West Lancashire’s Borough Council’s CCTV team have been helping catch suspected drink-drivers and thieves during the Christmas period.
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 provide valuable assistance in preventing and solving crime.
During December there were 10 arrests for drink-related incidents, including four for suspected drunk driving, which the CCTV operators assisted with. This was either by spotting the offenders or tracking them once they had received information from the police. During November the team had previously helped with six arrests for suspected drunk driving.
In total the operators helped the police make 34 arrests in December, including nine for suspected thefts such as shoplifting, and six related to neighbourhood incidents. They also provided a lot of other useful information to the constabulary. This included helping with the searches for missing persons.
Councillor Kevin Wright, portfolio holder for Community Safety, said: “The latest statistics show how effective our CCTV system and operators can be in helping to keep crime low in West Lancashire and our communities safe. The operators, in combination with the police, helped to ensure West Lancs continued to be a safe place over the festive period.
“Our CCTV system provides excellent value for money and 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.”
In 2015/16 the CCTV Unit was involved in 5,110 incidents. In addition to the 337 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 2015 and November 2016, the operators played a key role in increasing road safety by advising the police of 84 incidents involving suspected drunk drivers.
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.