Posted: Wed 5th Jun 2024

Council looks to North Wales PCC and Community Councils to help ‘save the CCTV in Wrexham’ for people living in or visiting the Wrexham area

The leader of Wrexham Council has said ‘conversations were ongoing’ with the Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) over the future funding of the city’s CCTV provision.

The service is under threat due to the ongoing wider budget cuts and pressures facing the local authority.

Similar discussions are ongoing with community councils around Wrexham with a view to contributing to the costs.

Wrexham’s CCTV system – first introduced in 1996 – and operation is often praised and is leant on as a support for the night time econony.

The close links between CCTV and the police also appear to work as an effective deterrent to those intent on committing crime.

Speaking at a media brief this week Council Leader Mark Pritchard said ‘conversations were ongoing’ with the Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Andy Dunbobbin.

The Council Leader also floated the idea that the CCTV service could be moved from council hands and put under North Wales Police.

Cllr Pritchard said: “I think it’s important that we work together on this, the Police and Crime Commissioner, North Wales Police, ourselves, businesses, community councils, because none of us want to lose any of our CCTV capability.

“I’m working tirelessly to make sure that there’s a contribution, a fair contribution, across north Wales. That decision is made by the Police and Crime Commissioner.

“We will fund our own civic cameras within Wrexham city centre. Community Councils will have to pay a contribution and other private companies who have CCTV will pay for it.

Cllr Pritchard said a previous PCC had promised a ‘review’ over CCTV funding, “At the time there was a pot of money and it was shared across the six authorities. A review was promised and is overdue.”

“Because we are looking at all services across the council, does CCTV remain with us? Or, is it better suited with North Wales Police? I don’t know.

“But that is the depths of the conversations that we will have, because of where we are financially. We have partnership working, and will have exhausting conversations as we always do.

“The message from today is that we’re all working tirelessly to save the CCTV in Wrexham, and to not close one camera off, that is how important it is.

With ‘civic area’ funding assured from the council administration we asked what that area actually is.

Cllr Pritchard said” “What I am asking officers to do is to draw a circle around the city centre on what we classify as a civic area.

“The Guildhall, Lambpit Street, the swimming baths, all the way to Rhosddu – there has to be a circle around the centre. I believe as Lead Member that the responsibility there lies with the council because it’s the Civic Quarter, and it’s the main city centre.

“The impact CCTV has on the businesses there, the night time economy, I think that’s only fair and we prepared to do that.

Speaking on engagement with community councils, a price of around £3000 a camera was mentioned: “I have met some community councils, and had some good responses, and haven’t had a good response from some others and I respect that.

“But, we are prepared to pay 50:50. It is £3000 and we will pay £1500 as long as the community councils pay their contribution. Other community councils were paying more than others, and that was not fair either.

“So, there needs to be a piece of work done. We have started it, because within this financial year CCTV will come under the spotlight with regards to savings.

“That is why we have done this early, so everybody can have the opportunity to understand where we are with it.

“We all have to work together to find the best outcome for Wrexham as a place, not just in our city centre, but within our own communities as well”.

(Top pic archive shot from Wrexham’s CCTV control room)

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