CCTV cameras are to be dramatically improved across Hambleton in the biggest shake-up of the district’s security cameras for nearly two decades.
Hambleton District Council, which along with Ryedale, Leeds, Kirklees and Hull, claims CCTV has played a part in more than 15,000 arrests over the past three years, has agreed the £99,000 funding to upgrade the control room equipment used by the security cameras which monitor the market towns of Northallerton, Thirsk, Bedale and Stokesley.
The overhaul will include moving from an out-of-date analogue system up to a new digital standard, and improving the quality of the recordings used by the police to gather evidence.
Coun Neville Huxtable, the leader of Hambleton District Council, said: “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.
“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.”
The council’s 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 which is still being used today.
There are currently 25 cameras in Northallerton, 11 in Thirsk, three in Bedale and five in Stokesley, alongside a district-wide system of mobile units which can be deployed to hotspots for short term surveillance.
Police have recently warned that the number of cameras being operated by local authorities could be cut as a result of the spending squeeze and Government plans to tighten regulation.
Craven District Council turned off its seven cameras in Skipton in 2009 because of the costs.