CCTV: Boston's force for good
CCTV in Boston continues to be a tool for good, being used during 2014 for everything from assisting police in cases of serious crime, such as murder, through to safeguarding vulnerable people on the town's streets and spotting littering.
The CCTV system uses 68 cameras to cover the town centre, Boston College, Pilgrim Hospital, Pescod Square, Redstone Industrial Estate, Fenside estate and Kirton. And since the catastrophic flood in December, 2013, four extra cameras will check the Haven Bridge and Bargate Bridge areas, the council's new St John's depot near the port and London Road.
Between January and December, 2014, Boston CCTV operators made 13,426 daily log entries, completed 1,740 incident records, contributed to 439 arrests and produced 231 pieces of evidence for police and court use.
The record for arrests does not include those resulting from recorded images reviewed by police after the incident.
In 36 cases CCTV evidence was used to implement restorative justice, where offenders can undertake community work.
CCTV has been used recently in support of the council's name and shame campaign, helping to gather evidence of littering and urination in the streets. From July to the end of November 173 littering and urinating incidents were logged.
Year on year CCTV evidence used to support arrests has fallen - which is good news and in line with improving crime statistics for Boston.
Cllr Stephen Woodliffe, Boston Borough Council's portfolio holder for community safety, said: "CCTV is now an accepted part of security for society and, in the main, people are pleased for the protection and confidence it brings them. It is a cliché, but it's true - if you're not doing anything wrong you have nothing to fear from CCTV and possibly everything to gain.
"Over the years Boston Borough Council has proved the worth of CCTV. We have invested heavily to keep it bang up to date, moving forwards with the improvements and efficiencies which technology brings. And our expertise in managing the system is recognised. Neighbouring South Holland District Council has agreed that Boston should monitor its cameras in Spalding and the surrounding areas and similar discussions with East Lindsey District Council and North Kesteven District Council are underway. These partnership arrangements will assure the future of CCTV in those communities and help us all save council taxpayers' money."