Technical fault leaves police unable to view months of CCTV and costs £12,000 to fix
PUBLISHED: 13:07 01 April 2019 | UPDATED: 15:10 01 April 2019
Archant Norfolk 2016
A technical fault with a town's CCTV system has left police frustrated as potentially crucial footage has been unavailable for four months.
CCTV in Lowestoft is currently overseen by Lowestoft Town Council, with provision transferred to them from the former Waveney District Council (WDC) last year.
The playback suite used for viewing footage remained at Waveney Norse’s depot on Rotterdam Road and was still run by WDC.
But in December it became apparent that, although images from across the town were being recorded and stored, they could not be watched by police officers after the council’s playback equipment malfunctioned.
Stephen Baker - now chief executive of East Suffolk Council following the merger between Waveney and Suffolk Coastal district councils - said the issue was being solved and emphasised that recorded footage could now be viewed.
“Now that we are aware of it, we’ve sorted it,” said Mr Baker. “We’ve invested £12,000 in a new review suite and we can now see those images. We’ve made the investment and got it going again.
“It’s taken longer than we anticipated but we’re there now, so now we can go back and look at those images that people want to look at.
“They’ve all been stored, it’s all been recorded - it’s just that the review suite wasn’t enabling us to look at them at the time.”
Despite steps being taken to rectify the issue, Suffolk Constabulary said the malfunction had left police frustrated in their attempts to solve crime in the town.
“CCTV cameras are a vital asset to police investigations,” said a Suffolk police spokesman. “They assist us to help bring criminals to justice, to locate missing people and generally help us keep our communities safe.
“Public safety is paramount and so it is frustrating that this problem has continued for as long as it has.
“We are in regular contact with the council and support them while they are fixing this issue as a matter of urgency. Everyone’s priority is to get the cameras running correctly as soon as possible.”