Blackpool’s new CCTV hub is ‘key weapon’ in fight on crime

The new-look Blackpool CCTV control room
The new-look Blackpool CCTV control room
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This is how Blackpool’s new high-tech CCTV control room looks after being kitted out with the latest equipment.

Volunteers will monitor the cameras at peak times as part of a new effort to make the resort safer for residents and tourists.

Blackpool's CCTV control centre reopens thanks to volunteers.  Pictured (left to right) are head of visitors services Paolo Pertica, Coun Christine Wright, PCC Clive Grunshaw, Eileen Ormand from Blackpool BID and Supt Nikki Evans.

Blackpool's CCTV control centre reopens thanks to volunteers. Pictured (left to right) are head of visitors services Paolo Pertica, Coun Christine Wright, PCC Clive Grunshaw, Eileen Ormand from Blackpool BID and Supt Nikki Evans.

There was public outcry when the service fell victim to budget cuts in 2013, meaning the cameras were not monitored in real-time.

Town hall chiefs, business leaders and police today praised the efforts to boost security in the resort.

Lancashire’s Police and Crime Commissioner Clive Grunshaw, who provided £52,000 to upgrade the outdated control room equipment, said the support of volunteers to keep watch over the dozens of cameras in the town centre will ‘make or break’ the new scheme.

He added: “If there is one place in the county that needs this, it is Blackpool. It is fantastic we have people willing to give their time for something like this. Without volunteers, it cannot be a success.”

Assistant chief constable Mark Bates, of Lancashire Police, said CCTV is a ‘key weapon’ in the fight against crime in the resort.

Eileen Ormand, of Blackpool Business Improvement District (BID), has worked for two years to get the control room back up and running.

She said: “It took all of us to come together to do this. It is going to raise the level of safety and security for businesses.”

The cost of staff time, training and equipment will be shared between the council, Blackpool Police and the BID.

Proposals for properly manned CCTV was among the suggestions put forward by the council’s Nighttime Economy Working Group, formed after councillors rejected the resort’s early morning restriction order (EMRO) bid, which would have forced venues to close at 3am in a bid to reduce the burden on police.

Coun Christine Wright said: “The new technology is marvellous – it will prevent accidents and give people that reassurance. If people come in to town they feel a bit safer.”