Selkirk in CCTV bid

A new ‘bluetooth’ CCTV surveillance system to monitor goings-on in Selkirk Town Centre has been placed on the council’s planning agenda.

Selkirk's Market Place is one of the areas set to be covered. Photo: Bill McBurnie.
Selkirk's Market Place is one of the areas set to be covered. Photo: Bill McBurnie.

Selkirks BIDS (Business Improvement Districts) organisation has submitted a planning application to Scottish Borders Council for the installation of three new CCTV units and the replacement of six other cameras, some of which are regarded as “no longer fit for purpose”.

The cameras aim to be not only a valuable deterrent to criminal activity but also provide evidence and intelligence to the police.

The latest bid comes after a £35,000 CCTV system was recently installed in Newcastleton to provide peace of mind to residents and businesses there.

Amongst the cameras proposed for use in Selkirk are a ‘fisheye’ device which provides 360 degree coverage and a ‘pan tilt zoom’, which is controlled remotely and also provides 360 degree rotation and 90 degree vertically.

Alistair Pattullo, chair of Selkirk Community Council, said: “The existing CCTV is now really not for fit for purpose and has been in place for quite some time.

“There have been some issues where it has not fulfilled the need that was required of it. Basically things were happening in the town and they were not being recorded on CCTV, so pre-Covid we started looking into replacing the CCTV.

“The system that we are looking at is a bluetooth system, so you would have remote cameras and they would connect to a central station using bluetooth, which is obviously quite advantageous.

“The new system is a lot less intrusive and cameras are smaller and I think there is also a provision that the police can remotely connect to these cameras and see what is going on in real time.”

Amongst the locations earmarked for the replacement system in Selkirk Town Centre are Mungo Park, Tower Street, High Street, the War Memorial and the Market Place.

Chief Superintendent Catriona Paton, divisional commander for the Lothains and Scottish Borders, believes CCTV cameras are “valued by communities”.

She said: “They are useful as we are not able to have police officers on every corner. They give people reassurance, and they also have a huge operational benefit for the police.”