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New CCTV network 'will stop offenders escaping justice'

A new state-of-the-art CCTV system has gone live across Torbay.

The £420,000 digital system with high resolution cameras is the first of its kind in Devon.

The now mostly wireless network consists of 300 cameras - many in new locations.

It has been largely funded by Torbay Council with financial support from the Police and Crime Commissioner Alison Hernandez.

A spokesperson for her office said: "The PCC is supporting investment in compatible, high specification systems that link into central centres, meaning monitoring is consistent and professional. 

"Once up and running satellite towns can connect to the centres, creating a resilient network. 

"Before the programme launched towns and cities across the South West had a multitude of mostly incompatible systems, some of which were more than 15 years old. 

"Some of the equipment was no longer supported by manufacturers and burdened local authorities with high running costs. 

"The new systems also help local authorities to comply with recent legislation about the holding and sharing of CCTV images.

"As well as deterring crime in the first place and providing high quality evidence to assist in prosecutions when crimes are committed, CCTV can also help in the search for vulnerable missing people."

Torbay council leader Councillor Steve Darling said: "One of the key benefits of this new digital system is that it will vastly improve imaging. 

"I recently met with the two inspectors responsible for neighbourhood policing in Torbay.  

"They were delighted at the improved standard of picture that the new digital CCTV system has generated and felt this would have a significant impact in tackling crime on our streets in Torbay.

"In addition to the £60,000 from the PCC, Torbay Council is borrowing against the project to the sum of £350,000. 

"We are able to do this as the wireless infrastructure will enable significant revenue savings, which will be offset against the capital repayment costs - so the investment for the council is cost neutral." 

Chief Superintendent Keith Perkin, Devon and Cornwall Police commander of the South Devon area, said: "This will support our efforts in reducing crime, keeping people safer and bringing to justice those who are intent on breaking the law.

"Too often, many escape justice because of the quality of the images captured on CCTV. 

"The new technology will undoubtedly help us in our investigations, leading to more people being put before the courts. 

"I am pleased to see that Torbay has been identified as the first area in Devon to be able to use the most up to date technology. Along with additional police officers and PCSOs this will help us, working with others to make Torbay safer than it already is."

PCC Alison Hernandez said: "CCTV has proved its worth time and time again in terms of deterring crime and convicting criminals, but it can do so much more than that.

"Across Devon and Cornwall we have all too many cases of high risk missing people, with 11,114 people reported missing in the year to March 2019. 

"High quality CCTV is a vital tool in the armoury when it comes to finding these vulnerable individuals. 

"It also helps to protect frontline police officers and compliments the roll-out of body worn video."

Click play to hear superintendent Jez Capey, the deputy commander for South Devon

Click play to hear Susie Colley from the Torquay chamber of commerce

Click play to hear Andrew Barrand, Cockington with Chelston Torbay councillor

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