Cameras are paid for by councils, usually out of section 106 contributions which are asked for from developers when they get planning permission.However, the £670,000 a year spent on staff is billed to Sussex Police.“It’s time people started asking what it is about CCTV that so excites local authorities and why they seem so keen to watch us.” Despite the fears from civil liberty campaigners, police still remain committed to the technology.
The total cost to the taxpayer works out at less than £1 per person a year for the county’s 1.6 million residents.
Inspector Ian Byford, who oversees the team at Sussex Police, said this “definitely represented value for money”.
Nick Pickles, director of civil liberties campaign group Big Brother Watch, said: “In too many towns we now have a CCTV camera on every street corner yet never see a police officer there.
“The public are treated as suspects to be monitored by faceless council officials, yet we are no safer walking the streets as a result.
That is the message from Sussex Police as 24 hours a day, seven days a week, a dedicated team flick through the footage from nearly 400 cameras monitoring public places across the county.