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Tuesday, 21 August, 2001, 11:51 GMT 12:51 UK
Big brother cameras to fight crime
CCTV
CCTV is already widely used as a crime-fighting tool
A high-tech initiative - worth almost 3m across Wales - has been unveiled after the government approved the biggest ever investment in crime-fighting cameras.

Sixteen new Close Circuit TV schemes will be set up to target crime hot spots such as high street shopping centres, public transport networks and car parks, and hospital sites.


There is evidence that they are a deterrent, a system that was put into the Wrexham Maelor Hospital led to a reduction in crime of over 20%

David Aherne, Crime Reduction Officer for Wales

The largest scheme to benefit in Wales is on Anglesey, where more than 750,000 is being made available to install 19 cameras at Amlwch, Beaumaris and Menai Bridge.

CCTV is already widely-used as a crime-fighting tool and this announcement is the second stage of 10m investment in CCTV schemes in Wales.

In this latest round of payouts a total of 79m will be allocated across the whole of the UK.

A number of sites are still under consideration in Wales and further schemes are expected to follow Tuesday's announcement.

Government Crime Reduction Director for Wales David Aherne said: "The areas picked are areas where there is a fear of crime or there is evidence of high crime.

CCTV camera
CCTV will be set up in crime hot spots

"All the cameras actually feed into control centres where they are viewed around the clock.

"There is also tape evidence to back up what ever has been seen by the operators and there are two mobile units which work on tape which can be moved from area to area."

Areas which benefited from the first round of CCTV funding have already seen large numbers of arrests for criminal behaviour and a significant reduction in crime.

Mr Aherne said: "There is evidence that they are a deterrent, a system that was put into the Wrexham Maelor Hospital led to a reduction in crime of over 20% and it was a similar case in the Brynteg area of Wrexham.

Deterrent

"The cameras are also being used in the Swansea area as part of a strategy to reduce auto crime and there has been a 16% drop this year."

This latest initiative has been welcomed by those at the forefront of the battle to reduce crime.

Graeme Gerrard, Association of Chief Police Officers (Acpo) spokesman on CCTV issues and Assistant Chief Constable of Cheshire Constabulary, said: "We welcome this additional investment in CCTV.

"When cameras are properly targeted, they can deter offenders, reduce the level of crime and increase the feeling of safety for those using our public spaces."

The approved schemes in Wales include:

  • Wrexham - 310,000
  • Treorchy and Porth - 321,000
  • Sandfields, Port Talbot - 265,000
  • Ynys Mon - 793,500.

  •  WATCH/LISTEN
     ON THIS STORY
    BBC Wales's Penny Roberts reports
    "The cameras already in use are getting results"
    See also:

    30 Nov 99 | UK
    CCTV for car parks
    05 Nov 99 | Education
    School puts spy cameras in toilets
    04 May 99 | UK
    Something to watch over us
    17 Jan 00 | UK
    CCTV for 180 more sites
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