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News

Increase in police requests for council CCTV images.

Mendip Council : 11 March, 2008  (Company News)
District Council surveillance system in Mendip continues to supply the local police with a growing number of images of incidents in lasting campaign to fight crime.
Nearly 1,000 requests were made by police for images from Mendip's CCTV system in their fight against crime last year.

The system, run by Mendip District Council, has seen a 27 per cent rise in the number of requests made by police in comparison to last year.

In 2007, officers asked for images from 847 incidents compared to 667 in 2006. Other figures include 448 in 2005 and 351 in 2004 when the system went live across the district.

Of the 847 requests last year, Mendip District Council was able to supply images for more than 70 per cent of the incidents.

The CCTV system is operated by Mendip District Council in partnership with Avon and Somerset Constabulary and the five Mendip 'towns' as part of the Mendip CCTV User Group.

Cllr John Osman, the district council's portfolio holder for CCTV, said: "These latest figures are a credit to the partnership working of all those that support making Mendip a safer place.

"The support and efforts of the five Mendip 'towns', the police, the district council, its staff and our volunteers make this a valuable public service. Crime and anti-social behaviour is already low in Mendip compared to other parts of the country, and the council will continue its fight with the police to make our communities safer, reduce anti-social behaviour and encourage people to feel proud of their district."

Last year, the Frome police sector made 258 requests, 30 per cent of the total, and the Wells sector covering Street, Glastonbury, Shepton Mallet and Wells, requested images on 589 incidents - 70 per cent of the total.

Wells sector inspector Ray Hulin said: "CCTV is important in the fight against crime and disorder. We work in partnership with other organisations and the community to make our streets safer, and we see CCTV as another valuable tool to continue that work."

To make CCTV in Mendip even more of a success, the district council is on the look-out for volunteers to help monitor the cameras.

Volunteers help for about two or three hours on a weekly, fortnightly or monthly basis and are supervised by Mendip's key monitoring staff at all times.

The council's CCTV manager Chris Reeves said: "We are always pleased to hear from members of the public that wish to support us as volunteers.

"Our volunteers make an invaluable contribution to making Mendip a safer place, based on local knowledge and regular involvement. We can't thank them enough."

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