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Last Updated: Monday, 1 August 2005, 20:48 GMT 21:48 UK
Cameras cutting school vandalism
Vandalism around schools has been cut after security measures were stepped up, according to a survey of head teachers.

Northumberland County Council said about 190,000 has been spent on CCTV systems around schools to protect them during the evenings and in holidays.

The survey found it had saved school budgets tens of thousands of pounds.

Footage captured by the cameras is passed on to police to use for detection and prosecutions.

At Bedlingtonshire High School the cameras cut incidents by a third. In the year up to installation, there were 92 incidents recorded but 33 in the following 12 months.

Radical effect

Head teacher Ian Towson said: "Since installation in September 2002 there have been far fewer incidents. This is a remarkable achievement.

"Police have also used CCTV footage in crime detection while staff and students feel much safer around the site."

Council executive member for health and wellbeing councillor Tony Reid said: "The cost of criminal damage and broken windows hikes up insurance premiums and eats at precious budget resources which should be spent on books and computers.

"CCTV cameras have had a radical effect in keeping hooligans away from schools and we are committed to providing cover where it is needed."

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