Crime-busting CCTV cameras in a Moray town are now working after months of sitting inactive and stripped of power.
Keith residents and business owners grew concerned in the summer after finding out that surveillance equipment in the town did not work – and had in fact been disabled for several months.
It emerged the issue had arisen after Moray Council sold-off the Keith Institute building, where the CCTV system’s power supply had been housed.
Their period of inaction coincided with a wave of low level criminality in the town centre – prompted, some locals said, by the fact their powerless state was an open secret.
Now it has been confirmed the town’s camera network is operational once again, with the feed going live to Elgin police station once more.
Moray MP Douglas Ross welcomed the news, after campaigning for the surveillance equipment to be sorted as soon as possible due to a spate of sadly unmonitored antisocial behaviour taking place in Keith.
He said: “It is excellent news that the CCTV system in Keith is now operational again.
“I was criticised for highlighting the failure of this system earlier this year, but it was well known in the town that the cameras weren’t working and local residents and groups contacted me for assistance in getting them up and running.
“I’m glad that has now happened.
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“There is no doubt these cameras are a great tool in detecting crimes but they also play a significant role in deterring criminal activity and I hope these will stop some of the acts of vandalism we have seen in Keith over recent months.
“I’m grateful that officers at Moray Council have worked with me at every stage in this process to get the system operational again.
“It shows what can be done if we apply some pressure and work together to get a solution.
“I know this news will be warmly welcomed by local residents and businesses in Keith.”
Jane Wilson from the Fife Keith Action group was also pleased to see them back up and running.
She said: “Like everyone else in this area, I am delighted the cameras are finally working once more.
“The cameras naturally make a huge difference to the policing of this town, which is why it was vital to get them up and running as quickly as possible.
“Many people were continually complaining at the lack of cameras, especially residents extremely worried equally about dangerous boy racers and antisocial behaviour.”
Keith and Cullen councillor Donald Gatt hopes that the cameras will now work as a deterrent to the types of antisocial behaviour that have taken place over the last few months, with allegations of cars being damaged and joyriders “terrorising” townsfolk.
He said: “I’m extremely pleased to have them back up and running as they act as a deterrent to those causing antisocial behaviour.”