Rutland County Council has insisted that a new 12m CCTV pole installed on a playing field in Oakham is essential to cut crime.
The pole was put up in Royce Recreation Ground last month as part of an ongoing programme to improve CCTV coverage across the county. But the pole has angered some residents, who say they were not consulted.
Council leader Roger Begy (Con) said: “We apologise for the lack of consultation with residents on the new column. Nobody likes surprises.
“The addition and size of the new column on Princess Avenue is needed enable images to be sent back to the recording hub at the fire station. This will enable the police to react to calls to the 999 centre at Enderby – allowing them to instantly assess a situation and allocate resources if necessary.
“This is a new area of Oakham for CCTV based on an in-depth review of reported incidents. We need to address residents’ concerns and are looking to arrange a demonstration of the system to alleviate any anxieties around issues such as intrusion.”
Director for places Dave Brown said improvements to Rutland’s CCTV network would play “an important part in helping us tackle low-level social disorder, which we know is important to residents.”
“Rutland is very safe but 300 incidents of anti-social behaviour are still reported annually and this can have a significant impact on people’s lives,” he added.
The cameras record high-res images, even in low light, and link into Leicestershire Police’s control room.
Oakham town councillor Adam Lowe, speaking on behalf of the council, said some people had raised concerns about the pole. He added: “The column installed could not be placed in its proposed location due to a water main being directly underneath and was repositioned on the land belonging to the town council.
“The town council was not consulted prior to the installation and councillors on the ward have received a letter from a resident expressing concerns about CCTV being so close to residential properties and that there appears to have been no consultation or prior notice regarding any of the works.
“The town council has, since the installation, been informed by the county council that the column will have blocked CCTV fitted so as not to show any private residential properties. They are more than happy to discuss the matter further with anyone who has concerns.”