‘Big Brother’ could be watching you

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‘Big Brother’ could be watching you in Ballymoney very soon if plans to install two CCTV cameras and a recording unit in the town get the go ahead.

Already the proposal by the PCSP Policing Committee is being investigated with officials seeking costings and financial assistance.

Addressing the issue during a recent Health and Environmental Services meeting, councillors agreed to note that Ballymoney PCSP were seeking quotes for a wireless system which would be funded in partnership with the Ballymoney PCSP and the PSNI from within the 2013-2014 financial year.

The Committee report explained: ‘The matter of CCTV was discussed at the Ballymoney PCSP Policing Committee meeting on 22nd January 2014. PSNI officers suggested an alternative system (redeployable cameras that work solely on 3G and broadband) with the PSNI contributing to start-up costs but system to be owned by PCSP or Council.

‘Provision of town centre CCTV in Ballymoney would potentially provide the following benefits:

* Assist in reducing fear of crime, particularly during the hours of darkness and thereby encourage development of a night time economy

* Prevent and reduce crime and antisocial behaviour

* Assist in investigation and identification of those involved in crime and antisocial behaviour, e.g. shoplifters, assaults, burglaries and criminal damage to commercial premises, antisocial motoring

* Identification of traffic congestion or disorder allowing earlier deployment of police officers to the scene

‘The PSNI have suggested the following locations in Ballymoney for provision of town centre CCTV in priority order: High Street, Main Street, Church Street, Charlotte Street, Castle Street, Meetinghouse Street, Seymour Street, Main Street, Market Street, Charles Street, Linenhall Street, Victoria Street, Queen Street, Rodeing Foot and Greasepit car park.

‘Ballymoney PSNI had hoped for a ‘hardwire’ system to be implemented at the time of the construction of the new station. Given the financial pressures of G8 and the on-going flags issues the capital is no longer available for a CCTV system of this nature.

‘It is recommended that Council note that Ballymoney PCSP are seeking quotes for a wireless system consisting of two CCTV cameras and a recording unit. As and when funding becomes available this system may be added to. The system would be funded in partnership with Ballymoney PCSP and the PSNI from within the 2013-2014 financial year.

‘It is further recommended that the system if installed, be owned by Ballymoney Borough Council, but the monitoring be carried out within the Ballymoney PSNI station by PSNI personnel.’

In response to Cllr Evelyne Robinson, the Director of Borough Services explained that for insurance and administrative reasons the Councils consent to the ownership of the CCTV system was required and that this was really the matter under consideration.

It was proposed by Cllr Robinson and seconded by Cllr Ian Stevenson.


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