Work has begun on a £330,000 scheme to install extra CCTV cameras in Darlington town centre and the surrounding streets.
Earlier this year, the Durham Police and Crime Commissioner’s Office, together with Durham Constabulary and Darlington Borough Council, were awarded the funding from the Home Office’s Safer Streets Fund.
CCTV cameras were earmarked for Darlington town centre as an expansion to the town’s existing CCTV scheme. Once installed, the council will be responsible for the cameras, which will be monitored alongside the network of cameras already in place across the town.
Operated by council staff, information captured by CCTV cameras has been used by police officers and civic enforcement officers as evidence in relation to criminal activity and anti-social behaviour incidents.
It has helped support vulnerable people and ensure their safety, including several elderly residents who have been spotted in a confused state and quickly supported to return home safely.
In addition, the cameras have been used to locate missing people of all ages, which has then allowed them to access the relevant help and support where required.
It is expected that the new cameras will be up and running in the next few weeks.
Darlington Neighbourhood Inspector Dean Haythornthwaite said: “This funding will help make positive changes to make Darlington a safer place to live and improve the quality of life of those who live there.
“These additional cameras will act as an extra deterrent to people thinking of getting involved in any criminal or anti-social behaviour and provide that support to anyone who may need it in times of difficulty.”
Durham Police and Crime Commissioner Joy Allen said: “These new cameras will be a welcome addition to Darlington, not only reducing the opportunity for criminals to strike but reducing the fear of crime for all people who live, work or visit the town centre.
“We have listened carefully to residents to understand where they feel most vulnerable and at risk and are investing in the resources that will make a meaningful difference to their safety and confidence.
“Simple measures such as CCTV can do a lot to prevent and deter crime. They can also increase the investigative capabilities of the police and provide crucial evidence when an offence occurs.
“I am grateful for the positive partnership with the council to ensure local people benefit from the scheme as soon as possible.”
Councillor Jonathan Dulston, deputy leader of Darlington Borough Council, added: “This is another great example of how we’re working with partners to ensure Darlington is a safe place in which to live, work and visit.
“Our CCTV network and the dedicated team that monitors them 24/7, play an important part in our efforts to ensure safer streets for all and it’s great news that we’re able to expand and improve that network of cameras.”