CROTLIEVE councillor Declan McAteer has welcomed upcoming fresh investment in Warrenpoint’s CCTV infrastructure. The SDLP representative was speaking after it was confirmed at this month’s council meeting that the PSNI and the local authority had agreed funding for new camera systems in six district locations. As well as the seaside town, this will include Newcastle, Kilkeel, Downpatrick, Ballynahinch and Newry.
In a statement sent to the Mourne Observer, a council spokesperson said: “Newry, Mourne and Down District Council can confirm that the PSNI has offered to bear the cost of replacing the cameras and ongoing camera maintenance, which amounts to approximately £240,000 for the first year, plus approximately a yearly saving of approximately £25,000 for maintenance. “The council will incur the costs for the proposed system upgrade, including: a one-off cost of approximately £150,000 to convert all analogue fibre optic data transmission lines to digital; and £60,000 per year for BT line rental (this is for line rental for all six town centres). “Costs provided are overall project costs, and individual budgets for each town centre are not available.” Cllr McAteer said that, following the closure of Warrenpoint’s PSNI station in 2016, there was “concern among the public about the impact this would have”. “Many in our community felt vulnerable in that there would not be an active station any longer,” he stated. “We know that Warrenpoint is a busy, thriving town – particularly at the weekends – and therefore the capacity for antisocial behaviour does exist. “Local residents need to feel safe and comfortable in their town. “At one stage, there were also proposals to abandon the then outdated CCTV systems. “I am delighted to say that this has now been reversed, and, as a result of collaborative work with the PSNI, funding has been secured to install an enhanced CCTV system for the town.” The local representative said that he was delighted that both council and the PSNI had agreed to bear the various costs. “This is a significant investment in the town, enhancing the security of residents and visitors alike,” he concluded. “It will be an invaluable asset in combatting crime and antisocial behaviour, especially given the enhanced quality of the new digitalised cameras. “I will continue to work for the sustained investment in Warrenpoint, as somewhere for people to work, live, visit and enjoy.”