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Friday, 19 February 2010


Following on previous budget post, there's another interesting capital project in the works.

The council will be spending £815,000 next year to scrap the existing CCTV control rooms in Crewe and Congleton (Sandbach, actually, but serving the old borough) into Macclesfield.

I've spent time in the CCTV room in Macclesfield and was impressed by what I saw. The CCTV operators know what's going on. They know the virtual "patch". They know where to look, who to look for, and who to contact if there's a problem.

Whilst I guess there's a cost saving argument as we won't need as many staff on the go when it's all being controlled from one place, I can't help think there will be a noticeable drop in the quality of service that's delivered. And even if there is a cost saving, it'll take us 10 years to recoup what we're spending.

Common sense tells me that these operators are never going to be able to deliver the same kind of service as when they were dealing with one town only. A relationship is built between the local shop security chaps, bouncers, coppers, and CCTV operator.

This just won't be sustainable if they're dealing with a much larger area.