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CCTV keeps West Lancs safe in run up to Christmas

West Lancashire Borough Council and partners are working hard to ensure Ormskirk is safe in the run up to Christmas.

The Council’s CCTV system watches over the borough and provides reassurance to the community as well as a valuable crime-fighting tool for the police.

The cameras are monitored 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, and operators are providing valuable assistance in preventing and solving crime.

In 2017/18 the CCTV Unit was involved in 5633 incidents. In addition to the 236 arrests that the CCTV operators assisted with, a number of the incidents also resulted in the police or PCSOs being able to intervene at an early stage to prevent trouble from escalating into something more serious. Between November 2017 and November 2018, the operators played a key role in increasing road safety by either supporting the Police or directly observing 101 incidents involving suspected drunk drivers. The operators also monitor suspected drug use and made 110 reports of possible drug related incidents during the same period resulting in 74 arrests.

Operators keep in close contact with local businesses and the police through the Shopwatch radio scheme, meaning officers can be alerted and respond to any incident as quickly as possible.

For more information on CCTV in West Lancashire please visit www.westlancs.gov.uk/cctv.

Councillor Kevin Wright, portfolio holder for Health and Community Safety, said: “Crime is low in West Lancashire and we want to keep it that way. Our CCTV system provides excellent value for money in playing a significant role in helping to achieve that.

“With Christmas around the corner we want people to feel safe when they are shopping or enjoying an evening out. I am particularly pleased to see the role that CCTV plays in relation to drunk drivers. Driving under the influence of alcohol is a crime and is extremely dangerous. Please leave your car at home this Christmas.”

Heidi McDougall, West Lancashire Community Safety Partnership chairperson, said:

“The Council’s CCTV system is a powerful tool that will assist in not only preventing crime but enable the skilled operators to identify the small minority who are intent on committing crime or anti-social behaviour. We will be working closely with our partners over the festive period to ensure a Happy Christmas is had by all and that people feel safe.”

There are currently 106 public open space cameras across the borough, including Ormskirk town centre and various key locations.

The Council is also urging residents and visitors to remember that excess alcohol and/or the use of drugs can increase your likelihood of committing a crime or becoming a victim of crime.

Providing CCTV coverage is just part of the work the Council does to make the borough a safer place. For more information please visit www.westlancs.gov.uk/communitysafety.

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