It is hoped that four new CCTV cameras will help to cut crime in the centre of one north Cumbria town.

Plans to install the potentially crime-busting cameras were discussed at a meeting of Wigton town council last week.

Leading the project is town councillor Alan Pitcher, who expects the new cameras to cost in the region of £30,000.

Councillors have been meeting with companies in recent weeks to discuss the cameras and their capabilities.

The cameras are being considered as a way of helping to tackle crime problems in the town.

Speaking at the meeting Mr Pitcher said: “We have reduced the number of cameras needed because of where we need them and because of the effectiveness of these cameras we didn’t need them in the same place as we thought before.

“The camera definition is higher also.”

When approached by The Cumberland News, Mr Pitcher added: “We have been looking at CCTV for a while now and getting information to ensure we are buying the right equipment for the town has been a long process.

Mayor of Wigton, Elaine Lynch said: “Looking at what they seem to be able to do, it did look like it was a good system.

“The main one is in the middle of the car park. We were told what a 360 degrees one could do.

“We want it (the system) to be in place by the summer.”

Mrs Lynch continued: “We haven’t had cameras for a number of years.

“They [members of the public] say is it working in the car park.”

Mr Pitcher continued: “They [the companies they have met with] have a different method of controlling them. It is quite a good way of doing it.

“We would have full control back here in the office and effectively anywhere we like.

“It is to do with anti-social behaviour. We are aware that the police have limited resources, as does everybody nowadays. Putting CCTV up is hopefully a positive step forward.”

It is proposed that cameras are installed in Water Street car park, one opposite Spar in King Street and one next to the monument in the town centre, with another one near the former Hopes Auction mart site. and one next to The Stocksman. However, the plans for The Stocksman are not 100%.

Funding for the cameras has been included in this year’s town council budget and will be entirely funded by the authority. Meetings with businesses are ongoing, with further price estimates to come in due course.

Anti-social behaviour was down by more than 100 incidents in 2017/18, when compared to the previous 12 months. It was down from 247 to 145.

The rise in violent and sexual crimes in Wigton that was reported in last week’s edition of The Cumberland News was also discussed by councillors at the meeting.

Wigton town council met at the Market Hall on January 9 to discuss various issues, withOne of the first things on the agenda was the rise in those types of crime when compared with 2016/17.

The number of these crimes was up from 128 to 230.

Town councillor David Ferriby asked: “It is not anything that has been reported, where has this figure come from?”

Mr Pitcher added: “Are things happening in the background while we deal with anti-social behaviour?”

The planned council tax rise was also discussed by councillors at the meeting.

Mrs Lynch said: “If we are having to pay extra we want to see the evidence of the officers on the ground. That is what the people will say.”

Mr Pitcher questioned whether the 25 extra officers promised by Cumbria Police would mean 25 extra officers, or just 25 new officers.

Adding her opinion was Patricia Williams, who said: “I can’t remember the last police officer I saw in the town.”

Councillors agreed to meet with local PCSO Gill Atkinson to discuss the violent and sexual crime rise.

Incidentally, Cumbria Police are appealing for witnesses to an alleged common assault in Howrigg Bank.

The alleged incident took place at about 2.30pm on January 8. A man is alleged to have exited his vehicle, before then confronting a woman and threatening her.

Witnesses are asked to call police on101.