Overhaul of Shrewsbury's CCTV system planned

Shrewsbury's outdated CCTV system could be getting an overhaul under new plans.

Overhaul of Shrewsbury's CCTV system planned

The town is covered by dozens of cameras which are not only in the town centre but also at Monkmoor Recreation Ground and Ditherington.

West Mercia's Police and Crime Commissioner Bill Longmore has granted £160,000 for the upgrade of the CCTV system, cameras and control centre in the town.

The town centre control room can also access the static cameras in the car parks as well as cameras in other towns including Whitchurch and Cleobury Mortimer.

Of the 39 cameras, six are owned by the town council – three in Monkmoor Recreation Ground and three in the Quarry.

But although the cameras are run on a fibre optic cabling system that has the capacity to provide digital images, the system uses analogue cameras and year-on-year the ability to replace analogue cameras with similar ones and seek spare parts is becoming increasingly difficult.

Now Shrewsbury Town Council and Shropshire Council are working together to upgrade the cameras to a digital system which will give greater clarity and will also bring wi-fi hotspots to the town which visitors can tap in to.

Alan Mosley, leader of Shrewsbury Town Council, said that the planned overhaul would give improved definition for existing camera locations and allow operators to count footfall in certain areas of the town.

He added that another benefit of the digital scheme would be that it can give a greater coverage than the existing one and it will be possible to deploy temporary cameras should the need arise.

He said: "We are going to continue discussions with Shropshire Council on this matter as it is something that we need to move forward as quickly as we can.

"We have been promised this money from the Police and Crime Commissioner and it would be a real shame not to utilise it.

"The current system is old and outdated in terms of technology. This has already been brought up with Shropshire Council and we reiterated that this is the best way forward for this service.

"It will be possible to link the new scheme into other CCTV systems including the town council's stand alone CCTV systems in various facilities."

A further meeting to discuss the matter will be held next month between Shrewsbury Town Council and Shropshire Council.

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