NEARLY £2 million will be spent to install hi-tech CCTV cameras across the borough, in a bid to improve safety in town centres.

Council chiefs have approved funding for a network of state of the art cameras equipped with the latest digital technology to be rolled out across the borough.

The funding boost comes after an audit of 80 cameras around the borough found many are old, outdated or in need of repair.

The money will also go towards expanding the network and moving the current central control base from Sedgley local police station to a new facility specifically designed to meet the requirements and demands required of a modern CCTV service.

The cameras will be predominately based in the town centres of Dudley, Stourbridge, Halesowen and Brierley Hill, with a handful of traffic based cameras based on busy routes such as the A491 in Kingswinford and the A461 in Brierley Hill.

Councillor Laura Taylor, cabinet member for housing, communities and residents’ welfare, said: “This investment shows we are serious about protecting the residents of our borough.

“CCTV can help bring the perpetrators of crime, anti-social behaviour and fly-tipping to justice, and also act as a deterrent to stop people breaking the law.

“The footage captured can be critical in prosecutions – and thanks to this investment, our images will be high quality and give police the best chance to identify those responsible.”

Out of the cameras to be based in borough town centres, 25 are based in and around Dudley; 16 Brierley Hill; 13 in Halesowen; 10 in Stourbridge and three in Sedgley.

The cameras are planned to be replaced by Spring next year.