Work continues to improve the Hirst

A state-of-the-art mobile CCTV system is the latest tool being used to improve residents’ quality of life in Ashington.

Six county councillors have joined together via the members small projects scheme to fund a “Sherpa” CCTV system, the first local authority in the country to get one.

The system can be installed in an area in a matter of minutes and can “climb” up a lamp-post itself to get into position and start monitoring. As well as recording, the camera can also live stream footage of an area.

The scheme is the latest development in the “Hirst Neighbourhood Management Initiative”, a long-term project managed by Northumberland County Council and supported by Northumbria Police and the Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner, to improve the quality of life of residents in the area.

The council’s Public Health Protection Unit is co-ordinating the part of the project focused on community safety and has been working closely with residents to understand their concerns and put long term solutions in place.

These include the introduction of detached youth workers to reduce youth disorder to property marking and improving the security of homes, particularly those of vulnerable residents.

The scheme has also involved council officers securing empty homes to prevent fly tippers dumping waste in gardens and improving security at Hirst Park.

Councillor Liz Simpson, Chair of Safer Northumberland, said:

We know that there is often no quick fix to improving an area – it needs a number of approaches – from education through to enforcement.

Over the past two years a lot of work has been done in Hirst which has seen real improvements and this new camera system can also be used in other parts of the town when needed.

Councillor Ken Parry, Ward Member for The Hirst, said:

There are a lot of good people carrying out a lot of good work in the Hirst – there is a real will to make a difference.

The initiative is run by a multi-agency steering group involving key partners and the local community and we work with a number of organisations to take this project forward.

This new camera system really is a great piece of technology that will be used to protect the safety and wellbeing of people living in the Hirst.

Peter Simpson, Public Health Protection Manager, added:

This new rapidly deployable CCTV system will allow the Council and its partners to quickly target anti-social behaviour and collect the evidence needed to identify offenders

Nicola Savage, Sales and Marketing Director with Excelerate Technology, said:

We are delighted to be supporting the Hirst Neighbourhood Management Initiative and their collaborative partners in Northumberland with Sherpa – our innovative automatic lamp-post climbing CCTV delivery system.

“Providing temporary surveillance where it’s most needed, Sherpa will support enforcement and monitoring in areas such as fly tipping, anti-social behaviour and property protection contributing to wider community safety and security and improving the quality of life for residents.