New futuristic CCTV system to watch over Lancaster and Morecambe

CCTV cameras
CCTV cameras

A new and improved state-of-the-art CCTV system is to be installed in Lancaster and Morecambe.

The new system will replace the district’s existing CCTV cameras but will be more advanced, allowing secure remote viewing via any device connected to the internet.

Installation will cost £100,000 and is due to start in the next few months and be completed by March 2018.

In addition to providing vital evidence to the police in the event of a crime, the council said it will use the system to monitor public areas to assist in managing events and identifying issues relating to litter, vandalism and dog fouling.

The technology will be provided by mobile phone company Vodafone.

The system was recently trialled at the Vintage by the Sea festival in Morecambe where it was used to monitor crowd movements, which then helped to manage services like cleansing.

As well as replacing CCTV systems in the town and city centres, two mobile CCTV cameras will be used at fly-tipping hotspots to help catch offenders.

Initially one of the cameras will be based in Morecambe and another in one of the district’s rural areas, but will move around known problem areas.

Proposals for the new system were developed by a working group consisting of representatives from the Lancaster and Morecambe Business Improvement Districts (BID), the Chamber of Commerce and the police.

Morecambe BID and Lancaster BID have committed to contributing to the annual £35,000 running costs of the system to a total of £9,000 per year and Morecambe Town Council have allocated a contribution of £5,000 per year.

Coun Brendan Hughes, Cabinet member with responsibility for community safety, said: “The world of technology has moved on significantly since the district’s CCTV system was installed back in the 1990s.

“Rather than replacing like-for-like, we’ve decided on a system that will allow us to do more than we’re currently able.

“I’m particularly excited about the new mobile cameras and the potential to help crack down on fly-tipping.

“Fly-tippers are notoriously difficult to prosecute because you almost have to catch them in the act – now we’ll be able to.”

On October 3 the city council’s Cabinet will consider a further report on developing a strategy to expand the use of technology in areas such as providing pay on foot car parking, measuring how full litter bins are in select locations and providing virtual tourist information for visitors.