Preston's CCTV system to lose dedicated camera operators

CCTV generic pic Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Preston City Council work with the police to operate 25 CCTV cameras in the city centre and university areas

CCTV cameras in Preston will no longer be continuously monitored following a dispute over staffing costs.

Preston City Council has failed to agree a new contract with the company which provided four specially trained staff to operate 25 cameras across the city centre and university areas.

Staff monitored them 18 hours a day on weekdays and 24 hours at weekends, the Lancashire Evening Post reported.

The council said CCTV footage would still be available for police access.

Adrian Phillips, the council's director of environment, said the contract with Profile Security Services ends on 31 March.

'Funding under pressure'

"Everyone knows that council funding is under severe pressure and it's disappointing that the contractor was not able to reach reasonable terms with the council," he said.

"However, the CCTV system remains fully operational within the police control room and will continue to be used by the police for community safety purposes."

"Indeed we are looking at ways of extending and enhancing the current city centre CCTV system."

Mr Phillips added that the authority was "working with partners" to consider ways of replacing the CCTV service in a way that would provide "value for money" for taxpayers.

The BBC has approached Lancashire Police and Profile Security Services for comment.

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