Conservative Press Release: A CCTV Strategy promised by the Labour/Lib Dem Council in 2019 to maintain and increase the number of CCTV across Milton Keynes was never delivered, according to MK Council papers.
In 2019, the Labour-led Council, then in partnership with the Lib Dems, stated in their Council Plan that they would “Develop a new CCTV strategy by September 2019” and invest £250,000 in “upgrading existing fixed cameras in CMK, and additional funding is being invested in mobile CCTV to tackle ASB.”
Shockingly, neither happened and the CCTV strategy has never appeared in any council decision, meetings or papers since 2019. And the funding has never been used.
In the meantime, MK Council’s CCTV stocks have been left in a state of disrepair, with many out of action.
According to Thames Valley Police and Crime Commissioner, Matthew Barber, there is a real “challenge” in Milton Keynes with the “council funding for CCTV where we have a significant number of cameras in MK that aren’t functioning and aren’t being supported by the council.”
In contrast, Thames Valley Police are investing £1 million into CCTV across the region.
Local Conservatives have been calling for additional CCTV funding and in February asked for money for additional CCTV to target ASB hotspots, but the Labour and Liberal Democrats rejected the calls.
This emerges at a time when Milton Keynes is dealing with a spike in knife crime with 4 murders in 3 months.
Cllr Alex Walker, Leader of the Conservative Council Group, said:
“For years MK Council has blamed Thames Valley Police, the Government and everyone else for failing to tackle crime. At the same time, they’ve failed in their duty to keep residents safe, allowing their CCTV cameras - vital tools in the effort to reduce crime - to fall into a state of disrepair.
“We need to make our streets safer and combat crime, but the Labour and Liberal Democrat Council are failing to do the basics.
“And where has the Council’s CCTV strategy gone? It has been 3 years since the promise was made, clearly the Council aren’t interested.
“The Council’s position is they would rather wait and invest in a new system. That is valid, but there is no excuse to let existing cameras fall into disrepair.
“Thankfully, the police and crime commissioner office will be investing its cash to bring some back into use.”
Cllr Pete Marland, Leader of MK Council, responded to this by saying,
“The MK Conservatives want to talk about anything other than police numbers in Milton Keynes. Nothing can help them hide from the fact they’ve let knife crime in Milton Keynes get out of control. It’s desperate to try and pass their failings to MK Council.
People aren’t idiots. They know the MK Conservatives have no plan to tackle violent crime, and they’ve spent the past 12 months talking about non-existent dog theft rather than addressing knife crime.
MK Council has invested heavily in CCTV in a number of different areas of crime, such as fly-tipping and ASB hotspots, but CCTV is no replacement for real police officers on the ground. Some of the older fixed and static cameras are now obsolete due to cuts made by TVP in their control room. Why would MK Council spend money on expensive cameras that TVP don’t monitor?
People don’t want a plan for CCTV, they want a plan to reduce knife crime and stop the tragic loss of young lives. The Progressive Alliance’s plan is very simple. More police in MK, get the PCC to prioritise knife crime not rural crime and tackle the causes of crime by investing more in youth services and our young people. By talking about CCTV the MK Conservatives do nothing more than highlight they’ve no plan and no answers.”