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Monday, December 09, 2013

CCTV keeps West Lancs safe in run up to Christmas

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

And criminals beware – we are watching you!

The Council’s CCTV system watches over Ormskirk and other parts of the borough. It provides reassurance to the community and 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 catching criminals.

Over the last few weeks there has been a number of successes, including reporting six people suspected of shoplifting to the police in one day.

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.

The CCTV operators regularly identify people who have been known for shoplifting in the past coming into Ormskirk and warn businesses and the police they are coming to ensure a coordinated response.

Councillor David Sudworth, portfolio holder for Community Safety, said: “Crime is low in West Lancashire and we want to keep it that way. CCTV does a valuable job in protecting the public and acting as a deterrent to would-be criminals. With Christmas coming up fast we want people to feel safe as they come into Ormskirk and other town and village centres, whether it’s for shopping or to enjoy 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 that criminals are being watched 24 hours a day - and they will be caught.”

West Lancashire geographic police Inspector Christina Shorrock said: “CCTV is a vital tool in both responding to incidents and using as evidence to bring people to justice.

“We will continue to work with other agencies over the festive period and beyond to keep the people of West Lancashire safe.”

There are currently 59 cameras across the district, including Ormskirk town centre and various key locations.

This year the Council have invested in the latest CCTV technology by replacing all of its existing cameras and developing a new monitoring CCTV facility to help make the borough’s streets even safer.

Further work is currently ongoing to install 27 more cameras to further improve CCTV coverage throughout the borough. Many of these will be in rural areas not previously covered and this will help increase community confidence in these parts of the borough.

Providing CCTV coverage is just part of the work the Council does to make the borough a safer place. With other members of the Community Safety Partnership the Council implemented the Bright Sparx Action Plan which aimed to reduce anti-social behaviour in the run up to Bonfire Night.

The plan was a great success as over the bonfire period in October and November 2013 there were 46 incidents of firework-related anti-social behaviour compared with 97 in the same period in 2012, a reduction of 52.6%. Fire Appliances were only mobilised to 11 bonfire incidents in Skelmersdale over the Bright Sparx period compared to a figure of 17 last year that was in itself a historically low figure.

As part of the action plan the Partnership organised fun activities at the Go4It events at Skelmersdale Fire Station which attracted more than 500 young people over three nights.


Related information
CCTV in West Lancashire
Community Safety Partnership
Community Safety

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