THE next phase of a £1.7 million overhaul of CCTV across the Dudley borough is now underway, with more public places added to the upgrade scheme.

Six cameras will be replaced at Castle Gate in Dudley, following the installation of hundreds of new cameras in town centres around the borough.

More cameras will be installed in town centres in Sedgley, Lye and Brierley Hill as part of phase two of the programme, with cameras also earmarked to be installed in Coronation Gardens in Dudley later this year.

Council chiefs say the scheme is the biggest overhaul of closed-circuit cameras in the council's history to replace outdated equipment which was expensive to repair.

Councillor Laura Taylor, cabinet member responsible for community safety, said: "The first part of the project has been extremely successful with new cameras added to our town centres which are now live and fully operational. The next phase is about extending that success to other key parts of the borough.

"One of the key aims of this authority is to make our borough safer and the CCTV programme is very much delivering on that."

The CCTV programme is being carried out with West Midlands Police and gives much clearer images of sites which can help in catching and prosecuting offenders.

A new high tech, highly secure control room is also being developed as part of the project and discussions are underway to add traffic cameras to the overhaul.