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Business owners furious at plans to pay for new CCTV system across Lincolnshire

By Lincolnshire Echo  |  Posted: February 26, 2013

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Businesses are furious at "ridiculous" plans for them to pay towards a new state-of-the-art CCTV system across the whole of Lincolnshire.

Pubs, clubs and restaurants would pay the bulk of the cost towards the wireless cameras.

The county's new Police and Crime Commissioner, Alan Hardwick, says street security is mainly a night-time problem.

He claims shutting existing CCTV control rooms would improve public safety, save money and lead to wider coverage.

But hard-pressed pub managers says they are already over-taxed and have branded the idea "ridiculous".

Mr Hardwick said: "People who make money from the night-time economy all over Lincolnshire should be prepared to contribute towards the cost of policing it.

"In Lincolnshire we have lots of different CCTV systems which, in many cases, are very

expensive because they use technology which is not up to date.

"The saving from the new system, I'm hoping, would be significant, but it needs agreement with those people that operate the systems at the moment.

"I have not even begun to cost it. I know that the cost of the external CCTV system throughout Lincolnshire is a touch over £1 million.

"External CCTV would be open to all businesses, including shops and the evening economy businesses."

But Pubwatch chairman Paul Oloo, manager of Pulse, Ritzy and Jumpin' Jaks nightclubs in Lincoln, said: "We already pay the Lincoln BIG levy and business rates and we are probably the most taxed business sector.

"I appreciate the commissioner is trying to make things work with limited resources but to be asked to pay extra for something we already pay for is a bit ridiculous. That's the sentiment of all 44 members of our Pubwatch scheme." At present, the City of Lincoln Council pays the £300,000 annual cost of running CCTV in the city centre. On top of this, Lincoln's warden scheme costs about £60,000 a year and up to eight wardens patrol at weekends.

Mr Hardwick is also reviewing funding for these street wardens – but insists he is keen to learn more about their role and has yet to reach any decision.

Matt Corrigan, chief executive of Lincoln Business Improvement Group, said street wardens are vital to the good management of the evening economy.

"We are due to meet Mr Hardwick and we are really looking forward to having a discussion with him," he said.

Most county households will pay around 6p extra a week in council tax for policing in 2013-14.

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  • mkheng  |  February 28 2013, 9:22PM

    Don't the businesses that operate late night venues pay enough indirect taxes already? If the late night businesses are forced to pay more venues simply will close. The knock on effect will be towns and city centres become less attractive and more will close. Yet again one of the roots of many problems is pocket money supermarket price alcohol. No mention of the supermarkets paying towards CCTV. I personally put in many hours to set up and have a 7 camera system installed in Mablethorpe. I was part of the group that saw the ELDC town CCTV systems being joined together in one control room in Skegness police station. This was all done at great expense and woks well. Where is the evidence this needs to be replaced? Mr Hardwick needs to be sorting out his staff first!

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  • Bicksy  |  February 26 2013, 7:26AM

    "People who make money from the night-time economy all over Lincolnshire should be prepared to contribute towards the cost of policing" Why? It's not their fault that the streets need policing, they're running a business at the end of the day and we already pay taxes for that. "The saving from the new system, I'm hoping, would be significant" apart from the fact you admit to not doing your homework first, wouldn't that mean the service costs less to run and therefore there's no need to ask for any more money over and above what most people contribute in taxes already? Wouldn't it be nice to get a little back once in a while; maybe I'm looking at it too simplistically. After all, when I deliver a cost saving project, I don't go to the sponsor at the end and ask them for more money to run the solution over and above the savings I've already delivered; I'd be shown the door.

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