Cumbria Police invest in high definition CCTV

Cumbria Police has invested in high-definition CCTV. Credit: ITV Border

Cumbria Police has unveiled its newest weapon to fight crime - high definition CCTV. 

The force is one of the few in the UK to own its own system - others rely on local councils - and as well as upgrading the existing network of 80 cameras, it's also installing 40 more in the largest urban areas.

CCTV manager at Cumbria Police, Andy Petty said: "We've almost doubled the quality of the image. We've gone from 720p to 1080p and in some cases these cameras are running in excess of 1080p so the cameras really are as good as a lot of your TVs at home and that's the kind of image we're getting through on these cameras.

Chief Superintendent Carl Patrick said: “The current CCTV provision has reached the end of its life, so the Constabulary has sought out the best hardware possible to help us to investigate crimes and keep people safe.

 “Our CCTV capability is already helping officers find missing people and identify perpetrators every day. However, the new cameras will greatly enhance that capability and, in turn, significantly boost the ability of the Constabulary to achieve positive results.”

It is hoped the new CCTV will help officers investigate crime. Credit: ITV Border

Addressing concerns about privacy, Mr Petty said stringent measures are in place to prevent the misuse of the surveillance system.

It is monitored 24 hours a day and footage is kept for 30 days, unless there is a court order. 

Mike Johnson, Deputy Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner for Cumbria said: "Any would be criminals who think that they can come into Cumbria or who are already here thinking they're going to carry out some criminality, you are being watched and and you will be caught because the CCTV are additional eyes and ears for the police".

The new cameras are already being used in Penrith, Workington and parts of Carlisle city centre. The rest of the county will follow with the intention of reducing crime and increasing prosecutions.

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