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189 CCTV cameras watching Plymouth streets

More than £1.8m has been spent on CCTV cameras in Plymouth over the last four years.

According to figures obtained by Big Brother Watch, the local authority's put up 189 cameras across the city.

The public watchdog says the cameras aren't always monitored and sometimes the images aren't clear enough to identify criminals so they're not the most cost-effective way of fighting crime.

The organisation wants local authorities to publish details like when the cameras have been used to get a conviction.

Emma Carr from Big Brother Watch says the money would be better spent on police officers and PCSOs to target crime before it happens, instead of afterwards.

The city council says the £1.8m includes administrative, salary and staff pension costs over several years, along with money spent on regenerating Devonport.

They add that as well as monitoring congestion, the cameras create extra security, especially after dark and are useful as evidence in court.

The team of CCTV operators has also been praised by Devon and Cornwall police for their work on community safety.