Stevenage police appeal for residents with private CCTV to help catch more criminals
- Credit: Archant
Herts police are trialling a scheme asking people to use their private CCTV at home to help catch criminals.
The Stevenage Safer Neighbourhood Team will launch CCTV Watch over the next few months.
Watch liaison officer Nathalia Smith suggested rolling out the pilot in Stevenage after a trial involving about 60 sign-ups was successfully launched in Watford in January.
She said: “We seem to have many residents in Stevenage with their own CCTV.
“CCTV Watch will use the same system we use to communicate with our Neighbourhood Watch members – the Online Watch Link (OWL).
“We have just over 120,000 members registered in the county, and almost 6,000 members in Stevenage alone.
“CCTV Watch is a simple concept. The police will have a map of all the private CCTV in the area, with contact details of the owners.
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“When a crime occurs in an area, we can simply contact the closest people and ask them to check their cameras for us.
“The idea is to promote a safe and fast way of communicating with Stevenage residents who have CCTV in a particular area where a crime has occurred.
“We can communicate with members, as well as know by the click of a button which houses have CCTV when we need it fast.”
Anyone registered with OWL will receive messages from their local policing team, which can be about anything from thefts on your street and the latest scams affecting people living in the county, to an appeal to help find a missing person.
Nathalia said: “In Hertfordshire, we have the most successful Neighbourhood Watch in the country, and this certainly helps reducing crime.
“We get contacted by people to say thank you as they were saved from becoming victims of fraud due to the OWL message they received.
“In the same way Neighbourhood Watch and the OWL system help us to fight crime and keep people safe, we hope the use of CCTV Watch will help us find a suspect more efficiently.”
To register for OWL, visit www.owl.co.uk. You will then be able to email WLO@Herts.pnn.police.uk and can ask to be added to CCTV Watch.