Back street role for CCTV cameras

A police force's hi-tech fight against crime is taking to the back streets.

The Northumbria force claims to be the first in the country to be equipped with purpose-built "rapid response" CCTV vehicle.

More than £20,000 has been spent on adapting the van so it can quickly manoeuvre in the narrow back lanes of Tyne and Wear.

Force chiefs say the van will allow officers into areas previously inaccessible to traditional cameras.

The move is backed by the Newcastle Community Safety Partnership and has received cash help from the Home Office.

A spokeswoman for the partnership said: "Unlike other CCTV vans used by Northumbria Police, this new model is small enough to negotiate back lanes.

"It gives the police access to areas previously uncharted by CCTV vans and is equipped with a secure area to transport prisoners safely without delay.

"It will also allow for new methods of evidence gathering, which could result in witnesses not being required in court."

Story from BBC NEWS:

Published: 2004/04/06 12:31:02 GMT