Local councillors have called for CCTV monitoring to take place in Barry, rather than Bridgend, after discussing the matter with local Police in a Barry Town Council briefing.
CCTV monitoring of Barry sites were out-sourced to Bridgend Council, under the previous Vale Council administration. At the time, the Council Leader said that there would be no loss of effectiveness.
However, police comments made at a recent Barry Town Council briefing in May were that monitoring from Bridgend was less effective than from Barry because those viewing the footage were less familiar with potential criminals or streets that might provide useful clues.
Councillor Nic Hodges said:
“In order to prevent crime or catch criminals, community safety must be as effective and impactful as possible.
“Anything less than that means people getting off scot-free and providing poor value for money.
“Plaid Cymru believe that we would get better value for money and more effective community safety if these facilities, and jobs, were in Barry, rather than Bridgend.”
Cllr Andrew Parker, Vale of Glamorgan Council Cabinet Member for Housing and Building Services, said: “CCTV monitoring in the Vale has increased since April 2016 when an innovative partnership between the Vale of Glamorgan Council and Bridgend County Borough Council came into force. By sharing resources in this way, we are able to offer better provision than if operating independently.
“Under the arrangement, 77 cameras across the Vale record 24 hours a day and are monitored by staff in the Bridgend control room 365 days a year.
“This agreement saw the Vale Council increase the number of hours in which the cameras covering Barry, Penarth and Llantwit Major are actively monitored and introduce new maintenance arrangements to ensure any faults to key cameras are repaired immediately. Monthly performance reports are also reviewed by our Community Safety Team to ensure the correct areas are being targeted.
“Naturally, this raft of increased security measures was designed to make the Vale safer and we are confident that is now the case. In May alone, 20 crimes committed in the Vale were observed by CCTV operators and details passed to the police. These included such offences as burglary, serious assault and others involving drugs.”