WORK is underway to completely upgrade the CCTV system in Bassetlaw.
Bassetlaw Council is carrying out a tender to upgrade the current system, which includes existing CCTV equipment and system infrastructure.
It is conducting the tender on behalf of the Bassetlaw Town Centre Partnership Trust, who run the operation.
The work could include moving the monitoring centre from its current site – which is at a secret location in Worksop.
The contract is worth between £750,000 and £1million.
Mark Ladyman, director of community services at Bassetlaw Council said upgrading work should start around April.
“The present CCTV system has been in operation for over twelve years and there is a requirement to improve both the camera and monitoring technology which is currently supplied by Bassetlaw Town Centre Partnership,” he said.
“On behalf of the partnership, the authority is carrying out a tender to identify future suppliers who can both improve the camera provision technology and the monitoring process.”
“We anticipate that the tender will be completed by April 2011 with work to upgrade the system beginning almost immediately.”
The tender description states that it is intended to expand the scale and scope of the system and the appointed contractor will be required to contribute to this.
The CCTV system was set up in September 1997 by Bassetlaw Town Centre Partnership Trust.
Back then just 13 basic cameras monitored the goings-on in parts of Worksop town centre.
It was set up at a time when the crime rate was high in Worksop and when the town centre became a ‘ghost town’ at night because residents were too frightened to venture into the area.
Its introduction was followed six years later by cameras in Retford.
Now over 50 cameras and a highly-trained team of operators observe areas of Worksop and Retford.
Operators – who always remain anonymous for fear of reprisal – have a direct link with the police if they see anything suspicious.
The operation saves thousands of pounds of tax payer’s money every year. Criminals often plead guilty when faced with CCTV footage, saving expensive court and police costs.
A spokesman for Bassetlaw Town Centre Parnership Trust said it could not comment until the procurement process had ended.