Progress being made on CCTV upgrade bid

Damage to Northumbrian Cottages on Bondgate Within, Alnwick.
Damage to Northumbrian Cottages on Bondgate Within, Alnwick.

A number of steps have been taken as the council looks to upgrade the CCTV system in the centre of Alnwick.

The issue was back on the agenda at last Thursday’s meeting of Alnwick Town Council due to the previous week’s overnight wrecking spree in which the windows of four premises on Bondgate Within were smashed.

However, the town council had already agreed to allocate £15,000 for the renewal of the CCTV system after the county council indicated that it wanted to hand responsibility over to the town councils in all of the market towns.

Clerk Bill Batey updated members on the progress that has been made so far which has seen them start to put some detail onto what the replacement system should be.

Work carried out has included meeting the police to discuss possible locations based on anti-social behaviour hotspots, conversations with other town councils who are looking into replacing their cameras and also talking to the county council about its proposals.

The local authority is going to invest in a number of redeployable cameras which will initially be used during the Tall Ships event in Blyth before being spread out to the towns.

A decision will need to be made on whether the town council also opts for redeployable cameras – which are more versatile but more expensive – or fixed cameras.

Specifications – which have been discussed with the police, other councils and The Alnwick Garden, which is in the process of getting a new system – will then need to be drawn up to go out for tender.

Coun Peter Broom suggested talking to traders to see if they want to contribute, but Coun Gordon Castle said it was important not to confuse the town-council system with cameras run by individuals.

Mayor of Alnwick, Alan Symmonds, said: “This is our one-off shot to have the cameras that best serve our community. It’s very important that we find the very best that will best fit our needs.”