A report on the future of Longridge’s closed circuit television system will go before councillors next month.
The report will be discussed at Ribble Valley’s policy and finance committee on March 26 and follows on from leading councillors David Smith and Ken Hind calling for Longridge’s CCTV system to be linked up with the central control room at Clitheroe.
Both Clitheroe and Whalley are monitored throughout the day and night, seven days a week from this room, while Longridge is only monitored “as and when” by police officers and has relied heavily on volunteers at weekends.
Since the councillors’ call for action, meetings have been taking place between various interested parties, including Ribble Valley officials and the police.
A Ribble Valley spokesman confirmed a report was being prepared and would cover three main areas:
What is wrong with the current system and what it is going to cost to bring it up to scratch.
The councillors’ idea Longridge CCTV could be linked to Clitheroe - covering both the technical and cost issues.
How successful or what successes the CCTV system in Longridge has achieved in combating or preventing crime.
As to linking Longridge’s CCTV with the control room in Clitheroe, the spokesman said the reason this did not happen originally was due to the cost of physically linking the cable over to Longridge.
But since then, technology had moved on. He added officals had been over to look at how Longridge’s CCTV system currently operated.
When Longridge’s first cameras were installed in the town seven years ago, the system was hailed as “state-of-the-art” with its high-tech “pan, tilt and zoom” cameras - footage from which can still be accessed at any time.
Further cameras have been added over the years, so most of the strategic points of Longridge are now covered. The most recent camera additions were at Shay Lane.
Besides being manned “as and when” by police officers and formerly by the police inquiry desk assistants prior to the front counter being closed, a team of volunteers was set up to help man the system at weekends.
But this volunteer service recently fell by the wayside, although the neighbourhood policing team is currently trying to recruit more volunteers.
Coun Smith said recently: “It is not beyond the wit of engineers to stream the signal to the central control room in Clitheroe where the system is manned and operatives can focus cameras on events in the streets.
“We are very Clitheroe centric in the Ribble Valley and the people of Longridge should have the same service.”
Coun Hind said: “The CCTV systems are run by Ribble Valley Borough Council and paid for by the council tax payers of the Ribble Valley, not by the police.
“We need the same constant vigilance accorded to Clitheroe in Longridge. We are very aware of the concerns of the Longridge PACT (Police and Communities Together) group where this issue is constantly raised.”
If anyone is interested in becoming a CCTV volunteer, they are asked to contact PC Manda Gibson on 01772 209583 or via the neighbourhood policing team’s mobile 07539682729.
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Weather for Longridge
Saturday 25 May 2013
Temperature: 7 C to 13 C
Wind Speed: 13 mph
Wind direction: West
Temperature: 9 C to 14 C
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Wind direction: South west