CCTV operators celebrate arrests after surveillance

PUBLISHED: 16:06 08 June 2007 | UPDATED: 22:51 28 May 2010

ALERT CCTV operators in March swung into action following a police tip-off which has led to two arrests, one for possessing drugs and the other for breaching bail conditions. Both police and Fenland District Council, which controls the cameras, are delig

ALERT CCTV operators in March swung into action following a police tip-off which has led to two arrests, one for possessing drugs and the other for breaching bail conditions.

Both police and Fenland District Council, which controls the cameras, are delighted with the arrests, the results they claim of effective partnership working.

A council spokesman said: "There is no hiding place for hardened criminals in Fenland, something that this teenage criminal gang discovered to their cost."

An off-duty police officer spotted a group of youngsters, whose criminal activities over many years have put them in the Police Prolific Priority Offenders category. The group was then tracked by a CCTV operator who monitored what appeared to be drug dealing on the street.

The spokesman added: "With 90 per cent of all crimes committed by five per cent of offenders, the council and police have teamed up effectively to operate the Prolific Priority Offenders scheme, designed to identify habitual criminals and monitor them closely on a regular basis.

"Close liaison ensures that photographs of PPOs are held in the council's CCTV control centre. This allows the monitoring team to keeps a sharp eye on their activities whenever they are seen in public."

Persistent offenders are the subject of particularly close surveillance. This includes being stopped and searched whenever they are on the street and home visits every 72 hours.

Inspector Robin Sissons, sector commander for the March area, said there had been no street robberies in the March sector this year "and this is something that I am proud of and I feel is something that reassure the community".

He said the prolific offenders' scheme was working and the latest arrests was evidence of "the theory becoming practice".

March was a safe place to live, he said, and "the rising fear of crime felt by people is unfounded".


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