market, close to the town’s police station.
Conservative councillors David Smith and Ken Hind called for Ribble Valley Borough Council to connect Longridge’s CCTV system to the central control room at last week’s meeting of the borough’s Policy and Finance Committee.
Coun Smith told the committee the Longridge CCTV monitoring system was currently unmanned, although in the past it had been operated by volunteers, but this had fallen away.
He said: “It is not beyond the wit of engineers to stream the signal to the central control room in Clitheroe where the system is manned and operatives can focus cameras on events in the streets. We are very Clitheroe centric in the Ribble Valley and the people of Longridge should have the same service.”
Coun Hind said: “The CCTV systems are run by Ribble Valley Borough Council and paid for by the council tax payers of the Ribble Valley, not by the police.
“We need the same constant vigilance accorded to Clitheroe in Longridge. We are very aware of the concerns of the Longridge PACT (Police and Communities Together) group where this issue is constantly raised.”
Coun Hind also said that he was frustrated that as a borough councillor serving on committees with responsibility for licensing of pubs and clubs, taxis and health and safety, he was not allowed to see CCTV footage from Clitheroe, Whalley and Longridge if the committees received complaints from the public about illegal drinking and criminal behaviour.
The councillors brought up Longridge’s CCTV situation during an agenda item discussing the Clitheroe and Whalley systems, clarifying operational procedures plus access and disclosure of data.
Coun Hind added: “At present the government is consulting on the use of CCTV and it is hoped that out of it will come greater powers for councils to use CCTV in a way that still protects the public’s privacy. In the light of the consultation we can revisit the funding of streaming to a central control room.”
Following on from this meeting The News has learnt that Ribble Valley officials and police will be discussing Longridge CCTV during a meeting today (Wednesday).
Also, Longridge community PC Manda Gibson confirmed that the volunteers who had been monitoring the town’s CCTV system were currently unable to do so.
She is, however, currently in the process of trying to recruit new volunteers to man the CCTV controls at Longridge Police Station, particularly on Frday and Saturday evenings.
She added that the cameras were still operational, working and rotating 24 hours a day and the footage was regularly reviewed by police officers.
If anyone is interested in becoming a CCTV volunteer, they are asked to contact her on 01772 209583 or via the neighbourhood policing team’s mobile 07539682729.
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Weather for Longridge
Thursday 20 June 2013
Temperature: 13 C to 18 C
Wind Speed: 10 mph
Wind direction: South east
Temperature: 12 C to 17 C
Wind Speed: 14 mph
Wind direction: West