New CCTV cameras to be installed after vandals and thieves strike at Hartlepool parks
New CCTV cameras are being installed in Hartlepool parks hit by vandalism, antisocial behaviour and theft.
One of the eyes in the sky will be put in at Ward Jackson Park where play equipment had to be removed this summer after being targeted by suspected scrap metal thieves.
Two cameras have been granted planning permission at Burn Valley Gardens.
One will be installed close to the bowls club and coach house near Blakelock Road. Another will cover a children's playground at Blakelock Gardens which has also suffered vandalism in the past.
They are part of plans by Hartlepool Borough Council to put new cameras at eight sites across the town including Rossmere Park and Seaton Park as well as in Church Square, Church Street, at Summerhill and the Waterfront.
A council officer's report for the camera at the Burn Valley Gardens play area states: "It is considered that the installation of the proposed CCTV camera would increase surveillance and therefore potentially help deter incidences of crime and disorder, particularly antisocial behaviour and acts of vandalism."
The decision has been welcomed by the Friends of Hartlepool's Wild Green Spaces voluntary group which has recently installed benches in Burn Valley gardens near to where the cameras will go.
Chair of the group Anne Brown said: "Anything that will help protect the parks and stop the wanton vandalism and thefts that goes on is a good idea.
"But it's important they are linked and monitored so that action can be taken fairly quickly."
Both cameras in the Burn Valley will be 10 metres high and be linked wirelessly to the CCTV Control Room.
They will also include an anti-climb attachment.
The camera in Ward Jackson Park, which has also been given planning permission, will be 8 metres high and is due to go adjacent to the play area.
Maria Seymour, of the Place in the Park Cafe, said: "I welcome it. Hopefully it might discourage people from damaging the play equipment and also protect businesses as well."