THIS WEEK IN 1997: Portsmouth’s closed circuit television system helped police make more than 500 arrests in its first year of operation.

City crime prevention and public safety committee chairman Jason Fazackarley
City crime prevention and public safety committee chairman Jason Fazackarley
Work on the crumbling window frames at St Simons Church, Southsea

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City council officials revealed that officers made more than 47 arrests in April, taking the figure to 520 throughout its first 12 months of use.

At the time, the council’s network of 37 cameras covered Southsea seafront, and the Commercial Road and Palmerston Road shopping centres, and Fawcett Road in Southsea.

City crime prevention and public safety committee chairman Jason Fazackarley, pictured, said: ‘We were always confident that CCTV would help prevent crime and make the city’s streets safer.

‘Its initial success has perhaps exceeded our expectations and this can only improve as we add more cameras to the system.’