More than 250 people were arrested in the past four months thanks to sharp-eyed controllers manning safety cameras at Ipswich Borough Council.
The CCTV team at the Council’s Grafton House headquarters spotted 1,335 incidents in the town centre and at other locations around Ipswich between January and April, figures released today reveal.
Already in those months 258 arrests were made as a result of the controllers’ actions. In 2010, 596 people were arrested.
“This shows the value of our cameras and operators and the importance of working closely with the Police to fight crime in Ipswich and make the town centre, in particular, safer for everyone,” said Councillor Neil Macdonald, the Borough’s Community Safety portfolio-holder. “I would like to say a big ‘thank you’ to our CCTV team and stress that these cameras are working well and do pick up anti-social behaviour and other criminal behaviour.”
Councillor Macdonald added: “Of course, our CCTV system also helps in other ways – only recently staff called an ambulance after witnessing an elderly lady fall over in the town centre and being left by passers-by. We also see cases of young children becoming lost and we can then reunite them with their parents. We helped 202 missing and lost people last year.”
Other roles of the CCTV operators include:
- Helping to deter and rescue “free runners” – one got stuck on a roof and we called the Fire Brigade;
- Assisting very drunk people in the early hours – our staff liaise with the Town Pastors and the Police;
- Providing security to unsafe or vulnerable buildings – for example, the fire-hit St Michael’s Church in Upper Orwell Street.