Eyes in the sky help kick crime out of Sunderland

Latest digital technology being used to help prevent anti-social behaviour in Sunderland city centre ... Left to right ... Northumbria Police Inspector Jason Southwell, Portfolio Holder for City Services, Cllr Michael Mordey, Chief Executive of Sunderland BID, Ken Dunbar, Deputy Leader of Sunderland City Council and Chair of the Safer Partnership, Cllr Harry Trueman and Northumbria Police Sgt Maria Ord.
Latest digital technology being used to help prevent anti-social behaviour in Sunderland city centre ... Left to right ... Northumbria Police Inspector Jason Southwell, Portfolio Holder for City Services, Cllr Michael Mordey, Chief Executive of Sunderland BID, Ken Dunbar, Deputy Leader of Sunderland City Council and Chair of the Safer Partnership, Cllr Harry Trueman and Northumbria Police Sgt Maria Ord.
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EAGLE-EYED technology is being used to drive down anti-social behaviour in Sunderland city centre.

Two 4G cameras have been installed in different areas of Park Lane, close to the city’s bus interchange.

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The cameras can tilt 360 degrees, so there are no blind spots and take high-definition visuals, with picture signals monitored at the city council’s Alarm and Emergency Centre.

Both also contain a speech unit with a range of public information messages, which can be activated by the operator, to respond to incidents such as people dropping litter or causing a nuisance.

Park Lane has been chosen for the pilot project to help address issues identified by community safety partners.

It is hoped the use of the cameras will help to make the area a nicer place for visitors to come to.

The installation is part of a scheme between the Safer Sunderland Partnership and Business Improvement District (BID), along with financial support from Police and Crime Commissioner Vera Baird.

Chairman of the Safer Sunderland Partnership, Councillor Harry Trueman, said: “The cameras are there for prevention rather than enforcement, and to provide a reassuring, but discreet presence, for everyone using this popular area.

“We are using the latest technology to add to the more traditional, existing community safety measures already in place, to address people’s concerns about anti-social behaviour and environmental crime.”

Chief executive of Sunderland BID, Ken Dunbar, added: “The installation of the state-of-the-art CCTV cameras is another example of successful partnerships working in Sunderland.

“Part of the remit is to ensure that the city centre is a safe and secure place for everyone to visit, and these cameras will be a huge asset in achieving that aim.”

Neighbourhood inspector for Sunderland Central, Jamie Southwell, said: “CCTV is a very useful tool in both crime prevention and detection and we’re always keen to use the latest technology.

“CCTV has led to many arrests and convictions over the years and interrogating footage from it is an integral part of our approach to investigating crimes.

“The systems also provide a major source of reassurance to our communities. Many people welcome the idea of monitoring systems in their neighbourhood, town or, in this case, the city.”