More security cameras could aid safety in Barton town centre
MORE security cameras could be installed to increase safety measures in Barton town centre.
Barton Town Council is set to earmark £6,500 as a reserve in its budget for the next financial year for CCTV.
Some of that cash would be spent on two new cameras, to be installed on King Street.
A network of 10 cameras has been in operation since 2009 and has helped police when investigating several crimes.
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The new cameras would eliminate a current blind spot and ensure the whole town centre is watched over.
The system was linked to broadband internet after an additional investment by the town council in March last year.
Town Mayor Paul Vickers said this made it possible to position the new cameras, which will cost £500. He said: "The plan was always to finish off the circuit and have cameras on King Street but we had problems siting them.
"Now we have got the advantage of broadband access, we have not got the problem of confidentiality with the doctors' surgery or JobCentre Plus buildings.
"If we can talk to those people and have permission to site a camera on their buildings, this problem will be overcome."
The existing network was funded and developed by a partnership of the town council, Safer Neighbourhoods, Northern Rail and the Barton Chamber of Trade.
Its successes have included helping police with the investigation into the arson attack which destroyed the former Rafters restaurant in High Street in 2009.
Mr Vickers said: "It has been ever so successful and people realise how important it is.
"The next step, finance pending, is to put the cameras in King Street, so we have got a link from George Street, the Market Place, High Street and King Street to the bus station.
"Hopefully, we can move on and do that."
The issue was discussed by the town council's community regeneration committee at its latest meeting.
The committee determined its proposed budget for the 2013-14 financial year at the meeting.
Committee chairman Alan Todd said: "Last year, we allocated £6,000 to CCTV, of which we have already spent £3,000 this year.
"It looks like we will have to spend at least another £500 of that to increase the camera coverage."
The committee agreed to allocate a £6,500 earmarked reserve for CCTV in its proposed budget.
This will form part of the town council's overall budget, to be agreed in February.