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Monday, 29 April, 2002, 15:04 GMT 16:04 UK
CCTV for flashpoint riot areas
CCTV cameras
Minister is dismayed at continuing levels of violence
Dozens of security cameras are to be installed at sectarian interface areas in north Belfast.

The first 18 of a total of 45 cameras are due to be fitted at the Limestone Road, Crumlin Road, North Queen Street and the Whitewell areas before the summer.

The remainder will be installed as part of a rolling programme.

There has been widespread sectarian violence in north Belfast over recent months, including the use of gunfire, pipe bombs and petrol bombs.

Northern Ireland Security Minister Jane Kennedy said the cameras would reassure people who were subject to what she described as "an almost daily campaign of terror".

"I have been advised by the acting chief constable that the presence of these cameras will produce beneficial results and will have a positive impact on the levels of violence at the sectarian interfaces," the minister said on Monday.

Jane Kennedy
Jane Kennedy: "Reassure people"

"The Policing Board are supportive of the initiative and I will be asking the police to urgently work towards the quick installation of cameras in those areas which have been identified as priority.

"I am in no doubt that the cameras will not only offer reassurance to both communities, but will also provide the police with a valuable tool with which to combat the brutal and needless violence which we have witnessed in north Belfast in recent times."

She said the priority areas identified by the police for the installation of the initial 18 cameras were:

  • Limestone Road
  • North Queen Street/Duncairn Gardens
  • Crumlin Road
  • Whitewell Road/Gunnell Hill
  • Navara Place
  • Serpentine Road/Merston Gardens
  • Whitewell Road/Shore Road
  • Whitewell Road/Arthur Bridge

    The minister said she was dismayed at the continuing levels of violence.

    "It is essential that a lasting solution is found to the problems in the area," she said.

    In February, Mrs Kennedy said she was considering the introduction of CCTV in certain flashpoint areas after visiting officers operating new cameras at the Ardoyne sectarian interface.

    It followed the unprecedented step taken by police of issuing photographs of people suspected of involvement in street disturbances in north Belfast.

    The photographs were taken from police video taken during disorder in July and November 2001 and January 2002.

    The new camera is situated at the junction of Ardoyne Road and Alliance Avenue - the scene of some of the worst rioting in recent years.

    The twin, digital cameras are monitored from Antrim Road police station.

    BBC NI's Julian O'Neill:
    "It is hoped the scheme will be under way by the summer"
    See also:

    27 Feb 02 | Northern Ireland
    Police issue pictures of riot suspects
    11 Jan 02 | Northern Ireland
    Police injured during Belfast riots
    10 Jan 02 | Northern Ireland
    School talks follow riots
    10 Jan 02 | Northern Ireland
    Cars attacked at Catholic school
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