CCTV is to be installed in parks across Hartlepool to help protect against anti-social behaviour.
Hartlepool Borough Council bosses have agreed to install CCTV into the four main parks in the town; Burn Valley, Rossmere, Seaton and Ward Jackson.
In addition there will be improvements to CCTV in Jutland Road and Church Street.
Council bosses will pay for the CCTV cameras by looking to reallocate funding previously earmarked to use on gateway roundabouts and barriers in the town, as these schemes are still to be progressed.
The council finance and policy committee agreed to reallocate the funding from roundabouts and barriers to install CCTV in parks and improve the technology in Church Street and Jutland Road ‘as a priority’.
Council bosses said the move comes as anti-social behaviour and damage to play equipment remains an issue in parks across the area.
Coun Stephen Akers-Belcher said: “The money being used for CCTV, I would certainly welcome that because there’s been an outcry, we have a terrible history of arson in some places.
“We’ve got parks which get really well used and it’s really important we invest in that.
“It’s a really good use of money, not only does it protect our parks for the future, I’m sure it will make people feel safer in those parks when they are using them.
“It’s a no brainer really to support this scheme going forward and I hope work is accelerated once the scheme is agreed.”
The move comes after the council secured £550,000 of funding to deliver improvements to Rossmere Park and work on the project started on December 4.
Particular praise was given by councillors and members of the public for the move by the council to protect the park off Rossmere Way.
Coun Jim Lindridge said: “I’d like members to support the addition of CCTV in council parks.
“I think it’s imperative, we have a second jewel in the crown in Rossmere Park, with £550,000 investment that needs protecting.
“I’ve promoted this since the inception of when the funding was sourced and I must also say the councillors have done particularly well supporting and promoting the addition of CCTV.
“I think we need to improve the public perception, especially with the anti-social behaviour and the potential reduction of PCSOs.
“The public need to see we’re doing the right things I honestly believe the CCTV will ensure that residents see we are listening to them in the right areas.”
Resident Peter Joyce, speaking at the meeting, said: “I’d just like to thank the council for considering CCTV, the residents have been on about it for years and it’s not just come about because Rossmere Park is getting revamped, it has been a long issue.”
Coun Leisa Smith also backed the funding allocation and said she had been calling for improvements to the technology in the area.
She said: “I agree with CCTV, it’s absolutely fantastic, I’ve been speaking about it for some time in Jutland Road and the amount of anti-social behaviour.”
The CCTV is to be monitored by the council in-house and will provide 24/7 coverage of the parks.
Nic Marko , Local Democracy Reporting Service