THE council is poised to put the spotlight on anti-social crime by offering grants for crime-busting CCTV cameras.
The twin goal, they say, is to support businesses and make the Borough ‘a safer place’.
Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council will soon be encouraging businesses to apply for a new CCTV Grant for their premises, as part of a programme to support economic recovery in the Borough.
The new initiative follows an increase in anti-social behaviour and crime in town centres and local commercial areas across the Borough.
The scheme will fund CCTV for local businesses, with access to the recorded footage being made available to the PSNI, if and when required.
Mayor Billy Webb has commended the scheme.
“The Council works closely with businesses across the Borough and some have highlighted their concerns about localised crime and antisocial behaviour,” he said.
“We want to do what we can to support our local businesses and economy, making our Borough as safe a place as possible for our residents and visitors as well as giving our business owners peace of mind that their premises are protected.
“Businesses have had a tough time over the past 18 months and by making the Borough a safer place, we hope this will help aid them in the recovery stages following the pandemic.”
Details on how to apply for the CCTV Grant Programme will be made available at www.antrimandnewtownabbey.gov.uk soon.
DUP MLA Trevor Clarke said it was a timely decision.
“I am delighted that the council has agreed to develop a scheme to support businesses in the installation of CCTV,” he told the Guardian.
“A similar scheme had previously been discussed for monitored CCTV systems but was deemed cost prohibitive.
“Due to the advances in technology, high quality systems with remote viewing are now an option.
“My thanks must go to the council’s Chief Executive, Jacqui Dixon, for her foresight and positivity about the scheme.”
This was echoed by DUP Dunsilly DEA Councillor, Alderman Linda Clarke.
“I arranged a meeting to discuss the option of a CCTV scheme following a spate of antisocial behaviour and vandalism in Randalstown and all towns in the borough,” she explained.
“At the meeting the PSNI and council officers agreed that the idea was viable and would go a long way in the prevention of further incidents.
“The council officers are now liaising with the PSNI to develop a specification for the scheme.
“I encourage all local businesses to participate in the scheme once it opens to deter would-be vandals from destroying our wonderful towns.”