Proposals to cut 24/7 CCTV footage monitoring have been labelled as “appalling” by Lewisham councillors.

It is one of three proposed cuts to Lewisham Council’s crime, enforcement and regulation directorate, and is expected to save the council £161k in 2020/2021.

This comes as the council looks to cut £30m from its budget over the next two years, following reductions in Government funding.

Other cuts to the directorate include a £215k cut to staffing for the service team which work in licensing and trading, anti-social behaviour and nuisance service in 2019/2020, and a £40k reduction in funding of money allocated to medium-term crime projects.

Speaking to a safer stronger communities select committee, Cllr Joan Millbank said the proposals to cut CCTV were “appalling.”

“The focus on CCTV will be a big issue on the estates, [in monitoring] domestic abuse, Prevent (counter-terror strategy), gender-based violence – hard stuff. It is just appalling,” she said.

Cllr Sakina Sheik said she found the cuts “quite worrying.”

“With the CCTV camera – in losing this we could be losing an essential tool in providing crime prevention,” she said.

Lewisham Council head of public protection and safety, Geeta Subramaniam-Mooney, said the proposal would not see CCTV turned off but viewed proactively for 12 hours, and recorded for 12 hours.

She said council officers had a year to establish what the options might look like.

CCTV footage was important for perceptions of safety, Ms Subramaniam-Mooney said, but work was yet to be done to fully understand the impact of the cut.

Cuts to the nuisance service may see residents waiting longer to have their complaints dealt with, she said, but the council would still fulfil its statutory duties.

Cllr James Rathbone said the committee would need more information about the impact of the cuts in order to comment.

The proposals will be considered by the Mayor and cabinet on November 21.