The Citywatch NI success story continued this week as their new state-of-the-art CCTV control room was officially opened at Lisburn PSNI station on Thursday (February 23rd).
Guests attending the official opening included Lisburn and Castlereagh PSNI Chief Inspector Lorraine Dobson and representatives from the Department of Justice.
Lisburn and Castlereagh Chief Inspector Lorraine Dobson said: “CCTV systems are useful tools for police in tackling crime and disorder in urban areas. The systems have proved their use in other towns in detecting and preventing incidents.
“The cameras record images 24/7 and if criminal activity is observed on a camera, the CCTV operators can direct PSNI response to the incident.
“The system forms part of an integrated approach to managing incidents and events in the town centres. This approach has led to higher crime detection rates as well as acting as a significant deterrent to those wishing to act in an anti-social manner in the areas.
“We recognise the valuable contribution that this resource can make to a community and we continue to work with our partners to ensure that Lisburn and Castlereagh is a safe place for everyone to live, work and visit. CCTV systems are useful tools for police in tackling crime and disorder in urban areas, and this should provide assurance for local people.”
“This sends a clear message to those engaged in crime or anti-social behaviour that they will be caught and will be prosecuted.
“This partnership involves Police, the Department of Justice, the local business community and the council, and I would like to thank the members of CityWatch and Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council for the excellent partnership which proves collaborative working provides great outcomes. It is hoped the facility will be increased to provide additional cover to other areas in the future”.
A Department of Justice spokesperson said: “This is an excellent example of how determined partnership working can deliver real benefits for the entire community.
“Congratulations go to LCAC, PSNI, Lisburn and Castlereagh City Council, and everyone involved in this collaborative approach to keeping local people safer and protecting businesses against crime.”
Mayor of Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council, Cllr Brian Bloomfield MBE said: “I am delighted to see the improved CCTV room in operation and witness the excellent work carried out by the CityWatch staff in partnership with the PSNI. The Council continue to support the public space CCTV scheme across the Council area by providing funding for operational activity and capital improvements. The benefit to community safety is valued by all our Citizens”.
The Chairman of Lisburn Commerce Against Crime [LCAC] Mr Ernie Knox thanked Lisburn and Castlereagh City Council for their financial support, he said: “Firstly, I am very pleased to welcome the Permanent Secretary for Dept. Of Justice Mr Nick Perry to officially open the new CCTV suite. I would like to thank Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council for their continued support that enables the excellent service provided by the CCTV operators to continue. Staff in the CCTV control room monitor 132 cameras across the Lisburn & Castlereagh Council area as well as 21 in Newcastle, Downpatrick and Ballynahinch.
“During 2016, 3431 incidents were logged by CCTV operators, and 318 arrests were made. This is an increase of 51 incidents from the previous year. I would like to commend the control room staff for the excellent work they do.”