A major programme of improvements to the CCTV network in Worcester city centre has begun.
The £600,000 project will take four months to complete and will see 93 new high definition cameras installed, connected by high-speed fibre optic cabling.
The improvements – which will provide much clearer camera images and the ability for some cameras to view 360 degrees – have been funded by Worcester City Council with a £75,000 contribution from Police and Crime Commissioner John Campion.
The new system is being installed by security specialists Tellemachus and will include three mobile cameras that can be moved to different locations as required – for example, in response to anti-social behaviour.
Cllr James Stanley, Chair of the City Council's Communities Committee, said: "These improvements to our city's CCTV network will help our communities feel safer and will bring many advantages. It means improved security at our growing programme of city events, an increased ability to detect crime and it will also be a great aid in other circumstances, such as trying to find missing persons.
"I am very proud that the City Council is able to make this important investment."
West Mercia Police and Crime Commissioner John Campion said: "I am committed to improving and upgrading CCTV cameras and systems across West Mercia, including Worcester City, and have invested £1m over my term in office because I recognise that they are an incredibly valuable resource.
"CCTV can be a great help not just to the police, but councils and other community organisations for crime prevention and detection. Their presence can also make communities feel safer."
Chief Inspector Gareth Morgan from the Worcester local policing team said: "We hugely welcome this investment and upgrade; CCTV can be a hugely powerful tool to help us prevent and detect crime and we don't underestimate the reassurance it can give people living and working in the city. We also hope this also demonstrates that the police service and the local council do, and will continue to, work closely together to do all we can to keep our communities safe."
The new CCTV system will be fully digital, improving both the quality and range of coverage.The latest software will provide the ability to search for specific individuals when a detailed description is available, as well as improved monitoring of live events with remote controlled camera movements.