Yesterday, the Exeter City Executive Committee considered a solution to enable its CCTV Control room to increase its staffing at peak times.

CCTV camera in Exeter
CCTV camera in Exeter

Tony Cox, the father of Lorraine Cox who was murdered on a night out, made an impassioned plea to a full meeting of Exeter City Council in February for increased staffing of the CCTV control room to ensure at least two members of staff would be on duty 24 hours a day.

He was assured by Deputy Leader, Councillor Laura Wright, that despite increasing financial constraints “the Council would continue to look for ways to achieve this”.

Yesterday, 4th April, the Executive Committee of Exeter City Council met and recommended this plan and the required additional funding.

A revision of staffing patterns will now see an increase to three members of staff on duty at peaks times of evenings and weekends, maintaining the current 24/7 coverage.

Alongside other Labour members, Newtown and St Leonard’s councillor Matt Vizard brought the request to the Labour City Council Group working with the Exeter City Council Executive Committee.

Matt said:

“The issue of public safety, particularly of women and girls, has been starkly highlighted by the shocking murder of Lorraine Cox.  The staffing of the CCTV control room is an important component of the City’s ongoing cross-agency work to build on existing public safety measures.

“I would like to thank the Council Leader Phil Bialyk and Deputy Leader Laura Wright for identifying the funding to enhance the city centre’s CCTV control room staffing, and Deputy Leader Laura Wright for her detailed work with Officers to identify an affordable solution.

“Taken together with the Council’s strict policy on taxi licensing, the renewed Public Spaces Protection Order and our joint working and initiatives with the Police and other key agencies through the Community Safety Partnership and SWAN, this decision demonstrates that public safety remains a priority for the City Council.”

The effectiveness of these staffing changes is significantly increased by investment in the City Centre’s CCTV network. This investment was made possible from a successful bid by the Council to the Home Office under the safer streets programme.

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