Co Down towns must be included in a CCTV upgrade or they face falling victim to “chronic anti-social behaviour”, a councillor has warned.
Council run CCTV systems across Newry, Mourne and Down District Council (NMDDC) look set to be upgraded, but some may be left out fuelling fears problem areas will not be monitored.
Old analogue camera systems will no longer work from the end of 2025, councillors were told this week.
But a planned digital upgrade may not apply to areas that fall under the ‘legacy’ Down District Council area including Newcastle, Downpatrick and Ballynahinch.
Mournes Alliance rep, Jill Truesdale said: “In regards to upgrade of town centre CCTV, I have previously asked why Newcastle, Downpatrick and Ballynahinch town centres are monitored in Lisburn against crime, and this is because it is another legacy issue.
“So, it is not going to be part of the collaborative upgrade within the PSNI.
“I am very happy to support the upgrades in the legacy Newry end, but after sitting on the Donard Park ASB (anti-social behaviour) group, with recent dealings with Downpatrick Translink, I think it is imperative that a timeframe is put around the options in a business case for CCTV upgrades in these legacy areas.
“It will stop negative reputational damage and chronic anti-social behaviour.”
A council officer responded: “That is a historic issue that you have rightly highlighted in relation to the monitoring of different areas in the district.
“In relation to a timeframe, the town centres CCTV, if approved to proceed, have to be completed by the end of 2025, as at that stage the analogue lines will no longer be in effect, so they won’t be usable.
“So, it has to be completed by the end of 2025.”