CCTV making a difference says town hall

Jubilee Park Ashton
Jubilee Park Ashton

CLAIMS that newly installed CCTV cameras in a Wigan park are a £78k white elephant have been rubbished by the town hall.

Surveillance equipment has been in operation in Jubilee Park in Ashton since August but concerns have been raised that the footage it obtains is useless after dark.

However, Wigan Council said the technology is working well and reports of anti-social behaviour have seen a significant drop.

This is despite residents remaining sceptical about the impact of the cameras.

Ashton Residents’ Association (ARA) chair Michael Moulding told the Evening Post: “It is very disappointing that the CCTV is not adequate during winter months. This coupled with a lack of policing makes it even worse.

“Now the cameras are installed we hope Wigan Council can sort this problem out quickly so they can do their job at all times of the year.”

The park has been an ASB hotspot and complaints have been made in recent weeks of youths shining laser pens into nearby households.

Penny McGinty, assistant director for leisure and property at Wigan Council, said the cameras “are working effectively”.

Adding: “CCTV is there to act as a deterrent by proactively monitoring the park and can also rely on live information on incidents to help pinpoint potential antisocial behaviour. There is no issue about the quality of the imagery the cameras catch in this location however the CCTV team need to be made aware of ongoing issues so that the cameras can be used to get images of incidents.”

When the cameras were installed the ARA accused the Labour party of using them as a political football taking credit prior to this year’s elections.

The three cameras are monitored by town hall staff with upgrades to the system currently being considered by council bosses.