SURVEILLANCE cameras in Bromsgrove are set for an £80,000 upgrade following a review of camera provision across the district.

A CCTV Short Sharp Review Group was formed to investigate the current provision in March 2017, after concerns were raised about a rise in crime and anti-social behaviour in Rock Hill.

Cabinet members agreed last night (Wednesday) to match-fund a bid to West Mercia's Police and Crime Commissioner for £40,000 to replace the outdated CCTV network and invest in new deployable cameras.

Cllr Steve Colella, who chaired the Short Sharp Review Group, said: "It quickly became apparent that the current CCTV system across Bromsgrove is no longer fit for purpose, is out of date, and certainly not value for money.

"The cameras were originally set up as part of a government initiative to tackle crime and fear of crime, but the control centre had so many screens that data storage is a big issue as footage has to be overridden after a relatively short space of time, so we could be losing valuable data.

"The images are also of very poor quality.

"Members agreed that a digital network should be supported using digital cameras and wireless technology to introduce new network systems and deployable cameras so they can be used in crime hotspots as and when we need them."

Around 60 cameras will be replaced over the next three years, with some removed where appropriate.

The group's investigation found there had been no new surveillance cameras installed in the last 10 years and Rock Hill was identified as one of the areas in need of deployable CCTV.

Ward member for Rock Hill, Cllr Michael Thompson, said: "I am delighted that this task group has taken forward my ideas of deployable CCTV.

"This idea will enable councillors and residents to monitor crime and antisocial behaviour hotspots as and when they occur.

"This fluid form of crime prevention is far more efficient than the previous outdated system which frankly was no longer fit for purpose.”

The estimated cost for the digital infrastructure upgrade, which focuses on areas such as Bromsgrove town centre, Rubery, Hagley and Barnt Green, is £134,250.

Around £38,000 per year is expected to be saved in BT Fibre costs, and maintenance fees are expected to be halved.