CCTV is back on in Ampthill for Christmas

Library image.
Library image.

A firm has switched CCTV cameras in Amphill back on for free to help keep people safe this festive season.

Ampthill Parish Council had switched off its town centre cameras to save cash but, after a spate of trouble, the surveillance company has put them temporarily back into action.

Herts CCTV Partnership operations manager Mike Read, who lives in Ampthill himself, said: “It is a token gesture of good will and free of charge.

“There has been a few issues within the town.

“It is a potential time bomb - it is something that could escalate.”

The council revealed last month that it was looking at options to turn the cameras back on after trouble outside popular night spots.

Earlier this year residents had called for the cameras to be switched on after drunken brawls and bad behaviour in the town.

Four out of the council’s five CCTV cameras were turned off to save thousands of pounds and the only one still in operation covered the park.

But now three town centre cameras are back in action and are being monitored around the clock.

Parish council clerk Dawn Sutherns said: “It is a really nice thing for them to do.”

She said the parish council is now working with Central Bedfordshire Council on the possibility of introducing a cheaper new wireless camera system, which they hope will be up and running in the new year.

However, Herts CCTV Partnership is hoping the parish council will take up a knocked down price contract with them.

In November this year, two men were arrested after violence outside the White Hart Hotel.

Police had been in touch with the surveillance firm to secure footage of the incident but due to the cameras being switched off the company could not help.