Only two CCTV cameras installed in Havering in a year despite £5m budget amid Covid delays

Hope and Jane

Hope Mendy and Jane Keane hold up responses to their public survey on Victoria Road. - Credit: Hope Mendy

Only two CCTV cameras have been installed in Havering in the past year despite millions being set aside because work was delayed during the pandemic.  

A freedom of information (FOI) request has revealed only two “temporary cameras” have been installed, both at Ardleigh Green Road, since March last year.  

A statement released by the council last February said: “Public order and enforcement will see an extra £5m for new CCTV cameras across the borough to replace the currently aging system.” 

This came after a report presented to the crime and disorder subcommittee revealed almost half of the borough’s council-owned CCTV cameras were found to be faulty in June 2020.

But a Havering Council spokesperson told the Recorder this week: "We originally approved a £5 million spend on improved CCTV for the borough, but the pandemic and the restrictions it brought meant we had to halt this work.” 

The FOI was submitted by prospective Labour candidate for St Alban’s ward Hope Mendy in a bid to improve CCTV on footpath number 133, which links Victoria Road with Junction Road via a path over the railway line. 

This walkway was identified as needing “urgent attention” in a public survey held by Hope and her fellow candidate Jane Keane.  

Consultation board

People who took part in the survey expressed their worry about walking down the "pretty grim" footpath. - Credit: Hope Mendy

Havering’s director of neighbourhoods, Barry Francis, said graffiti, litter and overhanging trees have been removed from the pathway after residents raised concerns.  

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“We’ve issued two penalty notices for private land waste and graffiti and asked people using the large bins to be more considerate," he said. 

“We’re currently carrying out a review of our CCTV and the area will be considered within this.” 

Hope said: “Given Havering Council’s 2021 budget commitment of investing £5m in CCTV, it's appalling that only two new CCTV cameras have been installed across the whole borough by the council since March 2021."

Barry said: “Our officers are continuing to keep an eye on the situation, along with the neighbourhood policing team, and we’ll continue to take action where there is antisocial behaviour.”