Communities to be responsible for their own CCTV cameras?

Standoff about who should be responsible for CCTV cameras .
Standoff about who should be responsible for CCTV cameras .

Borders communities could soon have to pay for and maintain their own CCTV cameras if they want to keep them.

Scottish Borders Council has CCTV systems in eight Borders towns - Duns, Eyemouth, Galashiels, Hawick, Kelso, Melrose, Peebles and Selkirk - costing £40,000 a year to maintain. A further £23,000 a year is spent on upgrading CCTV systems.

But the council has said that “CCTV is a Police Scotland matter and the police should at least fund these systems.”

Police Scotland’s position is that “CCTV is a community safety tool to offer far more than simply the prevention and detection of crime”. And they are not in a position to fund them.

Now the issue is to be discussed at tomorrow’s Police, Fire and Rescue and Safer Communities Board meeting. The board are being asked for their views on the council’s proposal to withdraw from direct provision of CCTV systems and instead work with the police to assist local communitities that wish to have CCTV systems to retain and install them.

When the current CCTV cameras need replaced (cameras in Duns, Eyemouth and three other towns are already at that stage) it would be up to communities to arrange and pay for installation and maintenance but the police and council would expect them to follow their guidance on managing the camera systems.