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TOWN CENTRE’S NEW CCTV SYSTEM GOES LIVE

Written by on 22 September 2020

An enhanced CCTV system covering Newcastle town centre has gone live.

State-of-the-art equipment, additional surveillance cameras, better quality images, wider coverage and more live monitoring at strategic times – with the potential for further expansion in other areas in the future – are key features of the new and upgraded network.

The Council has worked with Newcastle-under-Lyme Business Improvement District (BID) to review and improve its existing provision which had become outdated.

New cameras, harnessing the latest technology, replace old static equipment throughout the town centre with dozens of extra ones installed in new locations including every level of the Midway multi-storey car park. Many of the cameras are able to rotate and their wireless capabilities mean that they can be moved around according to requirements for the first time.

The cameras continue to operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year but there is increased 24-hour live monitoring from a control room at key times during the week.

The specialised service, provided from a central location via an established operation, has a direct link to Safenet and police radio networks.

Capital funding has been provided by the Council and Newcastle-under-Lyme BID with an additional sum coming from a Section 106 planning agreement.

Cllr. Helena Maxfield, Cabinet member for community safety and well-being, said: “I’m delighted that we’ve been able to significantly upgrade our CCTV system, especially at a time when people are starting to return to Newcastle town centre following the Coronavirus pandemic.

“CCTV is a proven tool in preventing and detecting crime as well as reducing fear of crime. It gives residents, shoppers and visitors the reassurance that they are safe, provides businesses with added security and sends a clear message that those involved in crime or anti-social behaviour will be caught and prosecuted. It also attracts investment.

“Councils don’t have a statutory duty to provide CCTV but one of our priorities has been to future proof our system. Our previous one has worked well for the past 20 years but it’s great that we’ve been able to link into a more effective and modern operation that delivers so many benefits including even quicker responses to crime, superior images, more live monitoring – which will cover the Midway for the first time – and the potential to expand coverage in the future if funding permits.

“I would like to thank the BID for their involvement and financial contribution. This is a fantastic example of partnership working.”

Eddie Leligdowicz, chair of Newcastle-under-Lyme BID, said: “From the outset we’ve solicited feedback from levy payers about what’s important to them. Crime prevention and anti-social behaviour have always been reoccurring themes which is why they’re encompassed in one of our current objectives.

“The opportunity to upgrade CCTV in Newcastle town centre addresses these concerns comprehensively. We have welcomed working in partnership with the Council on this project, from commissioning to installation, and are very pleased with the coverage provided and the quality of the cameras used. We also helped to influence and identify initial locations for the equipment.

“The addition of such a high quality system will go a long way in supporting our ambition to retain the highly acclaimed Purple Flag status. It’s already proved invaluable in recording issues in the town centre and has identified perpetrators involved in anti-social behaviour.

“The feedback has been extremely encouraging – everyone has welcomed the new and enhanced system. It also provides an opportunity for further expansion which means the future needs of the town can be addressed.”