Money will be provided for Newport’s live CCTV network, councillors have agreed.
Newport Town Council has pledged to come up with the money to help improve West Mercia Police’s coverage of the town.
The footage could be viewed in real time by police from a remote, centralised location and would be funded in part by the town council if it is of “direct benefit” to the people of Newport.
Councillors agreed to support the “aspirations” of the police at the latest meeting of the town council.
Town mayor Lyn Fowler said that it was important to keep people safe in any way possible.
No concrete details have been yet been decided, and councillors said they supported the idea in principle.
The statement the town council voted to support read: “That Newport Town Council supports the aspirations of the police, in relation to enhanced CCTV provision, will work with and is prepared to provide funding (where it is of direct benefit to residents of Newport) to the police force in having a borough wide integrated CCTV system that has the ability to live view from a central location.”
Councillor Fowler said: “Nobody would like to have more police on the beat than we would. In the real world that isn’t going to happen.
“If there’s anything we can do to defend the people Newport, then that’s the sort of thing we need to back. That will allow us to get the support we need.”
Councillor Tim Nelson said he was supportive of an enhanced CCTV system for Newport, but warned that a live system viewed from Telford could have a negative effect on the town.
“I know that residents feel safer knowing that wrongdoing in the heart of the town is captured on CCTV, so that transgressors can be identified and brought to justice – to this end I have consistently supported the CCTV provision in Newport.” he said.
“But once we give these intrusive powers of remote observation to the police and the state, it is very hard to get them back.
“The town council members who met with the police when a borough-wide centralised, live monitored system was proposed said they wanted friendly local and knowledgeable police officers from our community. A live monitored system in Telford is the opposite.
“I am supportive of an enhanced system for Newport. I personally ensured money to do this remained in the town council 2017/18 budget. We want more accurate higher definition images that better permits the police to do their forensic work.
“I will not support strangers in Telford spying on the youngsters of Newport larking about on a Saturday night.”
Councillors unanimously agreed to spend £10,000 to improve lighting and relocate CCTV cameras on the Stafford Road car park in July last year. The work included lines being repainted and a footpath being installed and was given the go-ahead because it was felt the improvements could bring more people in to enjoy the town’s night life.Subscribe to our Newsletter