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'Cutting edge' CCTV on the way

PUBLISHED: 17:14 25 February 2009 | UPDATED: 15:03 07 July 2010

Market towns across central Norfolk are to be fitted out with new digital CCTV cameras that will give police wider coverage and better images of people, it was agreed on Tuesday.

Market towns across central Norfolk are to be fitted out with new digital CCTV cameras that will give police wider coverage and better images of people, it was agreed on Tuesday.

The new system, to be installed around Breckland, will include portable cameras which can be taken to hotspots in towns, villages and the surrounding countryside.

It will also see the number of CCTV cameras in the district increased from the current 64 - although final figures and the cost of the system have not yet been released.

The new contract for the area's CCTV equipment was agreed by Breckland's cabinet to Chesterfield-based Advanced Monitoring Solutions, subject to the contract being finalised.

Mark Stokes, strategic director sustainable communities at Breckland, said: “The CCTV system we have is nearing the end of its life, is hard to run and expensive.”

A report to the cabinet also said it still used VHS for recording, which would soon become obsolete.

The new cameras would use wireless technology, will be fitted with loud speakers and be able to record sound.

There would be an option for the cameras to launch a commercial monitoring service to third parties.

The cameras could also be used in detecting environmental crime such as fly tipping as well as for police work.

Councillors endorsed the new contract. Paul Claussen said: “It puts the council at the cutting edge of technology.”

Bill Smith said: “I welcome the extension of this facility in to rural areas.”

Concerns he had that the cameras could record sound were met with the response that this was strongly regulated by European law and that sound recording would not be used in normal curcumstances.

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