A council is spending £680,000 to update its borough-wide CCTV system.
Calderdale Council says the cameras help combat crime and ensure public safety and over the last six years has led to around 1,500 arrests and has assisted the police in a further 12,000 incidents.
But the council is having to borrow £425,000 to cover the cost, with the remaining £255,000 met by council funds.
Clr Steve Sweeney, Cabinet Member for Communities, said: “The work of the facility often goes unrecognised, but knowing they are there is a reassuring presence. It acts as a deterrent; helps prevent crime, and can also help to gather evidence when a crime is committed.
“The figures speak for themselves; the amount of arrests and assists the CCTV team has helped gather evidence for is amazing.
“We need to make sure the network is updated, the investment needed now is a small price to pay to keep people safe and local businesses secure.”
The council’s CCTV Centre acts as a communications hub for a range of agencies working to reduce crime and anti-social behaviour, respond to emergency and critical incidents and even assist with event management.
But the CCTV infrastructure has been described as having “developed in a piecemeal manner over a number of years meaning parts of the system were now aging and increasingly liable to failure”.
Councillors heard about the issue in a private session of a recent meeting, but the minutes say: “There was now a window of opportunity to enter into a partnership through the Yorkshire and Humber public sector network to modernise the infrastructure with improved feature capabilities, enhance operational efficiency and increased potential for revenue generation.”
The work of the CCTV Centre has also been pivotal in retaining “Purple Flag” status for Halifax town centre – recognising the town as being a safe and welcoming place to go for a night out.
As a result, Cabinet members backed the spending and borrowing bid to invest to maintain, modernise and future proof the existing CCTV infrastructure.
They will join forces with Virgin Media Business, as the single supplier for Networks and Associated Services under the Yorkshire and Humber Public Sector Network Framework, to provide an integrated CCTV system in Calderdale.
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