Criminals beware: Kettering's new CCTV cameras can see what you're up to
They've already been used to help arrest a burglar
The days of grainy CCTV in Kettering town centre are over after a £50,000 upgrade - and a new camera has already helped arrest a burglar.
The investment will see 17 new Wi-Fi linked cameras placed around the town, using improved technology to produce high quality images which can be accessed by the police.
Many of the borough's 62 current surveillance cameras are analogue, hard wired to the control room in the Newlands Centre and have been in place for almost 20 years.
And a combination of poor quality images, a system reaching the end of its lifespan and spares becoming increasingly harder to source has pushed Kettering Council to put up £50,000 for new camera technology after a review.
A report ahead of a Kettering Town Forum meeting on Monday (October 5) said: "It has become apparent that the cameras in the town centre were ageing and becoming less effective due to frequency of breakdowns, so the review was timely.
"This review also identified that when the new county lighting programme launched, the increased lighting created glare that has prevented accurate colour rendition, therefore making everything look greyscale."
A new Wi-Fi camera with night-vision technology was installed in the Meadow Road park as part of the redevelopment project there.
The council said it is "proving to be very useful" and has already been used to assist in an arrest of a burglar.
Locations for cameras with new technology were chosen based on the existing quality of the cameras and their night-time operational use. They will cover the areas with the highest footfall, such as Silver Street, Horsemarket, Montagu Street, Sheep Street, Market Street, Gold Street and High Street.
The CCTV system currently costs £213,780 a year in running costs.
The council estimates the new Wi-Fi cameras could offer a potential saving of up to £20,000 and would also allow existing cameras to be fully serviced, refurbished and redeployed elsewhere in the network.
And if it proves a success they could replace some of the 12 cameras in Burton Latimer, Rothwell and Desborough.
The council report said: "If the introduction of Wi-Fi in the town proves to be effective we can look at the options available to link the A6 towns and remoter Kettering cameras onto the Wi-Fi network, but this is a larger overall project with greater technical barriers to overcome.
"Nevertheless, these areas can benefit from the redeployed refurbished cameras."
The council will also consider using mobile cameras to cover "hotspot" areas for specified time periods.
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