NEW high-tech CCTV cameras are being rolled out across the borough as part of a £1.7 million spending package to improve public safety.

The first of the state-of-the-art cameras were installed at Dudley Market place last week and work has begun to lay down new fibre optic cabling across the borough to improve the network.

The new digital cameras will be monitored from a new control base, moving away from Sedgley police station to a new highly secure facility working with West Midlands Police.

Councillor Laura Taylor, cabinet member responsible for community safety, said: "This is a major overhaul of all of the CCTV cameras in the borough – the first in a generation.

"These new cameras are more sophisticated, provide more detailed images of issues and when the roll out is complete, will provide greater coverage of our town centres and wider borough.

"I’m sure this work will be welcomed by residents, shoppers, businesses and tourists all over the borough.”

Sally Bourner, Chief Superintendent, Dudley Neighbourhood Policing Unit Commander, said: "We are working closely with Dudley Council to help develop their deployment of CCTV. This is one of many ways where together we can improve the quality of life for local people and prevent crime, keeping Dudley the safest borough in the region.

"There are also many ways local people can help particularly by playing an active and neighbourly role in their communities. One of the ways I would encourage people to consider getting involved is through Street Watch. To find out more people can email"

The upgrade comes after an audit of 80 cameras across the borough found many are old, outdated or in need of repair.

The new cameras will be fully installed by spring next year.