• Monday, December 05, 2022

HEADLINE STORY

East Leicester to have new surveillance cameras following communal clashes

By: Chandrashekar Bhat

Ten new CCTV cameras will be installed in east Leicester to deter violence and deliver “a level of protection that is not presently available.”

Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Rupert Matthews said £53,000 would be invested on the new CCTV cameras as the electronic surveillance system “will dissuade further criminal activity and give peace of mind to East Leicester’s communities and businesses.”

The potential sites for the new cameras include streets and parks across Spinney Hills and North Evington, LeicestershireLive reported.

Matthews’s announcement follows the unrest in the city involving Hindu and Muslim youths in August and September this year.

As each of the 468 surveillance cameras already put up across the city costs an average of £1,175 annually to operate, Leicester City Council will have to bear an additional expense of £11,750 a year once the 10 new cameras come up.

Matthews said he was determined “to act as decisively as the brilliant officers in Leicestershire Police did” to help preserve the city’s reputation as a “pleasant place to live and work” in.

The Police and Crime Commissioner, who was criticised by his predecessor and Labour peer Lord Willy Bach for being “absent” during the recent violent disorder, said, “I was dismayed to see some using recent tragedies for their own political ends or as an opportunity to pontificate rather than use their influence to act. I will not do so.”

He, however, admitted people were hurt and the safety of various communities and sections of the city had been compromised “by a small minority of people who wish harm upon others.”

“My office and I will continue to work with partners and the Force to calm tension and extol East Leicester’s naturally peaceful and happy community,” Matthews said.

Mayor Sir Peter Soulsby, who welcomed the new cameras, raised concerns over the significant operational costs.

“What matters is the investment in monitoring them – the operational costs are the expensive bit,” he said.

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