The council of Scottish Borders has now launched a six-week long consultation into public owned CCTV for the region and its future.
Earlier this year, council officers stated that CCTV networks serving the region were “no longer fit for purpose” and informed the council that neither the police nor the local authority could afford the costs of installing and maintaining CCTV in public areas.
Presently, over a quarter of the council’s full complement of cameras, which number 70, are non-functioning and officers have warned the council that this quantity is set to increase with many already experiencing recurring faults.
All eight of the CCTV systems in operation are run by Police Scotland and are located in Eyemouth, Duns, Galashiels, Kelso, Hawick, Selkirk, and Peebles.
Officers originally requested that councillors allow the CCTV system to fall into decline and stop fixing and replacing cameras not functioning, as the local authority is spending £40,000 per year currently on network repairs.
However, when the full council met in May, a motion was put forward for officers to assess options for retaining the CCTV system and officers have proposed a public consultation on the matter.
The council agreed and will now consult several stakeholders in the network – including area partnerships, community councils and Police Scotland – to weigh up potential costs.
Borders councillor Gordon Edgar commented:
“We know that CCTV can be a useful tool for the police and communities in terms of public safety.”
The new consultation will form a basis for a range of options for the CCTV network in the region, to then be approved by the local authority around December 2019.