July 24 2014 Latest news:
By DOMINIC BAREHAM
Monday, May 7, 2012
Two Norfolk towns are set to get nine new CCTV cameras in a joint initiative to reduce crime and anti-social behaviour and protect town centre businesses.
The system could be set up in Diss and Wymondham, which will each receive nine cameras, by the autumn so long as funding can be secured from the South Norfolk Community Safety Partnership.
In April, businesses in Diss agreed to the establishment of a Community Interest Company (CIC) to run the cameras, manned by volunteers.
Mike Pursehouse, deputy locality and communities manager at South Norfolk Council, said the cost of the cameras for the two towns would be between £65,000 and £70,000 and money would have to be found for operational costs.
However, he said money could be available through the partnership grant, while businesses wishing to be covered by the cameras would be asked to pay £10 per month towards the system’s running costs. He added further cash could be coming from Diss Town Council, which was providing £5,000.
Volunteers responsible for manning the system will be based in their home towns, though Mr Pursehouse said they would have the option of switching towns if they wished.
He expected said much of the data from the cameras would be recorded, but volunteers may be needed to cover for busier nights, especially at weekends.
The aim of the cameras would be to reduce crime by deterring criminals, reducing the fear of crime to shop staff and members of the public in the town centre, creating a secure trading environment, increasing police detection rates by identifying offenders and giving visitors and residents increased confidence about visiting the town centre, which would raise the numbers coming in.
A Norfolk police report suggests installing CCTV could reduce crimes from 351 to 261 per year and save police £56,254.
Mr Pursehouse said he was confident the scheme would be a success, adding: “If businesses refused to take part then the system potentially could collapse, but once it is up-and-running and businesses see the benefit of it then it is very rare for it to fail.”