NEW CCTV cameras are to be installed providing extra coverage of Chester's historic Rows in ongoing efforts to clamp down on anti-social behaviour.

Last week we reported on community and business leaders having an urgent meeting with police to develop a plan to tackle increasing levels of anti-social behaviour in Chester.

Police and Crime Commissioner David Keane called the meeting in response to concerns about a group of individuals in the city claimed to be responsible for ‘aggressive begging, street drinking, drug-dealing, drug-taking and even one recent example of full sexual intercourse’.

Now Cheshire West and Chester Council is to install an additional 10 CCTV cameras to provide extended coverage of Chester’s historic rows.

With support from Cheshire West and Chester Community Safety Partnership, the council’s Housing Team, Aberdeen Standard Investments and CH1Chester BID, 10 new CCTV cameras are planned to be added on the Rows on Northgate Street, Eastgate Street, Bridge Street and Watergate Street.

The council’s deputy leader and cabinet member for environment, highways and strategic transport, Councillor Karen Shore said: “This is wonderful news and contributes to the city’s Purple Flag Status. The cameras will be subject to planning approval and their locations have been selected to minimise the visual impact on listed buildings.

“The use of CCTV cameras will be beneficial for residents, local businesses and visitors, by providing an effective means of deterring and detecting crime and public disorder.

“Using CCTV can significantly reduce the resources required to investigate alleged crimes. It will also help protect these historic timber structures from fire risk and damage.”

The identified CCTV camera locations are designed to provide coverage of areas where individuals and groups choose to congregate and engage in anti-social behaviour, leading to the areas often being avoided by residents and visitors.

Images from the cameras will be transmitted via secure network to the council’s CCTV team's control centre in Chester. The cameras are an extension to the council’s existing CCTV system.