Community representatives and retailers have been viewing the latest equipment in the fight against anti-social behaviour in Torquay.
They were invited to visit the CCTV control room at Torquay Town Hall, which is home to the new monitoring equipment.
They also had the opportunity to meet their local Neighbourhood Policing Team, the Council’s ASB Team and Town Centre Officers.
Torbay Council Cabinet members, the Police and Crime Commissioner (OPCC) and police representatives were also present.
The equipment includes 13 new cameras which have been fitted around Torquay town centre in recent weeks.
Areas which will now be covered include Melville Street, Torre Hill Road, Abbey Road, the Harbourside and Lower Union Lane.
The upgrade has been made possible thanks to a £1.1million investment. This included a £749,000 grant from the Home Office’s Safer Streets Fund and £382,000 match funding from the council and the OPCC.
The council and the OPCC jointly submitted the bid for funding last year.
The cameras are just part of a package of Safer Streets improvements which will be taking place over the coming months to make the town centre a safer environment.
The council is also making Lower Union Lane car park safer by fitting brand new robust fire doors on all levels, improving security around windows and installing motion-activated voice systems on upper levels. Additional security measures will be fitted within Union Square car park too.
SWISCo will clear the foliage at the end of Factory Row and resurface the area. It will also rejuvenate the stone-wall edged bedding in Castle Circus by planting some evergreen perennials and repairing brickwork. New lighting will also be mounted.
The Unleashed Theatre Company has been allocated money to improve the rear exterior of its premises in Abbey Road.
Other Safer Streets projects which will be taking place in the longer term include extra police patrols in hotspots, an investment in outreach projects, street marshals and bystander awareness campaigns.
Council and police will also work with night-time economy businesses to promote the Best Bar None scheme and the Safety at Night charter.
Councillor Steve Darling, Leader of Torbay Council, said: “Extra CCTV does reassure people that criminal activity is not going unnoticed and acts as a deterrent. We now have more than 270 cameras watching the Bay’s streets, car parks, lifts and other public areas 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
“This latest investment builds on previous match funding we made to our control room which has seen it become one of the best in the county.”
Councillor Darren Cowell, Deputy Leader of Torbay Council, said: “We understand people have concerns about safety in Torquay town centre and this funding is addressing that. The latest CCTV technology is an effective tool against ASB but it’s just the start of improvements over the coming months.
“The cameras capture high-definition images and our operatives work closely with the police so that messages can be instantly passed on about suspicious activity.”
Alison Hernandez, Devon and Cornwall’s Police and Crime Commissioner, said: “I have been delighted to be able to offer long term support for Torbay, both in terms of this Safer Streets bid and funding from my office for improvements to CCTV in 2019.
“When combined with the additional policing patrols I have funded for Torbay, CCTV is playing a vital part in improving public confidence, finding vulnerable people and detecting and tackling crime.
“There is still much to do to tackle the anti-social behaviour and drug use which blight too many lives here and I am committed to providing this community with the resources it requires to bring out the best in this part of Devon.”
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