May 4, 2022 12.30 pm

CCTV is helping “ransacked” Gainsborough businesses, councillors told

A spike in incidents is being tackled officers say

Councillors have been reassured new CCTV is helping with a recent spate of incidents which have seen properties “ransacked” and “trashed” in Gainsborough.

Members of West Lindsey District Council’s Prosperous Communities Committee on Tuesday night were given a brief update on performance by the authorities cameras and plans to update them in Market Rasen.

It comes as council officers report that crime is returning to pre-pandemic levels in West Lindsey, with a rise in shoplifting and a spate of serious burglaries.

Several Gainsborough businesses have been repeatedly targeted in the past three months, causing extensive loss and damage.

Councillor Trevor Young said: “Whenever I’m approached [by constituents] the camera always seems to be pointing the other way.

“I find it quite difficult when businesses in the town are, for instance, stripped of lead during the night time and cameras can’t pick them up.

“There’s been a huge spike in crime in Gainsborough over recent weeks.”

He said he had reports of businesses being “trashed” and the issues “causing thousands of pounds worth of damage”.

“I’d be interested whether the CCTV has had any joy in identifying the individuals who have ransacked these properties,” said Councillor Young.

“It would be reassuring to know CCTV has had some success,” he added.

Council officer Gary White told members that recent cash from the Safer Streets Funding had helped increase the number of cameras and their positions across the town.

A mix of pan, tilt and zoom (PTZ) cameras, along with fixed positioned ones, was helping to create a 360 degree view, he said.

“We have been able to use footage from a lot of these upgrades,” he said.

“We have produced a significant amount of footage over the last couple of weeks that’s helped identify and prosecute offenders.

“We have got a lot of really positive stories of using CCTV – but we can’t always publicise them,” he added, pointing to some difficulties around identification of victims or mental health issues.

WLDC has 206 cameras across the patch monitored 24/7 every day of the year.

An additional 82 cameras are currently being installed, and upgrades will be taking place in Market Rasen, Hemswell Cliff and Richmond Park over the next year.

Councillors at the meeting also queried whether cameras could be powered by solar and what tracking software they used.

They also indicated they would like more to be done to make it easier for prosecutions to take place.