Great support for our petition against the crazy plans of the Tory Police and Crime Commissioner to stop the monitoring of CCTV cameras. People in Llanelli are telling me they share my horror that Christopher Salmon, the Dyfed-Powys police and crime commissioner, wants to withdraw funding for the monitoring of the 87 CCTV cameras across Carmarthenshire. The monitoring of the 40 cameras in Llanelli and the 3 in Burry Port, together with those in Ammanford and Carmarthen, 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 themselves say in the very report by Instrom Security Consultants that the Police Commissioner commissioned and is using to justify his actions. Furthermore, CCTV footage can provide valuable evidence to make sure that criminals are brought to book. The report (which by the way cost £33,000!) does not mention any consultation with local traders or the public, and I know many of them are very worried and angry about any move to reduce CCTV coverage. Indeed people tell me they want more CCTV, not less. The Police Commissioner budget contributes £44,000 to the £247,000 annual running costs, most of which come from Carmarthenshire County Council – and withdrawing it will put the public at risk, and puts the County Council in an impossible and embarrassing situation – Councillors want to keep this service, but they are already under intense pressure from a massively reduced budget, so asking them to fund the difference is totally unacceptable. The cynic in me suspects he’s just dumping it on the council, but that’s no way to go about partnership working. We all know budgets are tight, but the commissioner is about to give out £75,000 to selected new community projects, and deserving as those bids may be, communities were not told the price would be reducing the monitoring of CCTV cameras.