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ELECTRONIC eyes will watch over a town centre and its communities when a CCTV system is drafted in after years of campaigning.

Seaham was due to have cameras installed under a plan lined up after the Home Office awarded cash to the town council.

However, the funds were withheld because the authority did not have enough time to get permission to put up the cameras and spend its allocation before a deadline date.

Now, almost two years on, a fresh project is under way after cash was stumped up to cover the cost of technology which will ensure the St John’s end of Church Street is covered.

A camera pole is already in place and in operation at the town park, where a new £217,000-plus play and skate areas have recently been created, with a third proposed power point to be put in outside Westlea shops.

All three posts will allow the cameras to swivel 360˚.

Permission to install the kit is being sought from the county council, which is responsible for the lampposts, which are used to mount and power the kit.

Durham County Council’s East Durham Area Action Partnership (AAP) has pledged £9,000 towards the new scheme, with the town council, which is leading the project, putting forward a further £4,000.

Paul Fletcher, deputy town clerk of Seaham Town Council, said: “For some years, we have been campaigning for CCTV cameras and we worked in between 2005 to 2010 with the police and other partners and thought we had the funding from the Home Office.

“What we have done since then is the council, along with the county councillors and together with the AAP, has purchases three mobile CCTV cameras.

“They will be state-of-the-art and both the town council and the police have already received training on how to use it.

“The feedback we’ve already had about the CCTV is that people are very pleased.

“It’s been talked about at the business forum and it’s something the businesses are happy to see.”

Mobile camera facilities are already installed in Dawdon and fixed CCTV operating in Ryton Crescent, Deneside, with the cameras linked to Byron Place shopping centre covering the coast end of the town centre.

Sergeant Jim Peel, of Seaham Neighbourhood Policing Team, said: “It will be a great benefit and will help reassure the public, prevent crimes and help us solve crimes. It will make people feel more safe if they are out in Church Street.”

Police say the level of antisocial behaviour is falling.

In January, 86 incidents were recorded, with 64 logged last month.

Twitter: @EchoEastDurham