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Volunteers could help man Beverley CCTV cameras

Concerns expressed by Beverley FM listeners about the effectiveness of the town’s CCTV system has led to a new initiative by the town’s police chief that could see increased monitoring of cameras by volunteer members of the public.

Inspector Mark Coulthard, senior officer in charge of the Beverley Rural policing team, is keen for more people to join the Humberside Force’s Community Safety Volunteer scheme, which is run in partnership with the Humberside Fire and Rescue Service to encourage those living and working in the area to use their skills, experience and knowledge to assist and support Police Officers, Police Community Support Officers, Special Constables, support staff and fire service personnel in their daily business.

A dedicated teams of volunteers from a variety of backgrounds and cultures already work across the Humberside Force area in tasks such as administrative support, giving crime prevention and fire safety advice and playing roles in training exercises. Now, it is hoped they will also be able to assist in monitoring Beverley’s CCTV cameras, particularly at busy times such as Friday and Saturday nights.

The funding for the cameras comes from Beverley Town Council and East Riding Council and a police spokesman told Beverley FM that serving police officers had never been employed to actually monitor them full time. Content from the cameras was always recorded and examined if it was felt the material could assist investigations and help identify people of interest. In addition civilian staff did view the screens as part of their duties during the normal working day, but it was stressed that the use of full-time staff to sit and monitor screens was not considered the best use of resources.

Now, however, with the help of volunteers that situation could change. Stressing that Beverley and the East Riding was considered as a very safe place to live, Insp Coulthard said: “On Friday and Saturday nights we do occasionally have flash points and it would be really useful to zoom in on what is happening in the town centre.”

During a recent interview with Insp Coulthard on Beverley FM  the question of how effective the CCTV cameras were was raised by a number of listeners, which has led to this new suggestion. Potential volunteers will go through an interview  before being allowed to take part in the scheme. And they would need to be trained and vetted, including getting an enhanced DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) clearance, before being able to volunteer.

Anyone interested in volunteering is asked should call Insp Coulthard at Beverley Police Station by calling the non-emergency number 101. Alternatively, more information about how to volunteer can be found by visiting http://www.humberside.police.uk/become-community-safety-volunteer