Alnwick’s new CCTV system is now watching over the town following investment by the town council.
Images from cameras are already being beamed back to Alnwick Police Station and recorded 24/7 to maximise public safety and to provide evidence as required.
Mayor of Alnwick, Alan Symmonds, said: “Northumberland County Council provided a CCTV system in Alnwick for many years, but formally withdrew from this in 2016.
“Recognising the importance of CCTV to supporting Alnwick’s businesses and maintaining the safety of residents and visitors, Alnwick Town Council has stepped in to fund a greatly-expanded CCTV system which uses the latest high-definition cameras to record images of prosecution evidence quality.”
“Having been guided by the police, we have added in a number of new locations and the number of CCTV cameras has been increased from five to 21.
“The town council has also consulted Alnwick Pubwatch and Alnwick Chamber of Trade.”
Following a competitive quotes exercise, the new system has been provided by AGS Safety and Security whose pedigree includes the recent installation of similar systems at a number of key locations such as the Metrocentre in Gateshead, Eldon Square in Newcastle, Durham Frankland prison and a large number of railway stations on the East Coast Mainline.
Alnwick Town Council will work closely with the police and with AGS Safety and Security on an ongoing basis to ensure maximum effectiveness of the new CCTV system.
Alnwick Neighbourhood Sgt Sharon Wilmore-Greaves said: “Northumbria Police and I have worked in partnership with Alnwick Town Council from the outset of this project to replace, upgrade and enhance the CCTV capability and capacity. The extended CCTV facility in Alnwick will provide reassurance for the local businesses, community and tourists all year round.
“Police will have immediate access to the material at Alnwick police station, so footage can be downloaded for evidential and prosecution purposes. I am delighted with this new facility which will go a long way to restore confidence in the public and assist in the prevention and detection of crime and disorder.”
In January 2016, the town council agreed to allocate £15,000 for the renewal of the CCTV system after the county council indicated that it wanted to hand over responsibility to local councils in all of the market towns.
The previous system was installed by Alnwick District Council in 2004 and was outdated, consisting of just five standard-definition cameras, some of which didn’t work. The issue was thrown into sharp focus last June after an overnight wrecking spree in which the windows of four premises on Bondgate Within were smashed.
The cameras in the bus station, installed by Arriva to help tackle disorder, will hopefully be linked up to the same system.