CCTV is returning to Skipton town centre after ten years thanks to Skipton BID.
A £50,000 project to bring the cameras back to the town is close to completion.
More than 40 new CCTV cameras, in locations spreading out from the town centre, have now been installed and are ready to go online very shortly.
The project has been funded as part of the BID’s Skipton Crime Reduction Partnership and will help tackle crime and keep the community safe.
The scheme has been welcomed by police, who say it will be an important tool in their fight against crime as well as acting as a deterrent against potential offenders.
The cameras have been installed by Huddersfield-based System Vision Ltd, and can be instantly accessed by the police if they are alerted to an issue.
This could include things like shoplifting activity in a certain area, anti-social behaviour on a particular street, or a missing child.
BID Manager Geraldine Thompson said: “The BID manages the Skipton Crime Reduction Partnership (SCRP), which is an information sharing scheme for ShopWatch and S.T.A.N.D aiming to reduce shop crime, stop anti-social behaviour and offer assistance to the vulnerable.
“The SCRP’s members already have the use of radios to enable the shops to speedily send out key messages to each other, such as ‘look out for a slim bloke wearing a grey hoody and blue jeans, was acting suspiciously and left in haste when approached‘; and while it appears we live and work in a low crime area, let’s not be naive, bringing CCTV back to Skipton after a decade of absence was the right thing to do.
“The CCTV was, for the BID, the next step in helping to keep Skipton a safe destination for residents, clients, shoppers, staff and visitors.”
BID chairman Andrew Mear said the re-installation of the cameras would make everyone feel much safer in the town and was reversing a short-sighted decision to remove them in the first place.
“It shows how the business community, through the BID, can act to improve the whole town for everyone, and provide a service that would not otherwise be there,” he said.
“The cameras will provide a safe working, living, and leisure environment for everyone, and are a key example of the work the BID can do.”
Skipton neighbourhood policing sergeant Paul Evans said: “With regards the CCTV scheme, we are obviously supportive of anything that helps us to reduce crime and disorder in Skipton.
“CCTV is a useful tool in the fight against crime as it is often a deterrent to those wishing to commit crime and anti-social behaviour, whilst at the same time is often useful evidence when investigating such incidents.
“Skipton Crime Reduction Partnership, supported by Skipton BID is a very useful ally in keeping people safe in the town.
“Working together with local businesses and the sharing of information is key to ensuring that those who intend to cause problems are identified and where possible restricted from entering shops and public houses.
“This helps create a safe environment for the public and local business.”
Sera Brook, landlady at the Albion Inn, Otley Street, said the return of the cameras was very welcome.
“This will only give the people and businesses in the town more assurance and we will all benefit from having it in place. I’m really grateful the BID money we put in is being spent on this. It will make everyone feel safer on the streets,” she said.
Skipton BID is a business-led partnership that has worked for almost 10 years to improve the safety, vitality, cleanliness and visitor appeal of the town. It also supports and sponsors the Christmas Lights and events such as Sheep Day and Waterways Festival which help to increase footfall and boost trade.