Faulty CCTV cameras did not capture armed raid after 'high winds' delayed repairs

This Is Lancashire: Faulty CCTV cameras did not capture an armed raid after "high winds" delayed repairs Faulty CCTV cameras did not capture an armed raid after "high winds" delayed repairs

FAULTY CCTV cameras which could help police investigate a terrifying armed raid has not been fixed — because of high winds.

Robbers burst into the Co-op in Market Street, Westhoughton, armed with a bat and a screwdriver. They dragged a female shop assistant across the floor by her hair — tearing out lumps — before kicking her in the ribs and fleeing with cigarettes and cash.

The four CCTV cameras close to the shop, could have captured crucial footage of the raid at 10pm on January 6.

But repairs to two cameras — and the installation of two new ones which Westhoughton Town Council approved funding for at a meeting on December 9 — had been put on hold.

Westhoughton Town Council said Christmas and New Year had delayed the work but also “high wind and gales”.

A Town Council spokesman said: “The first new camera was to be fitted just before Christmas but due to the high wind and gales, is was unsafe to use a cherry picker.

“Obviously, there was then the delay of Christmas and New Year.

“When the CCTV engineer came to fit the two new CCTV cameras in January, he also checked the cameras and corrected the two which were not operating properly.”

Another camera on the Post Office building opposite was working but had panned round and was facing the wrong way at the time of the robbery.

Witnesses said the robbers fled from the store in a dark Vauxhall estate car, and some of the faulty cameras may have been able to capture the escape — had they been working.

In the aftermath of the Co-op raid, Cllr Christopher Peacock, for Westhoughton North and Chew Moor, said the town council would help police with footage from recently installed CCTV cameras.

He added it would not be appropriate for him to comment on the reasons for the delay in the cameras being repaired.

Town councillor Cllr David Wilkinson voiced concerns that repairs had not been carried more quickly as it had been revealed the cameras were faulty at a public meeting about a month before the Co-op robbery.

Cllr Andy Morgan, for Hulton, who has questioned whether town councils are financially worthwhile, said repairs should have been done “as soon as physically possible”, given that Betfred in Market Street was also victim to an armed robbery two days earlier.

He added: “The town council argues the fact that they are paying for this CCTV and uses it as justification for their precept.

“It meant a poor woman at the Co-op went through a terrifying ordeal, and the cameras that could have been so important to the police were still not on.”

The faults with all four cameras had been reported to Westhoughton Town Council by the monitoring station.

Cllr Wilkinson said: “We should review the whole process of repairing cameras and reporting incidents to do with them.

“The purchase of new cameras, and discussion the old ones, was mentioned in open session and rightly reported on.

“The fact these cameras were left not functioning for weeks after this despite the information being in the public domain is concerning.

“It may have given ideas to criminal elements of the community who have heard about it.”

But Cllr Peacock added: “I appreciate it’s a difficult one, but I don’t seriously think that the people behind this acted knowing any of these cameras were in need of repair.

“This is not the reason this incident took place.”

The police declined to comment on the matter given investigations are ongoing and have so far made no arrests.

Comments (11)

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8:36am Sat 25 Jan 14

waterbottle says...

Even if these cameras were working I don't think they would have given a clear image of the incident
Even if these cameras were working I don't think they would have given a clear image of the incident waterbottle

9:43am Sat 25 Jan 14

Wolfie190 says...

Its time criminals got into trouble for committing armed robberies same with burglary, its a free for all out there.
Its time criminals got into trouble for committing armed robberies same with burglary, its a free for all out there. Wolfie190

11:16am Sat 25 Jan 14

danssoncabaret says...

Deja vu! This fiasco with CCTV cameras has happened before in Westhoughton Last time it was an armed robbery. It is only a relatively small area, surely shopkeepers, shoppers and businesses in Westhoughton must wonder how safe they are. Faulty CCTV cameras must be like a red rag to a bull to all prospective criminals. Although this incident may not have been caused by this. The Idiot criminal element we have in our society might take a chance and God forbid someone may be seriously injured or even lose their life. .There will be little or no tolerance with those responsible for the upkeep of these cameras should a serious incident occur.
Deja vu! This fiasco with CCTV cameras has happened before in Westhoughton Last time it was an armed robbery. It is only a relatively small area, surely shopkeepers, shoppers and businesses in Westhoughton must wonder how safe they are. Faulty CCTV cameras must be like a red rag to a bull to all prospective criminals. Although this incident may not have been caused by this. The Idiot criminal element we have in our society might take a chance and God forbid someone may be seriously injured or even lose their life. .There will be little or no tolerance with those responsible for the upkeep of these cameras should a serious incident occur. danssoncabaret

2:01pm Sat 25 Jan 14

boltonnut says...

Welcome to the wild wild West-houghton.
Welcome to the wild wild West-houghton. boltonnut

3:43pm Sat 25 Jan 14

DavidSmeth says...

Councsellor peacock should be ashamed of himself. The town council is a joke and someone needs to take responsibility for this shambles. It's like asking the police to fight crime with one hand tied behind their back. If we are paying a precept then let's see some benefit for it.
Councsellor peacock should be ashamed of himself. The town council is a joke and someone needs to take responsibility for this shambles. It's like asking the police to fight crime with one hand tied behind their back. If we are paying a precept then let's see some benefit for it. DavidSmeth

5:25pm Sat 25 Jan 14

owencoyle99 says...

Total incompetence by the town council
I am sure it was not very windy every day.

What a load of clowns
Total incompetence by the town council I am sure it was not very windy every day. What a load of clowns owencoyle99

6:28pm Sat 25 Jan 14

Rt Hon Gentleman says...

I entirely agree with the comments of David Smeth and owencoyle99 above: This is a serious issue.

Residents of Westhoughton pay a precept (additional payment) on top of their Council Tax, the precept totalling £129,000 last financial year.

According to point 11 in the Westhoughton Town Council report for 2012/2013 “The Westhoughton Town Council CCTV scheme in the town centre has helped to reduce crime and the fear of crime”.

As reported in the Bolton News on 25th January this year, the town council’s CCTV budget had been fixed at £18,000, so it wasn’t like the pot was empty.

I’m in the ‘nothing to hide, nothing to fear’ category when it comes to CCTV, which, other than the advancement of DNA, must have helped the police to identify offenders more than anything else.

So, God forbid, those visiting the busiest business area of the town were mugged, assaulted or knocked down, you’d like to think the very least the town council could do was make sure (using only 5% of their budget) that the cameras were working.

As reported in today’s Bolton News article, the town council had approved funding for repairs on the 9th December and cited “strong winds” and “the delay of Christmas and New Year”.

I don’t recall there being strong winds every day between the 9th of December and January the 2nd....so why the delay in getting the repairs done?

In addition, does Westhoughton town council completely shut down for 10 days over Christmas and New Year?

Cllr Peacock’s remarks were either misinformed or misleading....either way, if the Mayor can’t give an accurate overview of the situation, what confidence can residents have in the other councillors?

Although not being a political animal, I have to agree with Cllr Andy Morgan’s argument whether local councils are financially worthwhile after this fiasco.

An admission that this is simply unacceptable would be a start. Come on councillors, the residents expect answers, not lame excuses.
I entirely agree with the comments of David Smeth and owencoyle99 above: This is a serious issue. Residents of Westhoughton pay a precept (additional payment) on top of their Council Tax, the precept totalling £129,000 last financial year. According to point 11 in the Westhoughton Town Council report for 2012/2013 “The Westhoughton Town Council CCTV scheme in the town centre has helped to reduce crime and the fear of crime”. As reported in the Bolton News on 25th January this year, the town council’s CCTV budget had been fixed at £18,000, so it wasn’t like the pot was empty. I’m in the ‘nothing to hide, nothing to fear’ category when it comes to CCTV, which, other than the advancement of DNA, must have helped the police to identify offenders more than anything else. So, God forbid, those visiting the busiest business area of the town were mugged, assaulted or knocked down, you’d like to think the very least the town council could do was make sure (using only 5% of their budget) that the cameras were working. As reported in today’s Bolton News article, the town council had approved funding for repairs on the 9th December and cited “strong winds” and “the delay of Christmas and New Year”. I don’t recall there being strong winds every day between the 9th of December and January the 2nd....so why the delay in getting the repairs done? In addition, does Westhoughton town council completely shut down for 10 days over Christmas and New Year? Cllr Peacock’s remarks were either misinformed or misleading....either way, if the Mayor can’t give an accurate overview of the situation, what confidence can residents have in the other councillors? Although not being a political animal, I have to agree with Cllr Andy Morgan’s argument whether local councils are financially worthwhile after this fiasco. An admission that this is simply unacceptable would be a start. Come on councillors, the residents expect answers, not lame excuses. Rt Hon Gentleman

11:42pm Sat 25 Jan 14

Valiant One says...

Daft to blame the Town Council without them you wouldnt even have CCTV in Westhoughton.
Daft to blame the Town Council without them you wouldnt even have CCTV in Westhoughton. Valiant One

11:46pm Sat 25 Jan 14

Valiant One says...

Rt Hon Gentleman wrote:
I entirely agree with the comments of David Smeth and owencoyle99 above: This is a serious issue.

Residents of Westhoughton pay a precept (additional payment) on top of their Council Tax, the precept totalling £129,000 last financial year.

According to point 11 in the Westhoughton Town Council report for 2012/2013 “The Westhoughton Town Council CCTV scheme in the town centre has helped to reduce crime and the fear of crime”.

As reported in the Bolton News on 25th January this year, the town council’s CCTV budget had been fixed at £18,000, so it wasn’t like the pot was empty.

I’m in the ‘nothing to hide, nothing to fear’ category when it comes to CCTV, which, other than the advancement of DNA, must have helped the police to identify offenders more than anything else.

So, God forbid, those visiting the busiest business area of the town were mugged, assaulted or knocked down, you’d like to think the very least the town council could do was make sure (using only 5% of their budget) that the cameras were working.

As reported in today’s Bolton News article, the town council had approved funding for repairs on the 9th December and cited “strong winds” and “the delay of Christmas and New Year”.

I don’t recall there being strong winds every day between the 9th of December and January the 2nd....so why the delay in getting the repairs done?

In addition, does Westhoughton town council completely shut down for 10 days over Christmas and New Year?

Cllr Peacock’s remarks were either misinformed or misleading....either way, if the Mayor can’t give an accurate overview of the situation, what confidence can residents have in the other councillors?

Although not being a political animal, I have to agree with Cllr Andy Morgan’s argument whether local councils are financially worthwhile after this fiasco.

An admission that this is simply unacceptable would be a start. Come on councillors, the residents expect answers, not lame excuses.
The town council doesn't close down but the contractors probably do
[quote][p][bold]Rt Hon Gentleman[/bold] wrote: I entirely agree with the comments of David Smeth and owencoyle99 above: This is a serious issue. Residents of Westhoughton pay a precept (additional payment) on top of their Council Tax, the precept totalling £129,000 last financial year. According to point 11 in the Westhoughton Town Council report for 2012/2013 “The Westhoughton Town Council CCTV scheme in the town centre has helped to reduce crime and the fear of crime”. As reported in the Bolton News on 25th January this year, the town council’s CCTV budget had been fixed at £18,000, so it wasn’t like the pot was empty. I’m in the ‘nothing to hide, nothing to fear’ category when it comes to CCTV, which, other than the advancement of DNA, must have helped the police to identify offenders more than anything else. So, God forbid, those visiting the busiest business area of the town were mugged, assaulted or knocked down, you’d like to think the very least the town council could do was make sure (using only 5% of their budget) that the cameras were working. As reported in today’s Bolton News article, the town council had approved funding for repairs on the 9th December and cited “strong winds” and “the delay of Christmas and New Year”. I don’t recall there being strong winds every day between the 9th of December and January the 2nd....so why the delay in getting the repairs done? In addition, does Westhoughton town council completely shut down for 10 days over Christmas and New Year? Cllr Peacock’s remarks were either misinformed or misleading....either way, if the Mayor can’t give an accurate overview of the situation, what confidence can residents have in the other councillors? Although not being a political animal, I have to agree with Cllr Andy Morgan’s argument whether local councils are financially worthwhile after this fiasco. An admission that this is simply unacceptable would be a start. Come on councillors, the residents expect answers, not lame excuses.[/p][/quote]The town council doesn't close down but the contractors probably do Valiant One

3:21am Sun 26 Jan 14

Rt Hon Gentleman says...

'Valiant one' - have you heard yourself?
1st comment - illogical argument.
2nd comment -where were the contractors between 9th of December and the 6th of January?
'Valiant one' - have you heard yourself? 1st comment - illogical argument. 2nd comment -where were the contractors between 9th of December and the 6th of January? Rt Hon Gentleman

7:34am Sun 26 Jan 14

Valiant One says...

Rt Hon Gentleman wrote:
'Valiant one' - have you heard yourself?
1st comment - illogical argument.
2nd comment -where were the contractors between 9th of December and the 6th of January?
Read the article. Dont you remember the high winds? Though why these words are in inverted commas beats me. Haven't you ever had to wait for something to be fixed til after Christmas ? Lucky you !
[quote][p][bold]Rt Hon Gentleman[/bold] wrote: 'Valiant one' - have you heard yourself? 1st comment - illogical argument. 2nd comment -where were the contractors between 9th of December and the 6th of January?[/p][/quote]Read the article. Dont you remember the high winds? Though why these words are in inverted commas beats me. Haven't you ever had to wait for something to be fixed til after Christmas ? Lucky you ! Valiant One

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