TOWN centre security bosses could leave Uttoxeter’s CCTV network unmanned overnight to help fill a £100,000 funding black hole.
East Staffordshire Borough Council is discussing removing staff monitoring the cameras when there are few people on the streets.
The news will be worrying for high street charity shop workers whose premises were targeted overnight by thieves 12 months ago.
But, should the new proposals be ratified, council chiefs are keen to point out the cameras would still be switched on - despite being unmanned.
Councillors are currently trying to trim their CCTV bill across the borough and, last year, started a review that could still see Uttoxeter’s 11 cameras axed.
Staffordshire Police recently rejected a request to share the council’s financial burden.
Police bosses cited ‘financial constraints’.
An East Staffordshire Borough Council spokesman said: “The system must be changed to be more cost-effective, while remaining efficient in detecting and preventing crime.
“If the staffing hours were reduced to 8am to 10pm, Monday to Sunday, this would deliver a reduction of 41 hours in staffing time.”
Sonia Andjelkovic, who is in charge of the operation, said: “We will assess the future needs and these will form the basis of a more affordable future for a new, modern CCTV network to protect people’s safety.”
The council’s previous cabinet, which was controlled by the Conservatives at the time, approved a raft of changes to East Staffordshire’s CCTV provision, which costs £800,000 to run over three years.
The cabinet resolved to seek funding from other agencies using their 54 cameras and remove CCTV that is not used adequately.
Among those hit by thugs in the last 12 months have been British Heart Foundation, Scope, YMCA, Birds Expresso, Edmonston’s butchers and Francesco Group hairdressers.