Hundreds of arrests were made in Burnham-On-Sea and Highbridge last year thanks to CCTV cameras in the towns.

New figures released this week show the cameras, run by Sedgemoor District Council, handled a total of 3850 incidents in 2015, resulting in 1,060 arrests across the region.

The authority monitors 145 CCTV cameras in addition to a number of dedicated Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) cameras across the district, including 10 in Burnham-On-Sea. Others are in Taunton Deane and South Somerset.

Sam Taylor, spokeswoman from Sedgemoor District Council, told “During 2015 our CCTV team dealt with 3,850 incidents resulting in 1,060 people being arrested. These figures are for live incidents monitored and recorded by the CCTV operators. These figures do not include incidents or arrest figures for crimes that were dealt with through post incident investigations by the police where CCTV footage was used therefore, arrest figures will be higher than the 1060 recorded by CCTV.”

“Broken down into local authority areas, Sedgemoor had 1,522 incidents, resulting in 427 arrests, Taunton Deane had 1678 incidents, resulting in 453 arrests, and South Somerset had 650 incidents, resulting in 180 arrests.”

Cameras like the one pictured here in Burnham’s Manor Gardens are monitored by Sedgemoor District Council’s CCTV Operators in the CCTV Control Room 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.

In 2015, the team also took 2,154 out of hours emergency calls from the public. These were categorised as 1446 calls for Homes in Sedgemoor regarding emergency repairs, 254 calls regarding lost or stray dogs, 280 incidents of Anti-Social Behaviour or noise nuisance, 77 street cleanliness concerns, and 97 enquiries about flooding or pumping stations across the district.

Sam added: “2015 has been a challenging year as the department has been busy throughout but it has also been a time for celebration as the team celebrated its 21st birthday.”

“Since the department opened in 1994 it has helped thousands of people who have been victims of crime, probably without them even knowing it. We have also helped police to recover stolen vehicles, find missing children and vulnerable adults who may be considering suicide.”

“We also detect violent offenders and people carrying weapons or firearms. We help to locate those offenders who commit theft and burglary, and offenders who have evaded capture and are sought by the police.”

“The CCTV team continue to work closely with Avon and Somerset Police, those in the retail and pub trade, through the radio link scheme, and our Local Authority partners to get the best results and make the areas we monitor as safe as possible.”

She added: “Overall it is very difficult to quantify the success of a department by statistics, but the team at Sedgemoor are highly dedicated and provide vast amounts of evidence and intelligence to the authorities to aid them in the detection and prosecution of offenders.”

“However, CCTV is not always about crime, and quite often we help in other ways that would not always be immediately obvious for example finding a lost/misplaced car, spotting traffic problems and updating on collisions, alerting authorities to a dangerous building that has been damaged in extreme weather or spotting early signs of flooding to name but a few.”

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