BROMSGROVE District Council has refuted claims that the CCTV cameras in a Rubery subway are not being maintained.
Coun Peter McDonald claims the lenses on surveillance cameras in the underpass between Callowbrook Lane and New Road were dirty. That, he said, was putting people at risk and not picking up incidents of vandalism, such as when mirrors were ripped off the wall.
He added CCTV was originally installed some years ago after two knife attacks to reassure residents the subway was safe to use.
“If the cameras were cleaned regular as they should have been then the culprits would have been caught on film,” Coun McDonald said.
“There is evidence Bromsgrove District Council was aware one of the lenses was smeared but couldn’t even be bothered to have it simply cleaned.
“It is inexcusable for the council to not maintain the cameras – it shows a complete disregard for residents’ safety and total contempt for their wellbeing.”
Coun McDonald said he had called upon the chief executive to take action to make sure the cameras were kept in working order.
He added: “The council is deceiving people into believing they are under the watchful eye and safety of the cameras when they clearly are not.
“The council’s incompetence and neglect ensuring the cameras are in working order is unforgivable.”
But a council spokeswoman said there were six cameras across the two subways in the area and they could confirm they were all in full working order.
And to ensure they were, she added the cameras were checked daily by their CCTV team and they also had a comprehensive maintenance contract in place.
She added: “Environmental factors sometimes mean cameras do get dirty but immediate action is taken to rectify this.
“One of the cameras has recently been reported as dirty and this problem is being sorted.
“However, the images from this camera are still plainly visible.”
She said the control centre had reviewed each and every camera in the area which looked upon the mirrors.
But, unfortunately due to the angle in which the cameras were fixed to the wall they could not view the whole length of the subway and so were unable to determine exactly when the damage was done.
She said the officers had reviewed 75 hours of footage from March 1 but no one could be clearly seen smashing the mirrors during this time.
The spokeswoman added: “We would be happy to invite Coun McDonald to the monitoring centre to gain a better understanding of the way our complicated CCTV system works.”