A UNION is urging Police Scotland to intervene to help restore 24-hour CCTV monitoring across Glasgow.

In early 2023, councillors approved the decision to reduce the number of staff monitoring cameras from 18 to nine and have cameras not fully monitored 24 hours a day, with the cuts to CCTV monitoring being phased in from September last year. 

Now Chief Constable Jo Farrell is visiting the monitoring unit on Friday days after the Glasgow Times reported that city centre residents fear the decision is "leaving a large gap in authorities' ability to monitor and take action on crime". 

READ NEXT: City centre residents raise concerns over decision to reduce hours CCTV monitored

Her visit also comes as police finalise security for the title-deciding Celtic v Rangers match at Parkhead on Saturday when cameras will be used to monitor fans. 

GMB Scotland has warned the decision by Glasgow City Council to halve the number of staff on the CCTV team to save £350,000 a year is "a false economy and increasing risk on city streets". 

John Slaven, GMB organiser in the council, has now written to the chief constable asking for an urgent meeting and urging her to lobby the council to restore 24-hour monitoring. 

He said: "Communication between CCTV operatives and the police ensures the earliest possible intervention at flashpoints, prevents crime and halts anti-social behaviour.

"CCTV is not a silver bullet but is one of the most important tools for stretched police officers working to keep our streets safe.

"Reinstating monitoring around the clock will instantly make streets safer and offer reassurance to the people of Glasgow shaken by these cutbacks."

Glasgow Times: John SlavenJohn Slaven (Image: GMB)

The CCTV cameras still record 24 hours a day, with the council saying the cameras are left positioned on "priority locations" during the hours they are not monitored. 

However, the union says this "means nothing" if events require an immediate response and no one is able to report or guide emergency crews arriving at the scene. 

Keir Greenaway, GMB Scotland senior organiser in public services, said: "The potential implications are obvious and alarming and the concern now being raised demands action.

"The ability of trained staff to expertly monitor and immediately respond to events unfolding on CCTV is crucial for the emergency services.

"Now, to save money, that life-saving ability to respond urgently with real-time information on the unfolding situation has been lost for half the day.

"Being safe on the streets of Scotland’s biggest city should not be a 50/50 lottery and the council should reverse these cuts and ensure the people of Glasgow are properly protected."

A spokesperson for Glasgow City Council said: "The public can be assured that Glasgow’s CCTV cameras continue to record 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year.

"Cameras are positioned on priority locations throughout the city to continue providing public reassurance and safety for citizens.

"We continue to work closely with partner agencies to ensure our resources are targeted at the busiest times."

A Police Scotland spokesperson said: "CCTV provision in Glasgow is a matter for the city council."

Referring to this weekend's match, Chief Superintendent Conrad Trickett added: "An appropriate policing plan is in place to maintain public safety and minimise any disruption to the community ahead of the fixture at Celtic Park on Saturday, May 11, 2024.

"We continue to work closely with a range of partners ahead of the match, including both clubs."