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CCTV helps increase crackdown on crime in St Albans and Harpenden
The use of CCTV in St Albans has helped to crack down on more than 5,000 cases last year, a recent report says.
The Community CCTV Annual Report for 2012, shows that during the last year CCTV enabled the police and other support services to respond to an average of 14 incidents per day in the city.
There were 4,460 incidents in St Albans and 671 in Harpenden, making a total of 5,131.
This is an increase on the 4,694 incidents in 2011 where CCTV was used to protect the community.
CCTV, provided by St Albans District Council, aims to prevent crime and anti-social behaviour. It is also used to help find missing people and to respond to accidents.
A recent example of this approach resulted in the arrest of two men after a woman’s handbag was stolen in St Albans city centre. A CCTV operator noticed the men acting suspiciously near the woman and began monitoring them while they removed items from her bag.
The CCTV operator alerted the police and the men were arrested and then charged.
Councillor Beric Read, portfolio holder for community engagement and localism, at the council, said: "This is just one example of how the timely actions of a CCTV operator result in arrests.
"The council takes great care to ensure that law-abiding members of the community are not subject to intrusive surveillance.
"The system is used to help improve community safety by preventing and detecting crime or assisting with accidents or incidents of anti-social behaviour. The Annual Report that is now available shows how our use of CCTV is bringing positive benefits to the district."
Neighbourhood Inspector Mark Loveday from the police, added: "We work closely with the Council and CCTV operators to detect and prevent a wide range of crimes and anti-social behaviour.
"CCTV also acts as a deterrent to reduce crime and help improve the safety of residents, workers and visitors to St Albans District."
The report is available on the council’s website at: http://www.stalbans.gov.uk/Images/CCTV%20Annual%20Report%202012_tcm15-36245.pdf
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