The Isle of Wight Council has hit back at suggestions the axing of regular CCTV monitoring on the Island would affect safety and security.
As reported by Isle of Wight Radio, in a bid to save money the council has renegotiated its PFI Highways contract that it currently holds with Island Roads – meaning some services have been scrapped.
One of those is the 24-hour CCTV monitoring service which takes place at Island Roads’ Newport base.
That job is shared between five staff members. Island Roads says it will look to redeploy them and “keep any compulsory redundancies to a minimum.”
Businessmen and woman on the Island described the plans as “absolute madness”.
But, Isle of Wight Council leader Councillor Dave Stewart says there is nothing to worry about. Speaking to Isle of Wight Radio he said:
“Let’s remember that the CCTV cameras will be on, they won’t be off. We will be recording all the time. So for example, if we had a missing person in Newport and we’re trying to track their movements we can do that.
“If we have a crime incident, even before the police get there, we’ll be able to record that. So the crime safety element of the CCTV remains available to us.”
The news of the “savings” came on the same day that the council announced a new Community Alchohol Partnership tasked with combating anti-social behaviour and underage drinking in and around Newport.
Asked whether introducing this but then axing regular CCTV monitoring was one step forward and two steps back, Councillor Stewart said:
“I can understand that viewpoint. Actually, I think there is an awful lot of people on this Island that go out in the evening and have a good time and don’t cause mayhem everywhere and I think we sometimes forget those people.
“We also have some very good sensible local pubs and clubs where the staff themselves, who are properly trained, can monitor a lot of that.”
Listen: Isle of Wight Radio’s Oliver Dyer talks to Councillor Dave Stewart.