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Thursday, December 04, 2014

CCTV keeps West Lancashire safe in the run up to Christmas

West Lancashire Borough Council and partners are working to ensure shoppers and visitors coming to Ormskirk are safe in the run up to Christmas.

The Council’s CCTV system watches over the borough and provides reassurance to the community as well as a valuable crime-fighting tool for the police.

The cameras are monitored 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, and operators are providing valuable assistance in preventing and solving crime. In 2013/14 the CCTV Unit recorded 384 incidents in their log.

While many of these involved people being arrested, a number of them also resulted in the police or PCSOs being able to intervene at an early stage to prevent trouble from escalating into something more serious.

Operators keep in close contact with local businesses and the police through the Shopwatch radio scheme, meaning officers can be alerted and respond to any incident as quickly as possible.

For more information on CCTV in West Lancashire please visit CCTV.

Councillor David Sudworth, portfolio holder for Community Safety, said: “Crime is low in West Lancashire and we want to keep it that way. With Christmas around the corner we want people to feel safe when they are shopping or enjoying an evening out. Community safety is extremely important and CCTV is one of the major tools we use to fight crime and reassure residents and visitors.”

Dave Tilleray, West Lancashire Community Safety Partnership chairman, said: “We want everyone to enjoy themselves this Christmas but we would also encourage people to help themselves by behaving in a responsible manner and looking after their own personal items.”

West Lancashire police Inspector June Chessell said: “The CCTV system is a powerful tool that will assist in not only preventing crime but enable my staff to identify the small minority who are intent on committing crime or anti-social behaviour. We will be working closely with our partners over the festive period to ensure a Happy Christmas is had by all and that people feel safe.”

There are currently 84 public open space cameras across the borough, including Ormskirk town centre and various key locations. The Council is looking to install more new CCTV cameras in the coming years. Providing CCTV coverage is just part of the work the Council does to make the borough a safer place.

The Council is an active member of the West Lancashire Community Safety Partnership (WLCSP) along with the police and the fire service. We took a leading role in the WLCSP’s Bright Sparx campaign which aimed to prevent problems on Mischief Night, Halloween and Bonfire Night.

Activities included community clean-up events which removed 156 tons of waste that could otherwise have been set on fire or used as missiles. The Council also arranged for community centres to be open on Mischief Night and supported the WLCSP’s Go4it events at Evermoor Hub in the run up to Bonfire Night. These initiatives provided activities for a total of more than 600 young people to enjoy.

Another major initiative the council is involved in through the WLCSP is the annual Freshers’ Week programme, which welcomes new Edge Hill University students to Ormskirk while addressing residents’ concerns about anti-social behaviour.

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