CCTV coverage in Colchester is being hampered by vandals damaging cameras around parks and play areas.

A review of CCTV outside of the town centre is taking place to find out which ones still work, how they are monitored and how much it would cost to improve the network.

But there are fears any investment could go to waste if vandals continue to damage cameras.

Cameras in New Braiswick Park were damaged and recording equipment stolen within weeks of it being installed.

Cameras in the Boadicea Way skate park have also been smashed by vandals.

Coverage inside the town centre is much more advanced with constant monitoring across more than 100 cameras but outside is far more varied.

The problem was highlighted following the murder of Nahid Al-Manea metres from two CCTV cameras which had been broken for years.

A spokesman for Colchester Council, which only has direct responsibility for the town centre network, said maintenance around the borough is ad-hoc.

She said: “We are currently having issues with our CCTV being vandalised so repair costs are rather high at the moment.

“We’ve undertaken repairs on re-positioning cameras, replacing cameras, re-securing electric boxes containing the CCTV equipment and replacing actual CCTV equipment which has been vandalised.”

Neighbourhood Watch co-ordinator has welcomed the review and called for a Colchester standard for CCTV image quality in public spaces and on licensed premises.

He said: “The review is a positive step. Playgrounds are part of the review after I highlighted them.

“We should be looking at everything and what can be monitored in real time.

“I have asked whether it is possible to have a specific standard including in licensed premises.”

The licensing team in Colchester is now looking at this and Mr Goss praised Colchester Council for the plans to allow zone wardens to access footage, rather than just park managers, when there are problems to allow images to be given to police quicker.