STRABANE is a ‘safe town that just got safer,’ a local publican has remarked on the forthcoming CCTV installation.
Proprietor of Murphy’s on the Green, Kieran Murphy, who also represents Strabane BID (Business Improvement District) says rather than combat crime, town centre surveillance will predominantly benefit vulnerable people.
It was revealed in recent days that a combination of funds totalling almost £60,000 has been set aside for the new installation; it is now hoped that up to five cameras could be in place in a matter of weeks.
“The crime figures just weren’t there to support the installation of CCTV,” Kieran Murphy explained. “But that’s not what this is about.
“There was a cocktail of funding gathered for this and Strabane BID paid an equal share. More than anything CCTV in Strabane is about helping vulnerable people.
“Like if a person is lost for example. Police will be able to look at the footage to see if there is any trace of the person. Or if a child goes missing during something like a festival.
“In terms of organising a festival CCTV is one of those things that you almost have to have.
“In Derry it has proved very useful for vulnerable people.”
Monitored through a private company which is paid by Derry City and Strabane District Council, the new CCTV installations in Strabane are expected to cover the majority of the town centre.
“From the BID’s perspective, we wanted to have the cameras as a form of prevention rather than the cure.
It’s a safe town that just got safer,” Mr Murphy continued.
“It’s a really, really positive development. The idea of big brother watching us… we have to get real because this is happening everywhere. The advantages of CCTV for Strabane cannot be overestimated.”