CCTV cameras will give town free wi-fi boost

A safer – and better connected – town centre in Diss has moved a step closer.

Plans were this week submitted for the installation of CCTV cameras around the town, linked by a wireless network.

However the network will also be open to the public, meaning that visitors to Diss can benefit from free wi-fi throughout the town centre.

Town clerk Deborah Sarson said the offer of wi-fi could deliver the town a boost.

'It's going to make a big difference and will make the town a lot more attractive if visitors can get free wi-fi,' she said.

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'It's going to be something we really promote and is an additional bonus to other things we are doing in Diss at the moment.'

An application has been submitted to South Norfolk Council for 10 CCTV cameras and wi-fi nodes.

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The nodes will provide a network on two levels – a secure connection for the monitoring of CCTV pictures from the cameras and a public access network.

The camera sites have been chosen for their view of the town centre streets and include three on Mere Street, two on Market Place, St Nicholas Street, Chapel Street and Diss Park Road.

The cameras would record the street scenes 24 hours a day and be monitored by police officers.

They have been funded by South Norfolk Council, which has a £66,000 budget to improve and install CCTV in Diss and Wymondham.

People living in the two towns have long been campaigning for the installation of the systems, which, they say, will improve safety for businesses and residents.

The cameras are expected to act as a deterrent, as well as reducing the fear of crime for shop staff and public, and boost police detection rates by offering better opportunities for identifying offenders. It would also give visitors and residents increased confidence about coming to the town centre, further boosting businesses in the area.

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