Dec 19 2013 by Sophie McCoid, Ormskirk Advertiser
CRIMINALS are being watched by the borough’s many CCTV cameras over the festive period as the council and partner agencies try and ensure shoppers and visitors are safe.
The CCTV system watches over Ormskirk and other parts of the borough and is monitored 24 hours a day all year round.
Over the last few weeks there have been a number of successes, including reporting six people suspected of shoplifting to the police in one day.
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.
The CCTV operators regularly identify people who have been known for shoplifting in the past coming into Ormskirk and warn businesses and the police they are coming to ensure a coordinated response.
West Lancashire geographic police Inspector Christina Shorrock said: “CCTV is a vital tool in both responding to incidents and using as evidence to bring people to justice.
“We will continue to work with other agencies over the festive period and beyond to keep the people of West Lancashire safe.”
There are currently 59 cameras across the district, including Ormskirk town centre and various key locations.
This year the council have invested in the latest CCTV technology by replacing all of its existing cameras and developing a new monitoring CCTV facility to help make the borough’s streets even safer.
Further work is currently ongoing to install 27 more cameras to further improve CCTV coverage throughout the borough. Many of these will be in rural areas not previously covered and this will help increase community confidence in these parts of the borough.
Councillor David Sudworth, portfolio holder for Community Safety, said: “Crime is low in West Lancashire and we want to keep it that way. CCTV does a valuable job in protecting the public and acting as a deterrent to would-be criminals.
“With Christmas coming up fast we want people to feel safe as they come into Ormskirk and other town and village centres, whether it’s for shopping or to enjoy an evening out.
“Community safety is extremely important and CCTV is one of the major tools we use to fight crime and reassure residents and visitors that criminals are being watched 24 hours a day – and they will be caught.”