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Council CCTV catches crooks on camera

Hundreds of arrests made across the borough thanks to the council's 95 surveillance cameras

An example of a CCTV camera used in West Lancashire by the council that have helped to secure 187 arrests over the past year

HUNDREDS of crimes have been caught on the council’s CCTV suite in just one year of operation.

Assaults, drug related crime, arson and theft have all been recorded by West Lancashire Borough Council’s 95 cameras and have led to more than one hundred arrests.

In a report compiled by Enigma CCTV and the council, data shows how the Lancashire Constabulary reviewed footage on 379 separate occasions and took away video for evidence 234 times.

Christina Shorrock, Inspector for West Lancashire said: “My officers regularly visit the suite to look at the footage.

“Footage from the suite has assisted in relation to public order issues, drunk drivers, burglaries etc.”

Between April 2013 and March 2014 CCTV operators reported incidents to the police 384 times of which 146 occasions resulted in 187 arrests.

Chairman of the West Lancashire Community Safety Partnership, David Tilleray said: “In general, I think that the public of West Lancashire are hugely supportive of CCTV and I am regularly asked why there can’t be more cameras.”

The CCTV cameras are monitored 24 hours a day, every day of the year and the council are looking to add another seven cameras in Scarisbrick, Tarleton, Downholland and Burscough.

Leader of the council, Cllr David Westley, said: “Our monitoring suite is superb and the envy of many other councils.

“West Lancashire is a safe place to live and work and the council’s CCTV system will help to ensure that it stays that way.”

As well as alerting the police to potential criminal activity the council’s CCTV operators also assisted in 468 incidents relating to security deliveries and missing persons.

The current 95 cameras used by the council are grouped into the following areas; Ormskirk Town Centre, Burscough Industrial Estate, Burscough Village, Skelmersdale, rural cameras and internal council cameras.

The installation and upkeep of the cameras are said to be in line with Section 17 of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998 to aid crime prevention.

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