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'Intelligent' CCTV will remove blank spots in town centre

Issued by the Police and Crime Commissioner for Lincolnshire 25/7/22

A host of new "intelligent" CCTV cameras will be installed across Lincolnshire thanks to a successful funding bid by the county's Police and Crime Commissioner and the South & East Lincolnshire Councils Partnership.

The 385 new cameras will be fixed in key spots around Spalding, Boston and Skegness - removing blank spots and creating blanket coverage of areas in the town centres.

As a result it will allow the creation of "safe zone areas" allowing people to move safely from night clubs and pubs to transport links and taxi ranks.

The project will also include the recruitment, training and licensing of a new network of volunteer CCTV operators from within the local community - allowing police officers to get back out on the streets.

The £400,000 cost of the project will be paid for by the Government after a bid for Safer Streets Funding by PCC Marc Jones and South & East Lincolnshire Councils Partnership.

Artificial Intelligence servers will be installed alongside the cameras and allow police officers to search footage quickly using parameters such as clothing description or vehicle type.

This will save valuable time getting to important evidence and increase the risk of detection, capture and conviction. 

The bid comes after the PCC's Lincolnshire Youth Commission engaged with over 1000 young people and identified sexual assaults or street harassment as the biggest threats to their safety.

Street harassment and stalking has also been directly raised as an issue at public engagement events undertaken by the OPCC Safer Together Team in Spalding, Boston and Skegness.

The sites of the cameras were identified after extensive analysis of crime statistics by Lincolnshire Police.

The project, alongside other successful Safer Street bids, represent just a part Mr Jones' commitment to tackle the issue of violence against women and girls.

"It is crucial that everyone, but especially women and girls, can feel and be safe on the streets both during the day and at night," said Mr Jones.

"This project represents just the latest in a string of successful projects that are now being actioned which puts more than £1million worth of CCTV across our county - deterring criminals and ensuring greater levels of security for our residents.

"This myriad of technology also means our police officers can spend less time in an office and more time on the streets where they are most needed."

In a joint statement from the three Council Leaders, Councillor Paul Skinner, Leader of Boston Borough Council, Councillor Craig Leyland, Leader of East Lindsey District Council, and Councillor Gary Porter, Leader of South Holland District Council said: "The Safer Streets bid is a progressive step towards ensuring the safety of our residents and visitors across Boston, East Lindsey and South Holland, particularly in creating a safer environment for women and girls who are at risk of violence.

"We believe this bid will be successful in creating safer public places through the use of new technologies and increased CCTV in areas previously deemed as hot spots for Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) such as pedestrian routes and night-time economy areas."