CONCERNED councillors have quizzed police on the quality of CCTV cameras after spending thousands since it was revealed footage was too poor to be used in court.

Harwich Town Council called on Chief Inspector Russ Cole, Tendring's district commander, for evidence the town's cameras are having an impact on crime.

Councillor Ivan Henderson said the police asked for £5,500 a year for the CCTV cameras because their footage was not good enough quality to be used as evidence in court.

He said the council wanted to know what the thousands of pounds spent on CCTV cameras in the area is going towards.

"Originally police needed additional money to upgrade the existing CCTV footage so the imagery which was captured could be used as evidence in court," he said.

“Since we have been paying extra money we have not had any feedback, so we wanted to know whether the extra funding has been used to effect.”

Speaking at Wednesday's meeting, Mr Cole said the CCTV cameras around Harwich and Dovercourt were worth their weight in gold.

He said: “I think what is really important to understand is that you can measure and quantify the amount of crimes that CCTV camera are involved with."

"CCTV is now considered in every crime investigation and each time there is a crime in Harwich, the footage can be used as valuable information and evidence.

Mr Cole also assured councillors that the extra funding on CCTV within the area helped the police track criminals in a recent spate of burglaries.

He added: “I want the public to know we are getting a good bang for your buck.”

The annual funding is used towards maintenance, repairs, and bandwidth which allows the live camera footage to be beamed from Harwich to the control room in Clacton.

The police are now looking into providing councillors with feedback on CCTV camera footage on a three-monthly basis.