Witney CCTV helps to arrest 1000 people
Over 1000 people have now been arrested by police in West Oxfordshire with the help of the Witney Town Centre CCTV System since it was installed in 2002.
There are 24 CCTV cameras located in strategic positions throughout Witney town centre and the CCTV Control Room, based in Welch Way, Witney, is manned throughout the day and night.
More than 40 town centre retailers and licensed premises are linked to the system and each other via walkie talkie radios. The radios allow traders to communicate and inform each other, and CCTV Control Room operators, of any incidents as they occur. This has helped to prevent incidents from escalating, as well as providing evidence for Police investigations.
Barry Norton, Leader of West Oxfordshire District Council and Chairman of the CCTV Management Group, said, "The cameras have been responsible for assisting the Police and are now a critical element of the town centre management infrastructure.
"The link-up between the Control Room and retailers has been a great success and has helped to promote safety and peace of mind for everyone. The radio system has recently been expanded to include licensed premises who are members of the Nightsafe Scheme, and this has already helped Police and other emergency services deal with several situations."
Rodney Hartnell, Manager of the Woolgate Centre, has been very pleased with the impact the system has made. He said: "CCTV has helped a great deal towards making customers who use the town centre feel safe and this can only be a positive move."
Dennis Evernden, Police Area Commander for West Oxfordshire, said "The system has assisted in investigations; prosecuting offenders as well as dealing with welfare related incidents like children who are lost and people who have fallen over. The cameras are also a deterrent to individuals intent on travelling to Witney and West Oxfordshire to commit crime. My warning to these people is that we'll be watching you 24/7."
The initial costs of installing the CCTV system were funded by the Home Office but the management costs are now met by West Oxfordshire District Council, Thames Valley Police, Witney Town Council, the Woolgate Centre and town centre businesses.
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