Nia Griffith MP has reacted angrily to plans by the Police and Crime Commissioner to cut funding for CCTV coverage, comprising 87 cameras currently operating in Llanelli, Burry Port, Ammanford and Carmarthen. A report on CCTV coverage commissioned by the Police Commissioner and produced by Instrom Security Consultants has recently been published.
Commenting on the Police Commissioner’s plans, Nia Griffith said,
“I am absolutely horrified that Christopher Salmon, the Dyfed-Powys police and crime commissioner wants to get rid of CCTV cameras across Carmarthenshire. The monitoring of the 40 cameras in Llanelli and the 3 in Burry Port by experienced operators enables police to get to trouble spots much more quickly and has led to many arrests over the years for drug offences, crimes of violence and theft…. That’s what the police say in the report. Furthermore CCTV footage can provide valuable evidence to make sure that criminals are brought to book. I know that many local traders and the public will be very worried and angry about any move to reduce CCTV coverage. There does not seem to have been any consultation with local residents or traders, whose views are not mentioned in the report. The Police Commissioner budget contributes £44,000 to the £247,000 annual running costs, most of which come from Carmarthenshire – and withdrawing it will put the public at risk, and puts the County Council in an impossible situation – Councillors want to keep this service, but they are already under intense pressure from a reduced budget, so asking them to fund the difference is totally unacceptable. You cannot help but think that this is a politically motivated act by Tory police commissioner Christopher Salmon to put the Council in a difficult and embarrassing situation.”