A new, improved and future-proofed CCTV system is beginning to go live in Telford and Wrekin.
It includes upgraded HD and 4k cameras that are fed into a new control room in Oakengates which constantly records them all and where there will also be live monitoring at key times, including during events.
The control room, which will be staffed by volunteers recruited and trained by West Mercia Police is currently receiving feeds from Oakengates, Wellington and parts of Telford town centre, including Telford Ice Rink. There are 140 fixed cameras in place capturing high quality video and sound with more to be installed across the rest of the borough. When completed by the end of March 2021, there will be more than 400 fixed cameras connected.
The technology will allow for many more to be added in the future, including mobile cameras wherever and whenever needed. This would include rapid deployment to crime and anti-social behaviour hotspots. Footage will be immediately accessible by police and council officers and can be used as evidence.
Telford & Wrekin Council is investing £200,000 into the scheme and the West Mercia Police and Crime Commissioner is investing £245,000.
Following demonstrations of the new system, Richard Overton, Telford & Wrekin Council’s Cabinet Member for Enforcement, said: "This is a fantastic facility. This control room has the investment but also the quality of the images that the police can use to deter crime and also stop anti social behaviour.
"This is a magnificent success for our borough. We always pride ourselves on being on the side of our residents and this will help support that approach by reducing criminal activity and adding to community safety; making people feel safe in our borough towns and the town centre.”
West Mercia Police and Crime Commissioner John Campion, said: "I am proud to be working in partnership with Telford & Wrekin Council to deliver this innovative system. As Commissioner, keeping communities safe is at the heart of my Safer West Mercia Plan which is why I support projects like this.
"Those living and working in Telford should feel reassured that this new technology will aid the police and council in making sure people feel safe, as well as helping to bring criminals to justice.”
Superintendent Jim Baker of West Mercia Police said: "This new facility is a significant upgrade on our previous capability. The quality of images captured by these cameras and received at the control room takes us to the next level.
"We look forward to recruiting and training a number of volunteers from within the community to work in the control room and help keep the borough even safer.”