A MAJOR upgrade of CCTV cameras in market towns in Hambleton is underway after district councillors backed a revamp.
Members of Hambleton District Council have backed investment of £99,000 in the scheme which will see improvements in the control room which receives images from the market towns of Northallerton, Thirsk, Bedale and Stokesley.
The work will bring the out-of -date analogue system up to digital standard and improve the quality of the recordings used by the police.
Last night councillors said they hoped the investment, which comes at a time when some other local authorities grappling with budget cutbacks are having to consider cutbacks, would help improve public safety.
“This is great news for Hambleton residents – at a time when many councils across the country are pulling the plug on CCTV systems we are investing in it,” said the council’s portfolio holder for business and communities, Coun Tim Swales. “The safety of our residents is paramount.
“It is a valuable asset to our market towns, particularly in the markets and car parks.
“And through this investment we can bring it bang up to date and help the police be more effective,” he added.
There are 25 cameras in Northallerton, eleven in Thirsk, three in Bedale and five in Stokesley. There is also a system of mobile units which can be deployed to hotspots for short-term surveillance.
The CCTV control room was relocated to the Civic Centre in Northallerton from the police control room in 2002 – bringing with it the original 1995 control room equipment. Since that time the system has not been updated.
Earlier this month councillors in Scarborough were told closed circuit television cameras in the district had been effective in tackling crime, but they were warned a possible shake-up might be needed in future because of budget cutbacks.
A report warned services are also coming under increasing pressure in other parts of North Yorkshire. Efforts have been made to see if councils could work together to share services, but no agreement has been reached.
However, last year Harrogate Borough Council invested more than £100,000 improving its CCTV control room, which receives images from cameras across the district including Knaresborough, Ripon and Boroughbridge.