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24-7 Shropshire CCTV scheme plan

Telford | News | Published: | Last Updated:

A major new CCTV  scheme is planned across Shropshire so that police and council employees can maintain a 24-hour watch on residents.A major new CCTV  scheme is planned across Shropshire so that police and council employees can maintain a 24-hour watch on residents. The county's surveillance operation will increase dramatically with major new schemes being introduced to Whitchurch and Ludlow. A new state-of-the-art headquarters will be launched in Shrewsbury which cameras across the county will be linked to - giving officers the ability to monitor people from a central location. The scheme will involve the use of hundreds of cameras and thousands of man hours. Officials hope it will lead to a huge cut in crime. Read the full story in today's Shropshire Star

A major new CCTV scheme is planned across Shropshire so that police and council employees can maintain a 24-hour watch on residents.

The county's surveillance operation will increase dramatically with major new schemes being introduced to Whitchurch and Ludlow.

A new state-of-the-art headquarters will be launched in Shrewsbury which cameras across the county will be linked to - giving officers the ability to monitor people from a central location.

The scheme will involve the use of hundreds of cameras and thousands of man hours. Officials hope it will lead to a huge cut in crime.

CCTV in Shropshire is presently monitored on an ad-hoc basis, which means some cameras can go unmonitored for long periods of time. However, that system is to be scrapped in favour of a 24-7 set-up.

The move, which coincides with government plans to regulate civil liberty measures, will see police, councils and the Highways Agency monitoring 369 cameras, including 13 cameras on the M54.

Today Shropshire Council, which already runs a CCTV scheme covering Shrewsbury and Telford, said the move would help cut crime. But some fear the decision is another step towards a surveillance state.

Shropshire Council environmental enforcement officer, Dave Roberts, said Whitchurch and Ludlow would be the first towns to join the scheme.

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He said: "It will be perfect for the people of Ludlow and Whitchurch and for shop traders and businesses. Ludlow's CCTV monitoring operation is currently based in the police station and they can't always watch it. We would like to take this system throughout Shropshire.

"We would also like to increase our partnership with Telford. We only look at Oakengates, Wellington and Dawley at the moment. That is working really well and we are very happy with the way it is going but it would be great to expand it."

Whitchurch town clerk David Martin added: "It will allow us to have the cameras monitored on a full-time basis and provide a better service to the people of Whitchurch."

But the news has drawn criticism from some quarters. Dr Charles West, who stood for the Liberal Democrats in Shrewsbury in the election, said: "We think the surveillance state has gone too far. The impact of CCTV and number plate recognition means that the civilian can be tracked across the county in a very sophisticated manner."

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