Volunteers to keep eyes on shop thieves

Wyre Councils  says CCTV volunteers were busy in 2018.
Wyre Councils says CCTV volunteers were busy in 2018.

CCTV volunteers in Wyre joined investigations into missing people and helped target anti-social behaviour.

Their work over 2018/19 has been praised after they clocked up more than 3,100 hours from April last year.

Now councillors will be told their work will also prove vital to a new shop watch scheme which has been started up in Fleetwood town centre.

Coun Roger Berry, neighbourhood services and community safety portfolio holder, said: “Our CCTV volunteers play an important role in monitoring our cameras and helping to keep the public safe in our busy town centres.

“During the course of 2018 the volunteers were involved in a number of initiatives and investigations including searching for missing people, targeting antisocial behaviour, the re-launch of shop-watch in the Fleetwood area and even dog-napping.

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank the volunteers and our partnerships officer for all their hard work over the course of the last year.”

As part of the shop watch scheme the volunteers, based at Wyre Civic Centre, will be kept informed of shoplifting suspects and will be able to train cameras on them as they make off from shops in Fleetwood town centre – helping the police apprehend them.

In June CCTV operators invited members of the public to monitor the CCTV cameras, as part of a recruitment drive. Applicants are subject to vetting and a training period. In the past, some residents complained that the cameras were hardly ever monitored, but Wyre says the equipment is “live” and volunteers have proved effective.