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Lincolnshire PCC Marc Jones says new artificial intelligence cameras in Spalding are not down to town's crime level

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Plans for artificial intelligence cameras being installed in Spalding are not down to the town being crime-ridden, according to a police chief.

Lincolnshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner Marc Jones made a successful £400,000 bid for the equipment, which will aim to remove blind spots and create ‘safe zone areas’ in an effort to improve night time safety.

Spalding was selected alongside Boston and Skegness to benefit from the cameras after after talks with over 1,000 young people identified sexual assaults or street harassment as the biggest threats to their safety.

Lincolnshire Police and Crime Commissioner Marc Jones wants to prevent crime in Spalding
Lincolnshire Police and Crime Commissioner Marc Jones wants to prevent crime in Spalding

However, Mr Jones this doesn’t mean the town is any worse off than others throughout the county.

He said: “What we’re trying to do is prevent certain incidents happening. When it comes to street safety, we want people to use the night time economy and go about their business.

“You do that because you feel safe. We want to address people’s perceptions of crime to make them feel safe.

“Equally, every area has crime - that’s why we have the police there. But it does not mean, because we’ve been able to secure this investment, that Spalding has some crime wave that other areas don’t.

“That absolutely is not the case. We want to make sure that we’re never missing an opportunity to invest in making people feel safer.”

He added: “It’s absolutely not driven by Spalding being some crime centre - it really isn’t. It’s a beautiful town in a beautiful county.”

Mr Jones said that South Holland District Council played a big role in helping him secure the cameras, which will be paid for through the Government’s Safer Streets Funding.

By using artificial intelligence, the equipment is designed to speed up investigations into the likes of missing person cases and suspect searches.

However, facial recognition will not be used - and private dwellings captured will be pixelated to maintain privacy.

The sites they will be placed at in Spalding have not yet been released, but Mr Jones added that some will replace existing cameras as well as covering current blind spots.

In a joint statement with other leaders, South Holland District Council leader Gary Porter said: “The Safer Streets bid is a progressive step towards ensuring the safety of our residents and visitors across Boston, East Lindsey and South Holland, particularly in creating a safer environment for women and girls who are at risk of violence.”

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