Thirty-four new CCTV cameras set to make Boston safer for women and children

Thirty-four new ‘intelligent’ CCTV cameras will be installed in Boston to create so-called ‘safe zones’.

Eye in the sky - new intelligent CCTV cameras similar to this one are to be installed in Boston. Image for illustration only.
Eye in the sky - new intelligent CCTV cameras similar to this one are to be installed in Boston. Image for illustration only.

The cameras will be fixed in 31 key areas with the aim of removing blank spots and creating ‘blanket coverage’ of the town centre.

It is hoped the cameras will create ‘safe zone areas’ allowing people to move safely from nightclubs and pubs to transport links and taxi ranks.

The new equipment will be placed in 34 locations across Boston – but not everyone will be so keen on the idea of the town becoming so heavily surveilled.

Lincolnshire PCC Marc Jones.

The £400,000 cost of the project will be paid for by the Government after a bid for Safer Streets Funding by the the county’s Police and Crime Commissioner PCC Marc Jones and South & East Lincolnshire Councils Partnership.

A spokesperson for the PCC said: “Artificial Intelligence servers will be installed alongside the cameras and allow police officers to search footage quickly using parameters such as clothing description or vehicle type.

“This will save valuable time getting to important evidence and increase the risk of detection, capture and conviction.

“The project will also include the recruitment, training and licensing of a new network of volunteer CCTV operators from within the local community – allowing police officers to get back out on the streets.”

The bid comes after the PCC’s Lincolnshire Youth Commission engaged with over 1000 young people and identified sexual assaults or street harassment as the biggest threats to their safety.

Street harassment and stalking has also been directly raised as an issue at public engagement events undertaken by the OPCC Safer Together Team in Boston, Spalding, and Skegness.

The sites of the cameras were identified after extensive analysis of crime statistics by Lincolnshire Police.

“It is crucial that everyone, but especially women and girls, can feel and be safe on the streets both during the day and at night,” said Mr Jones.

“This project represents just the latest in a string of successful projects that are now being actioned which puts more than £1million worth of CCTV across our county – deterring criminals and ensuring greater levels of security for our residents.

“This myriad of technology also means our police officers can spend less time in an office and more time on the streets where they are most needed.”

Coun Paul Skinner, leader of Boston Borough Council, said: “This is a progressive step towards ensuring the safety of our residents and visitors, particularly in creating a safer environment for women and girls who are at risk of violence.

“We believe this bid will be successful in creating safer public places through the use of new technologies and increased CCTV in areas previously deemed as hot spots for Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) such as pedestrian routes and night-time economy areas.”

The locations set for new CCTV cameras are: West St, bus station, Rosegarth St, Bridge St, Market Place, Strait Bargate, Pump Square, Pen St, Main Ridge West, John Adams Way, the Footbridge, County Library, Red Lion St, Norfolk St, Sluice Bridge, Lister Way, Ingram Memorial, Town Bridge, Staniland car park, Haven Bridge, B&M car park, South St, Irby St car park, Cinema car park, Central Park, Bargate Bridge, Emery Lane, Sleaford Road, Wide Bargate, Dolphin Lane, and the train station.