COUNCILLORS are refusing to pay money towards the cost of CCTV cameras until they see evidence they help catch criminals.

Stratford District councillor Gill Roach left Shipston Town Council empty-handed following Monday night’s meeting after her presentation about security cameras failed to impress members.

Coun Roach had hoped the town council would consider “a modest contribution”

towards the service which provides 86 CCTV cameras across the district including six in Shipston. Eight town and parish councils in the district already contribute, including sums of £1,900 from Bidford and £4,800 from Alcester.

But councillors said they would not budge until they saw some hard evidence that the cameras actually benefit Shipston.

Councillor Paul Rathkey, who was mayor in 2011 when the council previously debated funding CCTV but decided against it, does not believe live monitoring of CCTV benefits the town.

“I asked our local police if they could provide evidence,” he said.

“They could provide evidence of where retrospectively they’ve looked back to the film of incidents but you don’t require a person to do that, it’s being filmed 24/7 anyway.

“We’ve reviewed it subsequently and we’ve yet to have evidence provided to us that live monitoring of CCTV in Shipston has led to any arrest. If that was there it would much strengthen the district council’s case.”

Deputy Mayor Philip Vial said: “I think the main reason we were concerned is that the information given to us by the district council didn’t explain the usage, success or really gave a good argument for us to give money for 24/7 coverage.

“I don’t think any of us were intrinsically anti the idea of supporting CCTV but it’s about letting us see some evidence of its effectiveness.”

But Coun Roach said the benefits of live CCTV monitoring were shown when escaped murderer Alan Giles was recaptured after being caught on CCTV in Alcester in November.

“I would say to you perhaps the people of Alcester were of the same view as you,” she said. “But it (that incident) could be in Shipston.

“I think you need to look at the bigger picture.”

She added that she would return with more information about the cameras in Shipston at a later date.