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CCTV spending to combat crime and ease residents’ fears

CCTV cameras which fight crime and ease residents’ safety fears are to be updated under a £1.1 million council investment programme.

Lambeth Council will spend the money in a bid to replace approximately 75 existing CCTV cameras each year over the next five years in a bid to boost its existing camera network.

The council’s cabinet has approved a new CCTV action plan which will also see “intelligence led” mobile cameras target gang and anti-social behaviour hotspots in areas and housing estates disproportionately affected by crime and anti-social behaviour.

Lambeth Council’s CCTV network has provided hundreds of images that helped to trace suspected looters and rioters from last August’s disturbances.

High-quality images of more than 1,000 incidents are referred to the Met and other agencies each month.

In December, the ringleader of a violent gang which hurled bottles at police as they fought to control rioters in Coldharbour Lane, Brixton, was jailed for two years due to vital evidence captured by the CCTV cameras.

Police feared for their safety as they came under attack by Hakeem Walker who led a 15-strong gang of vandals which threw bottles and smashed the windscreen of a police van.

The council’s CCTV digital footage was described by police as being of ‘exceptional quality’ during the trial.

A Lambeth council spokesman said: “Residents regularly tell us that safety is their number one concern.

“This spending reinforces our commitment to tackle crime and anti-social behaviour on our streets, town centres and estates.”

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