'Enhanced' CCTV helping police to keep revellers safe in Sunderland

Police say a new "enhanced" CCTV surveillance suite which monitors night-time hot-spots in Sunderland is helping them keep vulnerable revellers safe.

Thursday, 2nd August 2018, 2:34 pm
Updated Thursday, 2nd August 2018, 2:38 pm
Ch Supt Sarah Pitt and Michelle Coates

In partnership with Sunderland City Council, police can use the city’s cameras to study late-night flashpoints and are regularly contacted by skilled operators who identify vulnerable people in need of assistance in the early hours of the morning.

Officers say they are now benefiting from an increased flexibility which allows the cameras to be moved to different locations, where required, meaning officers can also hone in on particular areas that have seen increases in crime.

Chief Superintendent Sarah Pitt, of Northumbria Police, says the resource is a useful tool to help tackle alcohol-related issues and protect vulnerable people in the city centre.

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“Sunderland is a great place to enjoy a night out and my priority is to ensure those who take advantage of our brilliant pubs, bars and clubs continue to socialise safely and responsibly,” Chief Supt Pitt said.

“We are there to reassure people and intervene if there’s any crime or disorder, but also to make sure those who are vulnerable, perhaps because they’ve had a bit too much to drink of have become separated from their friends, are safe.

“A lot of work continues to be carried out in our night-time economy under the banner of Sanctuary to protect those who are vulnerable.

"By working closely with the city’s licensed premises, door staff, taxi drivers and hoteliers, we can identify potentially vulnerable people early and take steps to keep them safe.

“The council’s CCTV suite plays a crucial part in that.

"We are proud of the partnership approach we adopt in the city and the steps taken together to help keep the people of Sunderland and beyond safe.”

Michelle Coates, Principal Policy Officer for People & Neighbourhoods at Sunderland City Council, added: “Our cameras help complement what we already have in place with our community safety partners across the city, to monitor any problems with anti-social behaviour and react accordingly to help protect people and property from harm.

“Working together to share the intelligence provided by the camera footage, and the resources and expertise we have available, we want to be able to intervene and stop any problems becoming out of control.”

Deputy Leader of Sunderland City Council and Chair of the Safer Sunderland Partnership, Coun Michael Mordey added: “The surveillance suite helps us to monitor our city 24 hours, seven days a week, to help keep our city streets as safe as we can.

“We have invested significantly in this new equipment, to provide our community safety partners with the kind of technological help that they need to achieve this aim.”

Anyone who sees a potentially vulnerable person or anything suspicious is asked to speak to a nearby officer or call 101.

In an emergency, ring 999.