NORTON Town Council has agreed to contribute £3,000 towards CCTV surveillance in the town.

Members voted to back a request for funding after hearing about its value to the local community from Martin Dales, chairman of Ryedale Cameras in Action.

Coun Dales, a member of Malton Town Council, said that with a recent change in chairman and treasurer of the group, there was an opportunity to review the CCTV system and how things might be improved in the future.

He said: “At a meeting last week of trustees, one of the things we agreed to do, and which the police are keen to see, is 24/7 operation of the system which is not happening at the moment due to staffing.

“One of the problems has been that the police station is now open 9am to 5pm weekdays and one of the ideas we have is to replica the monitoring equipment in Ryedale House which would be manned by volunteers.”

Coun Dales said Ryedale Cameras in Action was due to commit £12,000 to the replication of CCTV monitors which was a ‘considerable amount of money’.

“Our funding, as a partnership, comes from the people of Norton and Malton and we are seeking to do that as soon as possible,” he said.

“The equipment is relatively straightforward and the volunteers are there. However, the exact location in Ryedale House has yet to be finalised.”

Coun Dales said CCTV was a huge advantage to Norton and Malton and had a number of uses.

“It is used to check crime and more recently the flooding issues but can also be used to check for truancy and anti-social parking. To have these picked up over a longer period of the day will be a huge move forward.”

Coun Dales said the group was also looking at upgrading the technology used and what would happen with the cameras in Pickering, following its town council’s decision to no longer provide funding.

“It is a shame they have decided to take that decision but at the moment it looks like the link between Malton and Pickering will cease,” he said.

“We will look at what will happen at the end of March when the cameras come down and we know there are suitable places for those cameras in Malton and Norton.”

Coun Hugh Spencer said very few people would question the value of CCTV.

“I think the people of Pickering may come to regret it and there may be a backlash when things happen and proof cannot be established,” he said.

Coun David Lloyd-Williams agreed that it was a shame Pickering had made the decision. He said: “Two or three years ago there were problems with youths in the town which was practically gang warfare. Pickering should be reconsider on behalf of the people they represent.”