Salisbury city centre now has improved CCTV coverage thanks to funding from the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner and Salisbury City Council.
The local neighbourhood policing team has been working closely with partners at the council and staff at Alabare Place in Barnard Street which provides accommodation for homeless people, following an increasingly disproportionate level of demand on policing in the area between the end of April and July.
The number of crimes taking place at Alabare amounted to 11.11% of all crime in the city centre during this period – almost twice as much as the same time period last year. These reports ranged from anti-social behaviour, violence and drug dealing.
Through extensive enquiries, the partnership identified the areas of Barnard Street and Trinity Place, as well as the Market Place, as being ‘blind spots’ when it came to CCTV coverage in the city.
Police and Crime Commissioner for Wiltshire and Swindon, Angus Macpherson, supported the funding of the relocation of two CCTV cameras alongside Salisbury City Council, to ensure maximum coverage of these areas and these cameras are now fully operational.
Mr Macpherson, said: “The important role that CCTV plays in helping the Force identify offenders and keep people safe within our communities should not be underestimated, therefore I am really pleased to have been able to support the relocation of these CCTV cameras which will further enhance the CCTV coverage of Salisbury city centre. This is particularly important as the clocks go back next weekend and the number of hours of darkness each day increase.
“The neighbourhood team has been really proactive in liaising with stakeholders and local residents who were really concerned about the level of crime in these areas, and I have been really impressed with their dedication to getting to the root of the problem and implementing several measures including this new CCTV to further improve the safety of the area. I will be keen to hear from the neighbourhood team in the coming months to see how much of an impact these cameras and other measures have had on crime rates in the area.”
Insp Pete Sparrow said: “We are extremely grateful to the PCC and Salisbury City Council for supporting the funding of the relocation of two CCTV cameras in Salisbury. These cameras are now up and running and providing invaluable coverage of the area which will help us identify offenders and respond quickly to any escalating issues. Working closely with local stakeholders, we identified some of the high demand areas where CCTV would be beneficial and a number of measures to improve community safety – including enhanced CCTV – were identified. I hope the public feel reassured by this news – it is just one example of our commitment to keeping the people of Salisbury safe.
“Despite these cameras now being in place, officers will continue to conduct high visibility patrols in the areas to provide further reassurance as well as act as a deterrent to those intent on committing crime.”
Richard Goodman, Salisbury City Council’s CCTV Manager, said, “The relocation is making very good use of existing cameras; we are constantly looking to improve the system and support the Salisbury community.”
Cllr Sven Hocking, chairman of Salisbury City Council’s Services Committee said: “I welcome the repositioning of the CCTV cameras particularly on the Trinity Street & Love Lane junction, which combined with an increased local security presence, will significantly reduce the antisocial behaviour experienced by local residents.”
Salisbury CCTV has recently celebrated its second year in operation. A team of operatives monitor the CCTV system at key times in the communications hub inside the CCTV control room at Bourne Hill.