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Tuesday, June 1, 1999 Published at 07:34 GMT 08:34 UK

UK Politics

Camera scheme to crack crime

Security cameras are helping to fight crime

A £153m scheme to install security cameras in some of the most crime-ridden areas of England and Wales is being launched on Tuesday.

Under the first wave of the initiative, £50m will be available for local schemes.

The money will go to fund plans proposed by local authorities and police forces targeting town and city centres, residential areas, car parks and other areas badly affected by crime.

The scheme, being run by the Home Office in conjunction with the Department of the Environment, Transport and and the Regions, represents the biggest government investment in closed circuit television systems.

Home Secretary Jack Straw said: "CCTV is a very valuable weapon in the fight against crime. This programme will make a real difference to local communities."

Footage led to nail bomb arrest

Housing Minister Hilary Armstrong said: "Crime and the fear of crime are a blight on some of our most deprived communities. Tackling crime is central to the government's wider strategy of regenerating run-down areas."

It is estimated there are now more than a million CCTV cameras watching people in Britain. It is thought that in London, each person is watched by more than 300 cameras on a typical day.

They have proved valuable both by helping to catch offenders, and deterring people from committing crime.

One recent example was when CCTV footage led police to a man suspected of carrying out the three nail bomb attacks in London.

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