Croydon’s out of date CCTV is set to be upgraded – but is isn’t the ‘silver bullet’ in solving serious youth crime.

A meeting this week heard that CCTV currently being used in the borough was installed more than 25 years ago in the nineties.

And now £2m is being invested in giving it a much needed upgrade.

At a meeting of the council’s scrutiny and overview committee Councillor Robert Ward asked if anything can be done to improve coverage in Croydon.

He said: “I often find with residents they think if we get CCTV in it will solve the problem and in fact CCTV is actually very cheap and powerful but the actual blocker to me seems to be that we can’t put things into public spaces without a risk assessment.

“Is there anything we should be pushing for in terms of legislation change or can we push the boundaries in some way?”

But he added: “There’s a mismatch between what residents are expecting and what it does actually achieve.”

The council’s cabinet member for safer Croydon and communities said there is a balance between privacy and safety which needs to be managed.

Councillor Hamida Ali also acknowledged that the effects of CCTV isn’t the whole answer to stopping violence on the streets of Croydon.

She said: “In the wake of Aren Mali’s murder on October 29, 2017 the Croydon BME forum held a public meeting a handful of days after that murder and I remember getting challenged very vociferously, understandably, about CCTV.

“I think what’s interesting in the context of serious youth violence is the role that CCTV has come to play.

“Often young people aren’t necessarily going to come forward and give evidence if they may know who has done this which puts so much reliance on CCTV.”

She added that making sure there is a good relationship between police and young people is ‘so important’ to make sure there are credible witnesses in these cases

“So that bringing these perpetrators to justice isn’t reliant on whether there is a camera in the near vicinity,” she added.

Kenley 17-year-old Aren, a promising footballer, died after he suffered a fatal stab wound to his neck on North End.

In March last year the jury sitting in Aren Mali’s murder trial have been unable to reach a verdict of guilty or not guilty for the teen accused of murdering him.

Following his death Croydon Central MP Sarah Jones called for there to be more CCTV in the

Anthony Lewis, head of community safety at Croydon Council, said: “We have a £2m infrastructure programme to refresh and update all of our CCTV infrastructure.

“Like many other councils ours is of the nineties vintage it’s about 25 years old if not older.

“It will massively improve our coverage and our capabilities.

“CCTV is good for certain things but actually preventing violent crime isn’t one of them.

“It is very useful for helping police solve a crime after it happens but it won’t actually prevent serious youth violence.

“That is quite a consistent message we are constantly having to push back not just to residents but ward councillors – It isn’t the silver bullet as some people think it is.”