District council hits back at claims CCTV cameras were not working

The vandalised seat, ripped out of the Market Place and dumped in Bridge Street.
The vandalised seat, ripped out of the Market Place and dumped in Bridge Street.

East Lindsey District Council has denied claims vandals who struck in Horncastle town centre can’t be identified - because CCTV cameras were not working.

A seat was ripped out of the Market Place, the main bus shelter was damaged and graffiti daubed on walls.

Several residents have complained about youths ‘hanging around’ in the area.

The Market Place is covered by several CCTV cameras but town councillors understood none of them were working at the time of the damage.

However, ELDC insist this was not the case and says a technical issue initially prevented police studying a recording.

ELDC’s Assistant Director (People) Samantha Neal, said: “Cameras were recording as normal in Horncastle.

“A PCSO did attend the Boston control room to view footage at a time when the BT link between Skegness Police Station, where the data is stored, and Boston was temporarily unavailable which is why they couldn’t immediately view the footage.

“Footage recorded remains available to the police for 30 days.”

The vandalism comes as a dispute over CCTV coverage in Horncastle continues.

The town is still waiting for state-of-the-art digital cameras to be rolled out - more than 12 months after an apparent deadline elapsed.

Because of the ongoing delay, town councillors have deferred a decision on whether to pay an annual bill for £4,514.88 from ELDC for CCTV coverage.

Horncastle is one of seven towns in a ‘CCTV partnership’ with ELDC. Delays installing cameras have been blamed on BT for taking longer than expected to upgrade WiFi systems.

Town councillors held an extraordinary meeting last week to discuss whether to pay the bill.

Councillors agreed to wait to see what other towns in the partnership decide to do. It is understood only Skegness has new digital cameras.

Town councillors have asked for confirmation of a date when digital cameras will be fitted in Horncastle.

They also expressed concerns the WiFi system will not link cameras in the Market Place with those covering the Industrial Estate on Boston Road.

•Police are appealing for information about the vandalism.

The ‘ripped out’ seat was dumped in Bridge Street, outside the Co-op Travel Agency.

Police have also said they will take a ‘zero tolerance’ to anyone in the bus shelter who is not waiting for a bus.

Extra patrols have also been staged in the area. Graffiti also appeared on walls.