CCTV In 14 Towns

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There is to be a massive expansion of CCTV coverage across Northern Ireland in a bid to cut crime with 87 new CCTV cameras established in 14 town centres. It has also emerged that police and the Northern Ireland Office are looking at the possibility of introducing mobile CCTV technology to tackle street violence.

The Government will invest £2m in the CCTV schemes, located in areas where there are long-standing problems with anti-social behaviour and crime.

They will be erected in Ballymena, Bangor and Holywood, Coleraine, Portrush and Portstewart, Downpatrick and Newcastle, Enniskillen, Glengormley, Lisburn, Newry, Warrenpoint, Kilkeel, Newtownards, North Belfast, Omagh, Portadown and Lurgan.

Criminal Justice Minister David Hanson said: "This will give the business community additional security in the high streets throughout Northern Ireland. The message being sent out today is very clear. We will not tolerate criminal or anti-social behaviour, you will be caught and you will be prosecuted if you take part in this activity."

The Minister also revealed that he is also looking at other ways of using CCTV technology to tackle crime.

He said: "I am exploring with the PSNI the possibility of introducing a number of mobile CCTV units in other areas and I have also commissioned a feasibility study for a CCTV scheme for Belfast City centre which I hope to make a further announcement about in the near future."

Policing Board Chairman, Sir Desmond Rea, said: "People often feel safer in the knowledge that CCTV is being operated effectively in the areas within which they live and work. CCTV can act as a deterrent to those who are minded to commit crime and effective use of CCTV footage can also help the police in making arrests. Anything that contributes to a reduction in crime or the fear of crime should be welcomed."

Assistant Chief Constable for Urban Region Duncan McCausland and Assistant Chief Constable for Rural Region Judith Gillespie both welcomed the expansion of town centre CCTV systems at the 14 locations across both regions.

The expansion of the local town centre CCTV schemes is being launched under the title ‘Looking out for you’.

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