Plans to install CCTV cameras in two Norfolk towns have been given a boost with the announcement of a £70,000 grant towards the cost of the scheme.

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The Norfolk County Community Safety Partnership has offered the money to the Community Interest Company (CIC) which plans to set up nine CCTV cameras in Diss and Wymondham. The cash will help to cover the capital costs of introducing the cameras.

The two towns will have a working group, made up of town councillors and business leaders, to oversee the project which will include both town councils pitching in £1,000 annually from their own funds to cover the cameras’ running costs.

A number of other authorities will be providing the group with administrative support, including Norfolk Police and South Norfolk Council.

The cameras’ operator is expected to be chosen in October following a tendering process.

A planning application will then be submitted to South Norfolk Council for the cameras and a council spokesman said an installation date for the cameras would depend on the planning process.

Once installed, the cameras will record street scenes 24 hours a day, every day and volunteers will be recruited by the working group to watch the images at the time of recording, but only at busy times such as Friday and Saturday evenings so they can alert the police to crimes or anti-social behaviour.

The aim of the CCTV system is to reduce crime by deterring criminals, reduce the fear of crime to shop staff and members of the public in the town centre, create a secure trading environment, increase police detection rates by identifying offenders and give visitors and residents increased confidence about visiting the town centre, which would raise the numbers coming in.

A Norfolk police report suggests installing CCTV could reduce the number of crimes from 351 to 261 per year, while saving the police £56,254.

Councillor Martin Wilby, district council cabinet member for communities and localism, said: “We are delighted to have been able to support Diss and Wymondham so that they can get their CCTV up and running.

“Incidents of crime and anti social behaviour in South Norfolk are low, but local people and businesses are concerned and we hope these systems will be both a reassurance and a deterrence.”

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