CCTV or no CCTV? Miserable wait could soon be over

CCTV camera - on the High Street in Salisbury (Mike Draper)

12:16pm 17th February 2017
(Updated 1:17pm 17th February 2017)

At long last, what appears to be a GENUINE deadline has been set to get Salisbury's controversial CCTV system back on.

It's after 18 months of broken promises, inexcusable delays, and even repeated attempts to cover-up news that the existing system had already been unplugged for months.

The city-wide network of security cameras, which also cover Wilton and Amesbury town centres, have stood idle following a series of sad events which started when Wiltshire Council suddenly abandoned the running, paying and maintenance of the system.

SUMMER 2017 - NEW PROMISES:

Now a target of JUNE this year has been announced for getting a brand new digital CCTV system up and running in the city.

Salisbury City Council and Wiltshire Council have both said that work is progressing. This positive message has emerged after months and months of anger and confusion from local people and businesses over who is actually leading the scheme to get CCTV back on in the city.

It's been more than a year since Wiltshire Council said it would front £500,000 for new upgraded CCTV equipment, even though the authority wanted nothing to do with running and maintaining it.

After the CCTV system was 'unplugged' and the control room 'ripped-out' and sold off by Wiltshire Council, Salisbury City Council assumed legal responsibility for the installation and running of a brand new digital CCTV set-up. That was months ago. Where is it?

DOUBTS ABOUT CITY'S SAFETY:

Many people believe crime has increased in Salisbury since it emerged the CCTV cameras weren't on. Others have expressed feeling more vulnerable shopping in the city, and some even believe that crooks are cashing-in on the situation because no-one's watching.

CCTV camera pointing up to the sky at Britford Park and Ride

POINTLESS! How is this keeping us safe?

Assuming both councils keep their new promise, when Salisbury's upgraded digital CCTV camera system goes live in June many of the old cameras will have been staring at the sky for a whole year. It's obvious to criminals they're not being watched, and a clear invitation to potential troublemakers.

Salisbury CCTV camera pointing up to the sky

WHAT ON EARTH IS GOING ON?

Spire FM decided it was time to get answers about what, if anything, is happening. Here's a list of the Q's we posed & A's we got from Salisbury City Council on the state of CCTV:

Q. What's the latest from the City Council on this?
A. The project is underway and work has commenced converting a room at Bourne Hill to the new control centre. 2 SCC Councillors sit on the CIC Board who are the body managing the CCTV service - Cllrs Colin Froude and Matthew Dean.

Q. What's happened since Wilts Council signed it over to SCC?
A. The CCTV provision forms part of the wider asset transfer package and this hasn't yet been formally transferred, though it is fairly imminent.

Q. Jane Scott (Wilts Council leader) told us months ago that the new system was 'being ordered'- where is it?
A. The project is underway, all the kit has been ordered and delivered and the contractors are working away.

Q. When is the new system being switched on?
A. Wiltshire Council are arranging and managing the contract and we are not party to those arrangements.

Spire FM also put the same questions to Wiltshire Council, but they decided to issue a statement instead. A Wiltshire Council spokesperson told us:

"Work on installing CCTV for Salisbury is moving forward. The contractors have been appointed, the equipment purchased and the preliminary works on the control room have started.

"We have been working with our colleagues in Salisbury City Council to transfer services and assets such as the Market Place, property, children's play areas, maintenance services and the new CCTV system. Once commissioned the CCTV system will be transferred to the city council."

"The system should go live by the end of June and we will provide updates as work progresses."

DEFUNCT CCTV - SHAMEFUL STORY OF WOE:

Here's a simple timeline of the miserable CCTV saga that's already been going on far too long:

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