A major upgrade of Fife’s town centre CCTV system is to be carried out after funding was approved.
Councillors on Fife’s safer communities committee agreed Fife Council should contribute half of the £390,000 needed for a maintenance programme which will see equipment across the region brought up to scratch.
The system, which currently supports 102 cameras across 12 town and urban centres throughout Fife, is one of the most extensive CCTV systems in operation in Europe and has become a key part of efforts to cut crime.
However, some of the cameras are now almost two decades old and faults have kept cropping up, with some components beyond their life expectancy.
Quick repair times are also either not possible or economically viable as a result, meaning the outdated analogue camera estate now needs to be replaced with HD cameras.
Mark McCall, Safer Communities service manager, said the system had demonstrated its worth in terms of crime prevention and detection and warned councillors: “The potential impact of the system not being available is very tangible, very visible and very real.”
Fife Council’s half will be allocated from within the Fife Community Safety Partnership budget over a two-year period, while Police Scotland is funding the other half.
Figures have suggested that the number of DVDs produced as productions for the procurator fiscal rose from an average of 264 in 2003 to 2006 to 512 from 2007 to 2013.
Around 750 missing people were also located by CCTV from 2006 to 2014, many of whom were vulnerable due to their age or medical conditions.