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110901 | This is Cornwall | CCTV reinforced in Cornish towns by new partnership

As seen in The Cornishman Thu, 1st September 2011

CCTV reinforced in Cornish towns by new partnership

Thursday, September 01, 2011

The Cornishman

The streets of most of West Cornwall's key towns will again be covered by fully operational CCTV from tonight.

Cameras in St Ives and Hayle as well as Camborne, Redruth and Helston will be monitored by contractors in contact with the police, thanks to an innovative partnership between the five towns.

And councillors in Penzance are due to vote on joining the scheme next week.

Cameras in all of the towns have been switched on but neither monitored nor controlled in recent months, after town councils failed to agree with new costing proposals from Cornwall Council.

Now trained operators from Remploy will monitor hotspots at key times, with the ability to direct the cameras, zoom in on incidents and call police quickly when trouble flares.

The partnership between town councils has been dubbed the West Cornwall CCTV Group.

And it has been welcomed by police who say it will be a boost to policing and safety.

Monitoring for all the towns is carried out from the CCTV hub next to Hayle police station.

Inspector Jean Phillips, in charge of policing for Hayle, St Ives and Penzance, said: "This is really good news because you get far better coverage, the cameras can be remotely moved around to cover a much greater area, they can alert us as a situation is developing so that we can get there before it escalates, or they can zoom in on an incident to give us much more information about it.

"This gives us far greater coverage than when the cameras are just recording on a fixed setting."

Cornwall Council originally managed the scheme to monitor CCTV. But the six West Cornwall towns rejected new proposals which they claimed represented a lesser service for a greater cost. The new partnership developed from meetings initiated by Hayle Town Council.

Town clerk Eleanor Giggal said: "Hayle has taken the initiative and brought the councils together.

"Now each town has put in a contribution that it feels comfortable with, which reflects how many CCTV cameras it has, with an additional contribution from Cornwall Council, whose officers have been really supportive.

"We are going to start with monitoring at key times on key days of the week. But if Penzance come into the scheme we could perhaps purchase even more monitoring hours."

West Cornwall CCTV Group's contract with Remploy will be reviewed after an initial six months.


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