Mobile camera network to cut crime

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A NETWORK of CCTV cameras to crack down on crime have been felled to make way for new technology.

The 30ft masts were installed in Hendon and the East End of Sunderland and were heralded as an important weapon in the fight against crime.

The first of a planned 23 masts was placed near Ocean Road North, at Hendon Beach, in 2006.

Regeneration programme Back on the Map, which came to an end last year, funded the £742,000 scheme.

Now the cameras are to be replaced by mobile CCTV which operates on a 3G network.

Council bosses have assured residents this includes two cameras which are dedicated specifically to Hendon.

Sunderland City Council leader Coun Paul Watson said: “The CCTV cameras previously funded by the now completed Back on the Map programme in Hendon are being removed and replaced by new, mobile technology.

“These cameras are at the end of their working lives. They will be replaced by cameras provided from a city wide network of advanced 3G mobile CCTV which can be more easily deployed across the city wherever and whenever they are needed.

“Additional funding has also provided two extra mobile cameras which will be permanently based in Hendon.

“The new mobile cameras can be deployed at hotspots identified by the community, and will help continue the work of community safety partners which has significantly reduced crime and antisocial behaviour in the East area of the city over the last ten years.

“The advanced 3G mobile network joins the existing, permanently-sited cameras in operation across the community which are linked to the city centre emergency and alarm centre.”