Tuesday, March 07, 2006
The CCTV project in Acocks Green has been a resounding success.
The scheme was launched using funding from the Labour government and saw crime fall by 60% in the first year and by a third in the year after. It has been so successful that other parts of the City are looking to us as an example of how well it can work.
Each high resolution camera is linked by a digital telephone line to a local monitoring centre where the images are recorded 24 hours a day on to a bank of computer hard drives and monitored by a trained security officer. The quality is excellent and the police make regular visits to follow up on reports of crimes and anti-social behaviour in the area covered by the cameras. It has allowed them to gain evidence to identify people in some very serious crimes. The amazing thing is that each camera costs less than £4000 a year to operate, significantly less than other schemes elsewhere in the city.
This sort of security is key to bringing new businesses into the centre of Acocks Green - it is part of the basic infrastructure to support a safe and thriving shopping centre that attracts customers from across the district.
I've spoken to many people in the area who want to see the scheme expanded to cover other areas in the ward that have problems with anti-social behaviour and that's something that I'm backing as a key part of my campaign.