A new CCTV camera system installed to improve safety in Fraserburgh town centre has been hailed as a “great asset” to help tackle crime.
The £60,000 scheme was launched in 2018 after local residents said they don’t “necessarily feel safe” when walking in town, especially in the late hours of the day.
The Fraserburgh Community CCTV Working Group’s initiative was to upgrade the “ageing” CCTV system, which was deemed “obsolete” and not “fit for purpose”, as well as deploy new equipment to tackle anti-social behaviour and improve safety.
Following years of significant fundraising efforts, brand new devices were installed in strategic spots, which had been identified by police as important areas to monitor.
Inspector Cordiner from Fraserburgh police station believes the upgraded set-up has since proven to be “extremely successful” in reducing crime levels in the town centre.
She said: “The cameras are extremely successful and used on an almost daily basis to assist us in detecting crime and hopefully to preventing and deterring it.
“We have had a spate of vandalism and anti-social behaviour recently and the CCTV cameras are being put to good use by Police Scotland to evidence and capture those responsible.”
CCTV system proves as ‘great asset’ to Fraserburgh
The new dome-style cameras were installed at five locations at Hanover Street, Charlotte Street, Deejays Night Club, the corner of Mid Street and Cross Street and the junction at Broad Street and Mid Street.
Along with the existing devices in the port’s Broad Street, Mid Street and harbour area, the upgraded network expanded to eight different locations – covering a much wider area.
Fraserburgh and District councillor Brian Topping, who has led the initiative as a chairman of the CCTV Working Group since day one, was “delighted” to see that years of dedications and effort have paid off.
He said: “I am delighted that our town’s CCTV system is up and running and has already proven successful in bringing wrong doers to justice.
“We are extremely grateful to everybody who has supported us from the start and has donated – we now cover a far wider area, they’ve detected lots of crime and long may that continue.
“It’s been a big undertaking with a lot of tremendously hard work involved, but when this is something you believe in and what the community wants and needs, all of the worry, commitment and dedication is worth it.
“They make people feel safer and that’s fantastic, but it’s important to remember that the cameras don’t stop crime – they help detect it and saves police time in court by assisting with prosecuting cases.”
Fundraising efforts continue
However, as police can monitor the system, but do not pay for security cameras outwith Scotland’s major cities, it has fallen to the community to maintain them.
The group has already secured the funds for the first five years thanks to council grants and donations, but fundraising efforts to ensure the cameras can remain in place for years after are still ongoing.
Mr Topping added: “We’ve covered everything for the first five years, but we’ve got to think about after that and we have to do it before it actually comes to it.
“Some of the cameras might be at the end of their life or they’ll need to be upgraded or replaced, and then we still have all the annual costs to power the cameras and get permits and insurance.
“So we are still desperate to get funding to assist with keeping up with this community project.
“This is what the town wanted and all the help would be greatly appreciated, if anyone is looking for a good cause and would like to donate whether little or a lot.”
Anybody who wishes to donate to the community project can get in touch to do so with Mr Topping or Ricky Sheaffe-Green at email@example.com.