South West Wales

Planned Dyfed-Powys Police CCTV switch-on in early 2018

The CCTV control room, a CCTV camera and a CCTV camera warning sign
Image caption Dyfed-Powys Police old CCTV cameras were switched off two years ago

Towns in the Dyfed-Powys Police area could be watched again by CCTV cameras within six months, the police and crime commissioner Dafydd Llywelyn has said.

The £2m four-year project will start in the Carmarthenshire towns of Llanelli, Ammanford and Carmarthen.

The previous commissioner Christopher Salmon stopped CCTV monitoring after a report said removing cameras would not result in significant rises in crime.

But Mr Llywelyn said CCTV will help.

"It has made it a little more difficult for police officers to do their work without having access to the comprehensive CCTV infrastructure," he told the BBC.

Mr Llywelyn hopes the project will be out to tender in September before the network is switched on early in 2018 to help "support policing resources" and "keep our communities safe".

The project has been funded by a seven percent hike in the police precept householders pay via council tax, which saw a rise in an average Band D household of an extra 27p per week across Carmarthenshire, Pembrokeshire, Ceredigion and Powys.

Image copyright Geograph/Ceridwen
Image caption King Street in Carmarthen has a CCTV camera watching over shoppers

"It is half of a percent of the entire Dyfed-Powys Police budget," Mr Llywelyn said. "It is a worthwhile investment for our communities."

"Lots of the old infrastructure in the Dyfed-Powys area was installed in the 1990s and technology has moved on."

He added it is "vitally important" an "upgraded, effective and modern" CCTV camera system is monitored live to "nip some incidents in the bud."

"There must be a prevention element."

A team has spent six months working on potential locations and camera specifications before the planned switch-on next year.

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