New CCTV cameras installed in Dudley in fight against crime
Dudley's fight against crime received a huge boost this week as the first batch of 80 new CCTV cameras were installed.
A handful were fixed into locations around Dudley town centre - while a much larger roll out across the borough is planned until Spring.
Dudley Council has set aside £1.7million for the project which will also see a new CCTV control base operated from a secure location in Dudley.
Councillor Laura Taylor, cabinet member responsible for community safety, said: "This is a major overhaul of all of the CCTV cameras in the borough – the first in a generation.
"These new cameras are more sophisticated, provide more detailed images of issues and when the roll out is complete, will provide greater coverage of our town centres and wider borough.
"I’m sure this work will be welcomed by residents, shoppers, businesses and tourists all over the borough."
The new cameras are a lot more powerful than the current and outdated stock, with a greater ability to zoom on finer details from a larger distance.
They will be connected through a network of fibre optic cables.
At this stage, it is planned that at least 80 new cameras will be installed.
However, this number could increase as the council will review each existing location. It means a review could find more cameras are needed in certain locations, such as crime hotspots.
The CCTV scheme was announced as part of the council's budget proposals for the upcoming 2020/21 financial year.
The CCTV proposals will be discussed by council bosses on October 31 before they are set to officially approve the required funding in February.
It forms part of the council plans to tackle crime in Dudley; with another initiative seeing the council planning to fund five new PSCOs.
That latter proposal, which will cost £750,000, is reliant on West Midlands Police agreeing to match fund the scheme for a further five PCSOs, bringing the total number to 10.